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  • Sarah Raad

Choices

When we have humility and when we chose to forgive, God can work wonderful miracles for us.

Christ and the Samaritan woman (Adriaan Van Der Werff)


The other day, with great sorrow, I was called again to ask for prayers for my beautiful baby niece, for whom so many have already offered so much.

On that day, I had a moment of hesitation, thinking to myself, oh surely it is too much to ask for prayers yet again – I have already asked so much and these people have already done so much.

But then, knowing there was so much more than my pride at stake, I simply cast pride off, as Christ Himself cast off his robes to be crucified naked upon the Cross.

And, in humbly trying to follow Christ’s example of humility, I once again prostrated myself before the Holy Cross and called on all of you blessed souls who pray to join with me in spiritual communion, that our faith may please God as we call to Him to turn His face towards my beautiful niece and all the beautiful intentions of our souls.

It is a strange feeling of vulnerability to be dependent upon the prayers of others. This discomfort of petition has caused me, in recent months, to reflect with great anguish upon the poor Lost Souls of Purgatory who await their salvation, entirely dependent upon our spiritual communion, prostrated at the foot of the Cross. Without our prayers for them, they are lost to an eternity of separation from God. Imagine the despair! Often, during the hardest times, I have thought to myself, thank God I can rely on God, for even in anger, I can call out to Him, but those lost souls, are separated from God, during the darkness before the dawn where all they can do is long for Him with an unquenchable thirst.

When Christ told us to love our neighbour as ourselves, surely He was directing us to think of the lost souls – strangers to us, and yet perhaps, our neighbours, relatives and friends too - for who really knows what is between God and each human soul?

Surely, it is our most solemn duty to remember those who thirst for the freedom of salvation?

While my baby niece is this sick, she cannot be fed and despite the drip, she hungers and thirsts. When I asked for prayers for my niece, my dear friend, Yvette, directed me to unite her suffering to Christ’s on the Cross.

Then I went to mass, and it suddenly occurred to me that Christ hungered and thirst during His passion and death, and to fulfil the words of scripture He told his tormentors, “I thirst”, and his thirst was not quenched with water, but with vinegar.


Christ spoke barely any words at all from the moment of His arrest until He took his final breath, and yet He devoted two of those very few words to water, which is so important to God.

Christ himself offers living water and those who drink of it will never thirst. His living water is offered through Baptism, which cleanses us of Original Sin and then over and again through the forgiveness of our sins.

And what is this miraculous paradox of forgiveness?

We humans often describe forgiveness as an incredibly difficult to do. And yet, there is NOTHING easier for a human to do than to forgive. It is only the work of the Evil One that makes us think otherwise.

When we say that we cannot forgive, what we really mean is that we CHOOSE not to forgive.


The problem with forgiveness, the difficulty so to speak, is not in the action of forgiveness, which is effortless, it is in the choice to surrender to God’s will. For God’s will is to forgive – he demonstrated that Holy will to forgive through the mystery of the Trinity and the perfect sacrifice of God's only begotten, beloved Son, who came to suffer and die to atone for our sins – through not merit of our own.

Forgiveness is easy. The difficulty lies in the Choice.

For in choice is temptation, where the Evil One can turn our minds inwards, away from the neighbour who God commanded us to love as ourselves. And as soon as we look inwards, choice becomes difficult. It is only when we look outward with love for the other, rather than inward with love for the self, that we can ever choose to forgive.

Because we are corrupted by sin, particularly Original Sin, which was Eve’s disobedience to the will of God, we humans now find it hard to look outwards. And yet, God, in his infinite mercy and goodness and love does not leave us alone in this choice – he sent us Our Blessed Mother, who shattered Eve’s disobedience, through her perfect OBEDIENCE to the Will of God, which allowed God to work His wonders and redeem the world, to be our shining light.

So you see, Christ’s thirst on the Cross was his thirst for souls. He longs to forgive, as we long to embrace our children.

And if God himself can forgive even until the end of the world, surely, we too, can submit ourselves, and choose to forgive as well.

And when it seems that forgiveness is difficult, we must look outward and remember it is not difficult at all. Forgiveness is the easiest thing in the world to do.


We must simply look outwards, take a breath, and say these words over and over and over again, “I FORGIVE YOU.”


And if we say them long enough and hard enough, through the miracle of Grace, God will unite our minds, our lips and our hearts – and it will be true.


In Christ's own words, it will be "Accomplished".

For forgiveness requires nothing from us except a choice. God takes care of the rest – as He has always done and will always do.

For through Grace, everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.


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