• Sarah Raad


God turns all things to the good – even our failures!

Saint Thomas a Kempis

Today was one of those days where everything went wrong. Now, nothing major happened – there was no new death, accident, tragedy, or illness visited upon me or those I know and love – and yet for no apparent reason, the day progressed as though I were swimming backwards, wearing a tracksuit, through quicksand.

Today was simply one of those days.

Today, it was difficult to pray. My mind would not focus on the Rosary as it usually does, and even the repetitive structure of the Divine Mercy Chaplet bewildered me where it would normally soothe.

Perhaps this is temptation?

Lucky for me, though I am weak – I have a strong God!

Today, instead of praying with my words, which was simply beyond my human capability, I prayed with my thoughts and my deeds – albeit imperfectly!

Imperfectly, I did my best to whinge a little less and work a little more. And somehow, I made it this far…

Frankly, even this terribly inadequate effort on my part was only the result of Divine intervention. For of myself I am capable of NOTHING… especially on a day like today!

Later, when things seemed to have settled down a little and I was waiting to collect my children from school, I saw a beautiful quote by Saint Thomas a Kempis…

“Oh that you were worthy to suffer something for the Name of Jesus! What great glory would await you, what great rejoicing among all the Saints, and, moreover, what edification to your neighbour!”

I have been reflecting on these words ever since…

Lately, I have tried to follow Saint Padre Pio’s advice in that I rarely berate myself for the stupidity and weakness of my failures – though I humbly acknowledge them – because the one thing of which I am CERTAIN is that without God I will ALWAYS fail.

So, reading Saint Thomas’ words this afternoon, after this long, long day, did not cause me to fall into an abyss of despair. Rather, I saw them for what they were… part of a beautiful love letter sent from my Beloved especially to me to give me hope!

I have wasted almost 40 years on this Earth separated from God because I was unable to see His goodness and in failing to see the GOODNESS of God, how could I LOVE and TRUST Him?

I do not want to waste another minute in self-pity or self-loathing. What would be the point of that?

Anyway, I simply do not have the time! There is much work to be done and much joy to be had! And I feel a compulsion to spend all my waking moments, and even those during sleep, giving Glory to God. How could I do that by allowing the Evil One to distract me through the reminders of his influence in my life?

I long for my Beloved and cannot waste another moment of this lifetime separated from Him because I am distracted by self-loathing, self-pity or grief. I have wasted too much time already!

My weakness is not cause for MY concern. God sees it and He KNOWS!

Does a loving parent begrudge their child leaning on them to take their first steps?

How then, could my Eternal Parent – my Father, my Daddy – begrudge my faltering baby steps towards Him? His love for me is so vast and all-encompassing, that He rejoices in the acknowledgement of my faltering failure – for through my failure I lean more heavily on Him!

If only Adam and Eve – the BEST among us – had been able to throw away their pride and instead of stretching out alone, had leaned more heavily on their Daddy… Imagine what the world would have been!

But, despite all the failures and the heartaches and the regrets and the grief, our failures provide us with such opportunity for love!

For God, who is infinite goodness turns EVERYTHING to the GOOD!

And though I am unworthy, it is through my failures that I feel the infinite power and LOVE of God as I lean more heavily on Him.

Remember that I wish to be a light bulb – a useless, empty vacuum hung up on a wall without even the power to move – who, through the Grace of God, will be able to illuminate the whole world with God’s love!

Perhaps days like today are my opportunity to accomplish this task – for does God not work EVERYTHING to the GOOD?

Perhaps, if God can hold up my failures for all the world to see, then the whole world will see His power and His strength and His love, and all the world will become entranced with the beauty of our infinitely loving, infinitely gentle, infinitely suffering God.

And perhaps, just maybe – even through my failures – God will allow me the honour and the joy to use even my weakness to do Him homage!

For that would be the greatest accomplishment of my life and would be worth all the failure in the world!

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

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