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  • Sarah Raad

Death

“You would not have come to life again had He not come to die your death.” (Saint Augustine).

Crucifixion (Grahan Sutherland)

I have been reflecting on a story that I read the other day that came from a book called “Night”, which was written by Elie Wiesel who was a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust . In the book, Wiesel recounted his experiences of the Nazi concentration camps and one of the horrific stories stuck with me...


In this particular story, Wiesel recounts the tragic story of the day when the Nazi guards decided to hang a small child from a gallows in front of the thousands of other prisoners in the camp. The child was very young and had been starved for a long time and he was so light that he hung there – struggling to breathe for over half an hour while thousands watched.


As he watched the terrible murder unfold, Wiesel, recalls hearing someone behind him in the crowd of prisoners muttering, “Where is God now?” and Wiesel writes, “Behind me, I heard the same man asking: ‘For goodness' sake, where is God?’”


And yet, Wiesel writes also, “From within me, I heard a voice answer: ‘Where is He? This is where – hanging here from this gallows...’”


And I have been reflecting on this revelation ever since…


You see, God is in all suffering – for He is the PERFECT sacrificial suffering Thing…


One of my sisters made a very interesting point the other day and I have not been able to forget it…

My sister said… It seems that God tailors each suffering to each person. And we can see this by looking at a simple example of only two saints – though the same principle applies to all the saints and all human souls for that matter…

Consider Saint Jacinta of Fatima. She was terribly sick, but all she wanted was to be left alone to suffer quietly at home with her family for love of God and to atone for sins. Instead, she was sent off to the best hospital her family could find for her. And that distance from her family and the physical intrusion from doctors in treating her abscess caused her terrible terrible suffering.


On the other hand, Saint Faustina Kowalska was also terribly sick, and very few people in the convent believed or acknowledged her terrible terrible illness. This continued to the point where she was not allowed to go to bed early to rest because she was ill. This was reflected through the lack of charity of the sisters, where the sister in the kitchen would not provide her dinner to her at an earlier time because she believed that the Saint was making up her illness to garner attention and sympathy. And that lack of trust and compassion caused Saint Faustina her terrible terrible suffering in much the same way that the trust and compassion increased the suffering of Saint Jacinta.


And in both examples of extreme suffering – though they reflect two opposite scenarios – we can see evidence of the wonderful mercy of God.


For Christ cries with each of us and He bleeds with us too. If we want to know where God is in our suffering, we must look within – for He is there – on Calvary inside our soul…


For God Himself came to earth to DIE MY DEATH FOR ME…


And as Saint Augustine said in “Late have I loved You”…


“Wake up, O human being! For it was for you that God was made Man. Rise up and realize it was all for you. Eternal death would have awaited you had He not been born in time. Never would you be freed from your sinful flesh had He not taken to Himself the likeness of sinful flesh. Everlasting would be your misery had He not performed this act of mercy. You would not have come to life again had He not come to die your death. You would have perished had He not come.”


For God Himself came to earth to DIE MY DEATH FOR ME… And I have no words to ever thank Him for that – no words at all…


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

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