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  • Sarah Raad

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We are CHILDREN of God – not His SLAVES!

Return of the Prodigal Son (Bartolome Esteban Murillo)

Today, I briefly saw my dear friend Nancy and she looked so beautiful that even though I did not have the chance to stop and chat with her, I had all the time in the world to give thanks to God for her health. May God continue to shelter Nancy all the days of her life and make Nancy – and all those who are sick – well.


It is strange this idea of prayer. Strange and yet simultaneously so natural! There is such a privileged intimacy with God through prayer.


Lucky for us, we have Our Blessed Mother. She prayed so beautifully. Have you ever wondered what her prayers might have sounded like?


Our Lady prayed so beautifully to the Holy Spirit, the Father and the Son. Today, when I reflected on the beauty of her Trinitarian prayers I was brought almost to tears.


Imagine if I could pray to God like that! Imagine if I could talk to Him as my Love, my Daddy, my Child? And yet, I do not need to simply imagine it – I can follow where Our Blessed Mother walked and DO IT! Every. Single. Day.

I too, could humbly try to become the “Handmaid of the Lord”. Granted, I will never achieve that role with the Grace and dignity and perfection of my Blessed Mother, but though I will fail, there is nothing lost through my attempt.

It was by the power of the Holy Spirit that Our Lady conceived. She Prayed to Her Love. “The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary, and she conceived by the Holy Spirit… the WORD WAS MADE FLESH.”


It was by the power of the Father that Our Lady bore all her burdens...


“Please God help me. Help me. Help me to find me a place to give birth. I have not done this before and I am afraid. Will this hurt me? Will I die during childbirth? Will the baby be okay? Help me. Please God I am afraid. Help me. I trust You. Help me.”


But there were other burdens too, “Please God find my Son, He has been missing for three days now and I do not know where He is. Please find Him for me. Please God Help me. Help me. Help me!”


And then at the end, “Not my will but Yours be done. Please God give me the strength to bear this loss.” And, there she stood. Right there. At the Foot of the Cross. And there she too endured the Passion and Death of her beloved Son as though the wounds were made into her own flesh, without even the relief of death to save her from her pain and grief...


But today, I found myself overwhelmed with a realisation of the prayers that Our Blessed Mother prayed to Her Child. Here she showed us that though we can rely on God for the BIG things, He will help us with the SMALL ones too! “Jesus, darling, please get me a glass of water, it is very hot and I am tired?” “Jesus, darling, do you mind passing me your washing, so that I finish my cleaning today?” “Jesus, sweetheart, what would you like for dinner? I’m thinking to fry fish today because it was fresh at the market this morning.”


What intimacy Our Lady had with God! How I long for some intimacy of my own with Him!


And yet, all of my life until this time, I have treated myself not as God’s child – but as His slave… And God did not come to collect slaves. Christ did not redeem us to make us His slaves!


In the parable of the Prodigal Son, the older brother who had remained at home acted as a slave – “But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.” (Luke 15:29). He obeyed all the rules! But though the rules are important, God, who sees into our hearts can see our intention as well as our obedience.


If God wanted slaves, He could have created us WITHOUT free will. But He wanted children, because there is no greater love than that of a parent for their child.


So, while the rules are important, they are not the most important thing.


When Christ entered time and space to redeem us, He did so to break barriers and challenge rules. He told us to pray in the silence of our hearts. Because He loves us – like children – He does not wish to control us like slaves.

And like any good parent with their children, God likes to spoil us – for He gives us NOT what we DESERVE, but WHAT IS GOOD!

And how do I respond?


Like a brat! Like a spoiled little brat!


Perhaps, with a little disciple – and the guidance that only God can provide through every trial that He allows me to face – I can one day, have the honour of becoming a child of God, who though spoiled is definitely no brat?


Maybe then, I could enjoy the simple intimacy that Our Lady has with God – her Love, her Daddy and her Child?


After all, who could ever love anyone more than they love their own child?


For with prayer everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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