• Sarah Raad


If we could learn to see how this life connects with the next one, we would be forever free and receive eternal salvation.

Christ appearing to Mary Magdalene (Charles de La Fosse)

All my life, I have heard the familiar clichés about time. We are told that life is short, time moves quickly, we should enjoy the moment for it will be gone soon, seize the day – “carpe diem” as the ancient Romans would say!

And yet, sitting outside in the heat, watching my young children in the garden, playing against a beautiful backdrop of ancient trees, it occurs to me that these ideas – like so many ideas that our society teaches us in our world – are backward!

Time is not fleeting, and Life is not short. Time has no end and Life is eternal!

Our world tells us to make our religion a private matter. Our world tells us to believe everybody’s truth. Our world tells us that God – the BELOVED ALMIGHTY CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE – should be kept in our hearts and in our hearts alone, not taken out and shared with others to give them rest.

This is the same world that teaches us to value deception.

Our society tells us to congratulate the beautiful fifty-year old actresses whose bodies – due to diet, exercise, makeup, genetics and luck – appear only 20 or 30 years old.

How laughable! What nonsense!

Those same beautiful actresses, who are so very admired for their deceptively youthful appearances, are truly older than they look. They too – like all of us – will one day suffer and die. No amount of apparent youth or beauty will save them from that fate. And yet, our society tells us to worship this in them.

This idea of deception holds fast in my mind today. Listening to the Gospel today in Mass, I recall that Christ – in casting our devils – refused to allow them to speak because the words of the Evil One are deceitful.

Now, please allow me to make myself clear – I colour my hair and paint my nails and am careful with my attire. I like to present my human body as beautifully as possible – not just to remind my husband that he is lucky to have me – but also to give glory to God. He gave me this bodily-shell as a home for my soul and to give glory to Him, I will care for it. For love of Him, all the days of my life, I will do my best to give thanks for this body of mine.

And yet, to care for a body – above all else, to think of our physical appearance as a sort of barrier or protection from death – which is what our society would have us do – is merely a distraction from where we truly need to look.

In looking onto the pages of the magazines – or the internet or social media – perhaps we are allowing those devils that Christ cast out 2,000 years ago to speak?

Perhaps, in looking down at those images and in comparing them to how we look, jealousy and ungratefulness grow like weeds to drown out charity and thankfulness.

In looking down, we are turning our eyes away from the GOODNESS of God.

The most beautiful sight I ever beheld in my life was my mother holding out her arms to me on my wedding day – not because of her clothes or her hair or her makeup, but because I saw her heart in her eyes. And it was true.

If only I could learn to see the truth in everything – for did He not tell us, “I am the Way, the TRUTH, and the Life.”

I have such a feeling that if I could only see the TRUTH of things, He would show me the WAY and give me new LIFE.

And that – LIFE – is the whole reason we are being deceived. For why would the Jealous One want us to have any share of that Paradise?

For with wisdom, everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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