• Sarah Raad


Because it takes GREAT STRENGTH to guard such a treasured gift from God for all their Earthly life.

The Coronation of the Virgin (Gentile da Fabriano)

There is something wonderful about the birth of a child. There is something so hopeful and beautiful in that moment of birth that most of us experience through the birth of our children. It is perhaps that wonderful burst of hope that causes couples to seek out answers when they fail to conceive a child naturally. It is perhaps that great hope that helps to engender such love in us for our children – for in them we see all the unlived potential of our own lives.

And yet, for many parents when their children are born, their hope is killed – and their children will not fulfil the potential that is lacking in their own lives. For many children are diagnosed with conditions that have a serious and significant impact on their entire lives. Such conditions can mean that those children are restricted from participating in activities that their parents take for granted. At other times, such children require their parents to help them to achieve milestones that the rest of us take for granted. And for many others, even despite their parents’ best efforts, they will never achieve such milestones.

I recently heard a story about a little baby who has some very serious challenges to his health that will affect him – and those who love him – all the days of his life. This is not the first story that I have heard about a baby or child in such a situation. After all, last year, my own very dear niece was born with a severe congenital heart abnormality that will result in very serious health challenges for her for the rest of her life. Around that time, I had prayed very hard for a little baby, called Charbel, who became a saint long before his family were ready after spending most of the short months of his very short life in the hospital being very very ill indeed.

I have been praying for such children and their families over the last few weeks since hearing about that little baby boy.

But as I pray for this little boy – who may well live his life surrounded by a world who will fail to ever see his worth – I cry tears, not of pain but of joy…

You see, those children are the treasures of their family’s house!

Let us think a little bit about what a treasure is for a moment... After all, when I think of treasures I think of precious metals like gold and platinum and silver, and gems like diamonds and rubies and emeralds.

Those precious treasures require strong guards who are the most honourable and trustworthy of all people. After all, when a Hollywood celebrity wears their precious gems on loan for the award ceremonies, they are followed around for the entire night by security guards – who are guarding not the woman – but the jewels.

And all the treasures sparkle. In fact, the more precious and valuable the treasure, the more it sparkles and blinds us and there is nothing so dazzling than the sparkle of the gems when the sun shines on them – the dazzling light is blinding.

Those children – those very special and precious children – are treasures of their family’s house! It makes perfect sense really…

After all, such children are only entrusted to strong guards – for their families will advocate for them for the whole of their Earthly lives. And they are jewels so precious that through the whole of their Earthly lives, while the rays of God’s Grace shine down upon them, the rest of the world are blinded by the dazzling brilliance of their sparkle.

One thing of which I am certain is that God selects very few families to give them treasures of such value that their sparkle blinds us to their beauty. The dazzling rays of the Grace of God shining on beauty of such treasures is often - though not always - evident only in the next life.

For such people are the treasure of their family's house!

I will pray always for their family’s strength. Because it takes GREAT STRENGTH to guard such a treasured gift from God for all their Earthly life. For those dazzling souls are precious. More precious than I could ever say.

Because it is prayers for such chosen souls that are used to lead the weaker ones – like me – all the way home, to Heaven!

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

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