• Sarah Raad


Our wounds are caused by diamonds, which are born of such great love we could never imagine it…

Saint Francis Kissing the Sacred Feet of Christ

Today I have been praying for those souls who are troubled – those who walk the path to Calvary with feet that bleed from the pain – and there are so many troubled souls in my prayers…

There are the souls who are troubled with ill health – their own and that of their loved ones. There are the souls who are troubled with addiction and abuse – through their own actions and those who they love. There are souls who are troubled by vocation – single people who feel a calling to married life, married people who are severely tried by their partner, and those whose vocation has changed unexpectedly. There are souls who are troubled by the behaviours of those who they love – their children who have turned away from God or their siblings who make choices that appear unholy. And then there are the poor troubled souls in Purgatory – how I pray for those!

I pray also for my own troubled soul because if there is but one thing I have learned during this time of prayer, it is that we – ALL OF US – experience trouble in this world. Nobody is immune.

There is a particularly good reason that we have been provided with the final two Commandments that tell us not to covet our neighbour’s wife or goods… Because if we truly saw into our neighbour’s heart – even the richest and most successful of our neighbours – we would pity them for the trouble that they know and we would not envy them anything…

It causes me to think – though I am not, myself, a philosopher – as most of the great philosophers of the ages have thought before me – about the meaning and the purpose of all the trouble and suffering that we experience in this world…

I have written before – and I truly believe – that Saint Padre Pio was right in telling us that suffering is a gift from God and a sign of His love for us, because it is through suffering that the metal is forged and made worthy of the Master’s hand.

Saint John Henry Newman wrote a beautiful prayer that reflected this commitment to accepting the troubles sent to him… “God knows me and calls me by my name. God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. He has not created me for naught.”

“He has not created me for naught.” There is meaning. There is purpose in this suffering that we live. This trouble, this suffering, is in fact the TRUE work that we were created for. Trouble is our work… Interesting…

Previously in my life, I have considered that the purpose of my life was to live the good times.

How silly I was! What a child I was to think in this way!

While the good is wonderful, I have learned upon deeper reflection, that it is perhaps, not the good that frames my life – but the trouble, the misery and the suffering…

My behaviour during the good times is unsurprising. It was the uninspired behaviour of a spoiled child who considered the goodness their RIGHT...

But with hindsight, it was during the bad times, that I GREW UP!

I learned humility when times were bad. Because, when I was troubled, I did my very best to move along and though I could not have tried harder if my whole life depended upon it, others judged my weakness and failed to see my strength.

And yet, ironically, the greatest achievement of my life is not the money I have earned, the career I have grown, the children I have raised or the man I have married. Though others may judge me for the time that, it is this achievement of living through the fog of terrible trouble that remains my greatest achievement, though others may continue to perceive it as my greatest failure.

Because this trouble taught me much, because as Saint John of the Cross advised… “It is great wisdom to know how to be silent.”

When Saint Faustina wrote of in her diary 78, “I see that God never tries us beyond what we are able to suffer. Oh, I fear nothing; if God sends such great suffering to a soul. He upholds it with an even greater grace, although we are not aware of it. One act of trust at such moments gives greater glory to God than whole hours passed in prayer filled with consolations.”

And so today, when I again feel the troubles of life and they seem fit to overwhelm me, I turn to Him – my Father, my Dad, my Daddy – and I bury my face into His chest. I feel His arms around me as I sob and sob and sob against His Holy Heart. How wonderful it feels to cry against His Heart because as I cry against the beating heart of my Beloved, each tear that leaves my eye enters into His Holy Heart and is pressurised to diamond. And as I weep, these diamonds fall to the ground beneath my feet.

At last, my tears stop, and I feel not tired but replenished, as though I drank from a well of ever-giving life. But now, when I come to take a step along my path to continue along my way, I tread on all those diamonds of grace, and my feet bleed.

My bleeding feet used to worry me. They do not anymore. Now I see them for what they are… the wounds born of footsteps fortified by the Love of God. They are my Holy Reminder of Love.

And for that, my bleeding feet, will tread along the path to Calvary, and I will dance – joyfully through the pain. For who could ever imagine that as we bear our Cross along the Way of Christ, that for love of us, God has prepared a path of diamonds upon which we should tread?

And who am I to fear diamonds, when my Beloved stood on nails?

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

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