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  • Sarah Raad

Apprehension

If we could but cast aside our apprehension, we could save so many souls…

The Arrest of Christ (Matthias Stom)

Today when I woke up, I really did not want to start my day. I was cold and uncomfortable and tired and there I was complaining about all of that while safely nestled inside my nice clean and cosy bed inside my nice clean and cosy room inside my nice clean and cosy house. I had a day of work ahead of me that was frankly going to be a challenge, and I would really have been very happy to have rolled over and gone back to sleep for the rest of the day.


There was nothing going wrong in my life today, but with all the weakness of my human soul, I just did not want to get on with it…


And then, as I do every morning regardless of my feeling, I sat myself up, got myself out of bed, got myself dressed and ready and got my children moving for the day…


Just like that all the apprehensions of my day started to recede as I got on with the business of my day.


Later, as I was teaching, and reflecting on my morning – after having dropped off my children to school, cleaned up the kitchen, digested my breakfast, and had a couple of nice hot cups of tea – it occurred to me that I was not the only person to wake up uncomfortably in the morning and dread the day ahead, though the others who did so surely had more cause than I for such a feeling.


My neighbours must feel this dread all the time. You are my neighbours, and you grieve for your own private sorrows. And in your grief, you surely face mornings of such terrible anguish that you shudder to approach the day that follows the darkest of nights. And the griefs in your heart are far more worthy than those in mine of delaying you and causing your apprehension!


And yet, it was not really you – my neighbours – who came to my mind upon reflection… It was my poor, poor Beloved…


While my student was scrawling away frantically at his essay and my eyes were riveted on his work, pointing out improvements and modifications, I suddenly saw n my mind’s eye a vision of my Beloved.


I saw Him open His Holy Eyes on the morning of His execution… Following His night of anguish and torment, Christ moved His Aching Body, probably bound as It was in chains. How His Holy head must have pounded… How His Holy Belly must have growled. How His Holy Muscles must have protested… How His Holy Heart must have ached… How His Holy Soul must have writhed in torment for the silence that He heard and the torrent of sins that rained down upon Him…

I wondered to myself – in my shame – did He try to stay curled upon the ground – His only bed – for an instant longer? Did He dread the day ahead? After all, His work of DYING FOR OUR SALVATION was surely going to be a challenge that day…

Was His Holy Heart filled with apprehension? I think it was not…


For He knew that there could be nothing ahead of Him was bigger than the power of God behind Him – the power of God INSIDE Him…


The Saints like Saint Therese of Lisieux took their cue from Christ when they advised… “Let us not grow tired of prayer: Confidence works miracles.”


And that miracle is evident when the temptation to be apprehensive – the temptation to fear – is destroyed…


“The devil is like a rabid dog tied to a chain; beyond the length of the chain he cannot seize anyone. And you: Keep at a distance. If you approach too near, you let yourself be caught. Remember that the devil has only one door by which to enter the soul: the will.” (Saint Padre Pio).


Christ got off that cold stone floor on the morning of His execution. He delayed not at all. For there was work yet for Him to do. In doing this, He cast off His apprehension and kept at a distance. He closed the door of His will to the wiles of the devil.


In getting up that morning, He saved me…


Through His Holy Will He triumphed…


My Lord and my God, please give me the strength to close the door – strengthen my will… For I would work with you for the salvation of souls this day…


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

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