• Sarah Raad


Oh, how I long for a Holy Death…

Pieta (Luis de Morales)

There are only a couple more days to go until the actual agony of Our Blessed Lord begins.

Only a couple more days until Christ will suffer alone in the Garden and be executed without mercy, hanging upon a tree.

There are only a couple more days until the Death that brought Life to all the world.

I have been praying very intently over the last few days for the intentions of all of you who pray with me. I imagine my prayers reaching out like tendrils of a vine to every human soul encountered by mine during my day and then stretching, like a bridge from those souls to the souls that they touch, and from there a third time, stretching still further to all the human souls that those souls encounter. And I imagine this process repeating – ad infinitum – this long long stretch around the world, over and over and over again.

I imagine the prayers branching out like a vine upon a trellis, and every picture that I see or face that I pass, every voice that I hear carries forward my prayers and God extends His protection over all those who pray with me, until those prayers have spread to cover the entire Earth in a vine of such magnificent glory. I imagine that through those prayers the Earth is transformed into a New Eden – where there is no lust and we are naked with each other – completely honest with nothing to hide, because there is only holiness and love and COMMUNION with God.

But though I imagine such a thing – this is not possible on this Earth… My sinfulness has ruined that.

Now, instead, I reflect on the two days that we have until the Passion of Our Blessed Lord is underway. How I wish to help He who suffers for me.

For years I wasted this Holy Time. For years I reflected half-heartedly on my Beloved when faced with a Death He did not NEED to face. For years I squandered this PERFECT SACRIFICE.

And then – through Grace and no merit of my own – the Good Shepherd came and found me. I was the lost sheep, and He left the others and came out just for me…

Now, for the first time in my life, I do not want Him to die alone.

Please God, let me join the women who were standing there, please allow me a place to stand behind those few who stood from a distance and watched while You died…

“There were also women looking on from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James and of Joses, and Salome. These women had followed him when he was in Galilee and ministered to him. There were also many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.” (Mark 15:40-41).

Give me the privilege of following You – though I deserve it not at all…

For I listen to the words of Saint Josemaria and I am moved to tears… “My Lord and my God, under the loving eyes of our Mother, we are making ready to accompany you along this path of sorrow, which was the price for our redemption. We wish to suffer all that You suffered, to offer you our poor, contrite hearts, because you are innocent, and yet you are going to die for us, who are the only really guilty ones. My Mother, Virgin of sorrows, help me to relive those bitter hours which your Son wished to spend on earth”.

For if You will allow me to stand behind those worthy women and witness Your suffering, even from a distance, perhaps I will be able to replicate it before I breathe my last. For my greatest prayer is to have the Grace and Strength to use my last breath to pray… “‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which is translated, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’”…

For that day, I wish to be with You in Paradise…

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

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