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  • Sarah Raad

Bucket

“…In heaven God will give His chosen their fitting glory and that the last will have no reason to envy the first.” (Saint Therese of the Child Jesus in “Story of a Soul”).

Ascension of Jesus (Dosso Dossi)

All three of my children were born at an average size and weight. They were not gigantic babies and they were not tiny, but even so – when they were newborn – they seemed terrible tiny to me…


My youngest daughter was born in July and because I used to take her to and from her work with me – often late at night in the cold – she often became cold and as a result, quite colicky. Being a third baby, I used to try different – natural – things to try to help her to relax and settle to sleep for the night. One of the things that I used to try was a nice warm bath to warm up her tummy and make her feel comfortable and relaxed late at night. Because she was only little – and I was usually exhausted by that time of night – I used to save myself the headache of filling up the baby bath, and instead, fill up a bucket with warm water and let her paddle around inside the bucket for a few minutes each night so that she could warm up and relax.


Even to this day, my daughter loves hearing the stories about how she was bathed in a bucket of water, and she loves looking at the photographs of this nightly event. She loves telling her brothers that she used to be so tiny that she fit inside a bucket. The other day, when she was recounting this story – for the millionth time – my daughter said, “Mum, when I was little I used to think that that bucket was the whole ocean. Actually, it was just a tiny bucket. Isn’t that amazing?”


And I have been thinking about that bucket and that ocean for a few days now.


Saint Therese of the Child Jesus wrote in her autobiography, “Story of a Soul”…


“You knew all my intimate thoughts and cleared up all my doubts. I once told you how astonished I was that God does not give equal glory in heaven to all His chosen. I was afraid they were not at all equally happy. You made me bring Daddy’s tumbler and put it by the side of my thimble. You filled them both with water and asked me which was fuller. I told you they were both full to the brim and that it was impossible to put more water in them than they could hold. And so, Mother darling, you made me understand that in heaven God will give His chosen their fitting glory and that the last will have no reason to envy the first. By such means, you made me understand the most sublime mysteries and gave my soul its essential food.”

You see – as Saint Therese’s sister so beautifully explained to her – it all comes down to perspective…

Just as my daughter tells me that as an infant, she thought that the bucket of water was as big as the entire ocean, so too do we – living on this earth – seem to imagine that this earth is magnified to eternity…


And yet, there is an ocean out there – eternity in fact! An eternity in Heaven. How good it is to keep that knowledge in mind… Because everything seems somehow so much easier knowing that this is just a bucket in comparison to eternity… Everything…


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

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