• Sarah Raad

Fairy Tales

When we pray with hope, we can change the world.

Yesterday I fell asleep praying for so many souls that it was hard to keep track. There was my little niece (who I will pray for all my life), baby Charbel (who is in dire need of a miracle – Blessed Carlo hear our prayers), my beautiful friend Nancy (who keeps a smile on her face despite everything), a special intention I have been aware of for some time, a little boy hit by a car yesterday, called Sam, and of course, all of you who pray with me!... And that does not include my family, my friends, the Lost Souls of Purgatory, the little baby boy who was for some reason all alone in hospital when my niece was there, and then the countless others who come to mind while I pray…

My list is immense. Lucky for me – so is God.

So many of my prayers ask for miracles…

Surely, miracles are impossibly happy fairy tale endings.

I teach a lot of English, so I am quite familiar with the fairy tale genre. A fairy tale is a story where good conquers evil to result in a happy ending smothered in love.

Right now, in this moment, I pray for a miracle (a fairy tale) for Baby Charbel. I want him to go to his Earthly home to live a long and happy life with his Earthly parents before he joins God in Heaven as a saint.

Whether or not God grants my fervent request, he will send a miracle – because God is only Good and works everything to his goodness – which is a miracle itself.

The miracle will either be the answer to my prayers (which I fervently pray for Charbel), or it will be that his family have the Grace to accept God’s Holy will.

Both are miraculous – because both ask the impossible.

Perhaps some would see the second FAR SADDER option as a smaller miracle and evidence of the cold, stark reality of life and a rejection of the fairy tale.

I used to be like that. But now, after the Grace that I have received through praying for these beautiful babies, I am not so sure.

If God choses to disregard my first request and make Charbel a tiny Saint in Heaven before we are ready, does that mean there is no happy ending?

We do not need to do anything to achieve a miracle. We only need to ask. There are no magic words or secret codes or special prayers.

God, who is spirit, listens to our hearts and hears the whatever we utter in the silence of our souls and as our loving Father, our Daddy, He answers our intention, not just our prayers, just as a perfectly wonderful Daddy would do for His beloved children. Thank God for that!

I have come to realise that in many ways we mimic God (albeit imperfectly) for our own children. When my children are hungry, they often cry and become incredibly difficult (because they take after their hangry mother). Knowing them as I do, I will rush around to organise food for them, but when I ask them to come inside and eat, I always hear the most complaints and rejections when they are the most hungry. The cause of their discomfort, their hunger, is usually ignored as they struggle to process the discomfort itself, and they find it impossible to see how my request is reasonable, good or useful. At this time, when things are most uncomfortable for them and I am working hardest to help them, that is when they feel alone and ignored as though I am not listening to their demands. Yet I, as their mother, by ignoring their demands and attending to their needs, feed them. Because through my love for them, I know what is best for them even more than they know it for themselves.

This is God. This is how God works. He understands our real problem and he gives us not a solution that we are asking for – but HIS solution that we NEED. And HIS solution is always good!

God does not hate us first and love us second. He does not want us to prove ourselves to him so that he will love us afterwards. He does not want anything from us – just our choice to love him. God loves us first and hates us NEVER.

That unconditional love, that, is our fairy tale ending. Seeing in Heaven, that immensity of love, which we cannot even imagine, is the resolution to our story!

Life is a fairy tale, not the cold harsh reality we think it is… because life – this life – is not the final page of the book. We have to turn one more page through our birth into eternal life. And that final page is the most difficult page of all. In turning that last page, we commit ourselves to a total surrender to God’s Holy will, because we have never died before. As Saint Therese of the Infant Jesus said, “What should I do to prepare for death? Never shall I know how to die.” And then, “Our Lord died on the Cross in anguish and yet His was the most beautiful death for love.”

Christ himself was literally smothered in love as He suffocated on the Cross.

Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta spoke of wanting to be a pencil in God’s hand, but I see myself as something much less than a pencil, because a pencil can move and act and do, it can be carried from one place to another.

I see myself as a lightbulb.

A light bulb is a completely and utterly useless piece of glass, a vacuum filled with scraps of metal. Left alone a lightbulb produces nothing and gathers dust. It is not moved, it does not act, it cannot do. It is a mere conduit. It is a fragile, short-lived thing that is so easily destroyed. And yet, it is a kind of miracle. When electricity is powered into the light bulb, the vacuum inside it becomes filled with light and that light stretches out beyond the silly useless little globe to illuminate the whole room.

I pray that God will use me, a useless vacuum of nothingness as His light bulb. Surely, through His infinite Grace and Mercy and Love flooded into me, surely, I too can be used to illuminate the world. Surely you can too?

I believe that is the true meaning of love – making use of uselessness to light up the world, one small light bulb at a time – leaving a trail of miracles radiating forth from them and covered in tears.

May God’s will be done because with Charbel and Nancy and Sam and all of those we pray for, everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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