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Nothing is lost that shall not be found in God…

The Conversion of Saint Paul (Tintoretti)

When my little baby died before he was even born some years ago, I went through a period of terrible grief and mourning that felt like it would never end.


The interesting thing about grief is that though it is terribly dark and awful, it is alive – and changes all the time. Just when you think you have a grasp on the emotion of the experience, things shift and change – without warning – and you are left reeling as you await the next changes that will affect you. And it is frightening to feel such strong emotions buffeting you around without your having any ability to control them or yourself through your own reactions to them…


For me, this grief meant that there was a brief period of time where I did not attend Holy Mass on Sunday. It did not last very long – I was always concerned about how this lack of devotion would affect my children – but there were a couple of weeks there when I genuinely did not wish to adore my God and so I ignored Him.


Later, though I attended Mass, I did not pray in my heart – I spent my time inside His House raging at God instead. And though I went through all the motions of prayer – praying aloud with my children because I was afraid that they would never know God if I did not at least provide them with this superficial example – my heart was black and empty and I despised my poor poor God for allowing such misery into my soul.

Years passed, and life went one, and one thing led to another, and soon, this dead heart inside of me was all I could remember and I am ashamed to admit that I prayed with despair to a God who I neither loved nor trusted… But still the grief changed and evolved like a beast hidden in a forest…

And I found – though I did not talk to God during this time of terrible grief – that when I attended Mass with my family, that I somehow felt close to that child who I had lost…


I could not explain it to people – I could not make sense of it myself. But I knew that for that hour or so during which I sat inside that Church, I could talk of my son and love him and be with him and that he could somehow be with me.


In fact, every time I entered the Church – though I am ashamed to admit that I did not speak to my God inside that sacred place, inside His own Home – I could speak to my child.


Now, this pattern continued for years and years and years. In I would go – like a petulant teenager – stoically and angrily ignoring my God and calmly and lovingly talking to my child.


And then – only a couple of years ago – when my beautiful little niece was born so sick and in need of prayers, I began to pray for her, because even I could not defy God through that – and somehow, through the miracle of God’s infinite mercy, the Good Shepherd came and found me, His lost sheep…


And in an instant – I was transformed. In an instant, I saw my child for what he really is – a little Saint in Heaven. In an instant, I saw that God had taken nothing from me, but instead had given me everything… And it was in a literally instant. I made no effort to understand this and I made no conscious decision to seek the truth on this matter. In fact, I was not even thinking of my little child at all at that time – I was only thinking of my little niece and my sister, her mother…


And in that instant it was as though the scales fell away from my eyes – much as they had with Saint Paul on his journey to Damascus – and I KNEW with FINALITY and CERTAINTY – that God loved me and I loved Him and all that wasted time melted away as though it had never ever been…

And I sat down – right there in the middle of my loungeroom – and for the first time since I had lost that little child I cried tears of thanksgiving and joy for the treasure I had been given, and through the Grace of God I have not cried tears of grief for that child since that instant on that day…

But grief evolves and changes for me – even now…


You see, I was in Mass the other day – speaking to my God this time and asking for the intercession of my little saint when – suddenly – it occurred to me that the Mass is celebrated with THE ANGELS AND THE SAINTS…


And I realised – with tears of joyful gratitude in my eyes – that the feeling of connection that I had had to my child through all those long dark and hard years each time I was in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and during the Holy Mass were there because he was there with me…


You see, when we celebrate the Mass and the priest says, “And now, with all the choirs of angels and with the saints let us pray…” He is not speaking metaphorically. He is not speaking about symbols of angels and saints. Indeed – he is speaking LITERALLY… He means that ALL THE ANGELS AND THE SAINTS are there – right there – in the room with us!


For during the Holy Mass Heaven and Earth connect!


And then and there – just the other day – I finally realised how much my darling beautiful little child must have prayed for me during all those long dark years… How he must have prayed for me as he watched me sitting there like a silly little twit, turning my face away from God Himself. And I finally realised how much my darling beautiful little child pleased God – that God would hear his prayers for me…


And I finally realised the words of Saint Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians “I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us.” (2 Corinthians 7:9).


For nothing is lost that shall not be found in God…


And I have no words to tell you how grateful I am to know that!


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

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