• Sarah Raad


We lacked everything: bread, water, rest, but God, we didn't miss Him, because He was thirstier for us than we were for Him... (Venerable Teresa Maria de Jesus Ortega).

Loaves and Fishes (Graham Braddock)

Born in Spain on Christmas day in 1917, Venerable Teresa Maria de Jesus Ortega and her family were later imprisoned during the Spanish Civil War. For years she and her family were moved between prisons. Venerable Teresa Maria de Jesus later explained that during that period of religious persecution they lacked everything except a “hunger and thirst for God”.

And I have been reflecting on Venerable Teresa’s hunger and thirst – for she went without many things – but not without God… She had God with her…

Venerable Teresa wrote, “We had to receive Holy Communion, we had to do the impossible. It was the cry of our soul, it was the need of our life. Communion, Communion! Above all, receive Holy Communion. What would life be without Communion? I looked for two coal plates and heated them in a fire that was there, I looked for flour and a little water. With that I made some dough and put it between the two plates. Dusty, deformed breads came out, but God came down to them all the same. A Franciscan father consecrated them daily... We lacked everything: bread, water, rest, but God, we didn't miss Him, because He was thirstier for us than we were for Him... The siege was over and they put me in gaol... O, a month went by without Communion! After leaving prison, someone gave me a very small box, full of Consecrated Hosts. I took Him everywhere. How many hidden Communions! How many daily secret 'deliveries'! Communions in catacombs! I was walking around Valencia with the Mystery... What procession of Corpus Christi among those revolutionary militiamen! He went hidden through the streets, anonymously. Invisible Mysteries! How good You are, Lord!”

And I have been reflecting on the thirst of God who did not leave this soul without… And this makes perfect sense to me when I reflect on the miracle of the loaves and the fish…

“And taking the five loaves and the two fish He looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And all ate and were satisfied. And they took up what was left over, twelve baskets of broken pieces.” (Luke 9:16-17).

You see, when Christ multiplied the loaves and fish, there were leftovers – plenty of leftovers... There were TWELVE whole basketfuls in fact… And I have been wondering… Why?

After all, Christ is God and He did not make mistakes. He did not miscalculate and accidentally provide TOO many fish and TOO much bread. That miracle required His deliberate Divine Action – and deliberate Divine action does not leave any room for mistakes… So, again I wonder, why the extra baskets of fish and bread?

And I wonder – were the extras for me? Were they for you too?

After all, God is PERFECT and INFINITE generosity, and in His infinite generosity, He makes miracles in PLENTY… Because He thirsts for my soul more than I could ever thirst for His. And this is because His love for me is PERFECT, and my love for Him is terribly terribly flawed.

And I have to stop and think a out that a little today. Because my Beloved thirsts even for my miserable little soul… And knowing that, I cry for joy, for He makes miracles with extras – just so that there will be enough for me…

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

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