• Sarah Raad


“Pray, hope and don’t worry…” (Saint Padre Pio).

Healing Paralytic (Van Dyck)

The other day I read an interesting little anecdote and I have been reflecting on it ever since…

And the story that I read goes like this…

Once, a Parisian artist was painting a scene depicting the crucifixion of Christ. He searched for a woman to model the character of Mary Magdalene in the painting and when he was planning the work, he decided to ask a woman with a bad reputation to model the character of Mary Magdalene for the painting. Over the weeks that followed, as he painted her, the artist engaged in conversation with the model, who asked him many questions about the scene that he was depicting and about Christ Himself.

During their conversations, the woman asked, “Did He die for my sins and yours?” “Yes.” Replied the artist.

“And you… How long have you known that?” The woman continued… “Then I should love Him...”

And I have been thinking of this story very much because of how I am and how I speak. Your see, when I am in company I ALWAYS speak about the weather, I SOMETIMES speak about politics, and very OFTEN I speak about the COVID-19 pandemic, but NEVER do I speak about my Beloved…

I have known all this all my life, and yet, who do I ask to join me in loving Him?

Do I open my mouth to speak – or am I too embarrassed?

When the paralytic man needed healing, his friends took Him to Christ, and not only did they take him there – they climbed up onto someone’s home and once they were on top of the house, they broke open the roof.

They were so eager to take that man to Christ that they embarrassed themselves utterly by destroying property and making a spectacle of themselves, just so that they could reach Him…

“Four men brought to Him a paralytic. And when they could not get near Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘My son, your sins are forgiven.’” (Mark 2:3-5).

And I reflect on this faith right now… You see, Our Lady of Fatima told the three children visionaries – Saints Jacinta and Francesco and Blessed Lucia – to “pray much and make sacrifices for sinners.”

And it occurs to me that since I am not carrying a very terrible cross of my own, that I – unlike the paralytic man – am not literally dis-abled as the paralytic man was dis-abled from ging to Christ. And because I am able, it is instead my job to be the FRIEND of the paralytic man. And as his friend, it is instead my job to carry that man to my Beloved.

And how can I do that? Well – quite easily really – I can do that through prayer…

You see, the world is littered with souls who suffer far more than I. And they suffer feeling alone and abandoned. Imagine if I could carry them to the embrace of the Prince of Peace.

For I am an apostle of the modern age – and you are too… And I am called to pray – we all are – all of us who carry the lesser Cross, we are called to pray for those whose Cross is greater…

Saint Padre Pio said it very well… “Go to the Madonna. Love her! Always say the Rosary. Say it well. Say it as often as you can! Be souls of prayer. Never tire of praying, it is what is essential. Prayer shakes the Heart of God, it obtains necessary graces!”

And as an apostle of the modern age I understand what it is that I am called to do… Pray. Pray. Pray… “Pray, hope and don’t worry…” as Saint Padre Pio said…

And so it is that I now pray…

For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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