• Sarah Raad


“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4).

The Dead Christ Supported by Two Angels (Carlo Crivelli)

Yesterday and in the days that had preceded it, I was praying very intently for a young boy who was perilously ill. I had been praying, with many of you, for this child for many days, after hearing that he had been sick over the course of the week.

This is not an unusual occurrence for me these days. After all, I often pray for people who are sick or dying. It is not even unusual that the person I was praying for was a very young child. That has happened before too. But sometimes, when the cross seems so heavy that no human being could ever lift it, it seems as though the angels themselves call us to pray.

This time was one of those times, where the angels themselves seemed to call out to me to pray – perhaps you also heard them calling to you?

And then, right in the midst of my prayers, on Sunday afternoon I heard – mistakenly – that this child had already died. Immediately I stopped what I was doing and began praying my prayers for the dead. Over and again I asked God to carry his soul to heaven, but there was only one problem with this… The child was not yet dead. The message was simply a terrible terrible mistake.

I have reflected on this terrible situation in the days that have followed. Why receive such a message as that? What purpose could it serve in an already terrible time?

And yet, I have long ago stopped believing in coincidences… And so, when I think of that mistake, I think that surely the angels called out to us for those prayers on Sunday afternoon. As one of the women praying with us said, “no prayers are wasted” and another, “while there is breath, there is life, and while there is life, there is hope…”

And so, if such a terrible miscommunication occurred, it was surely to bring the GOODNESS OF GOD.

After all, as the child was still alive, such prayers – not being wasted – were used for the Lost Souls of Purgatory. How many souls were saved through those prayers? How many Souls stood at the gates of Heaven to greet this child with open arms when he joined them there yesterday night…

For last night, at 7pm, surrounded by the people who loved him most in the world, this little boy was handed over by his family into the loving arms of God. His mother and father said that he died “…surrounded by his loving family who prayed him into the loving arms of God…”.

I have not been able to take these beautiful words from my mind as I have continued about my business in these days that have followed this terrible tragic death.

For this child’s parents are very brave…

Because bravery personified is a parent handing their child into the loving arms of God through prayer. What surrender there is in that!

For they can see what Saint Paul of the Cross revealed, "From this valley of tears, turn your gaze continually to God, ever awaiting the moment when you will be united with Him in Heaven."

Now, their child has gone ahead to prepare a place for them there…

Saint Padre Pio said, “Abandon yourself in the hands of Mary. She will take care of you.”

I abandon those parents to Our Blessed Mother. For as they prayed their rosaries for their dying son, they abandoned themselves to her… Because only love has meaning, and as Saint Faustina said in her diary, “It (love) raises up our smallest actions into infinity”…

So now, as their son was raised up into God’s infinitely loving arms through prayer, I ask the angels to carry my cries to His Holy Ear.

For what greater faith could there be than to prayerfully hand a child to God…

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4).

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

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