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  • Sarah Raad

Fretting

My Beloved suffered for love of me…



The other day, my beautiful little baby niece needed to visit her cardiologist so that he could determine if she would require another cardiac surgery in the coming weeks as an update of her original surgery when she was born.


Obviously, this was a stressful experience for her parents, and mine (her grandparents). After all, the last time that my little niece required cardiac surgery she nearly died many times. Her surgery was rare and terrible complex and though she was a very good candidate for this surgery, the recovery was tremendously difficult and risky…


Each time that her parents – and mine – thought she was over the worst, we would very quickly realise that there was another unforeseen challenge that this little baby had to overcome. Now, the entire process took place in just a matter of a few short weeks. And yet, those weeks seemed to stretch on towards eternity. And for weeks we waited.


When we prayed for my beautiful little niece – and when we asked others to join with us in prayer for this baby – we asked them to intercede with us for the Holy Souls of Purgatory, so that when they were released into Heaven, they could join with us in prays for that child…


And so, when I think of my beautiful little niece, I think very often of the Holy Souls of Purgatory.


This connection is fitting, as the experience of our family – and my niece – bears a certain resemblance to the suffering of Purgatory. Obviously, what we suffer on Earth is not the same as what we suffer either in Purgatory – or God Forbid – in Hell, but the connection that I make is in the slowing down of the time during the intense period of suffering.


While we waited for my beautiful little niece to recover and heal, we were suffering and afraid. We suffered to know that such a little innocent was suffering and it was her innocence that affected so many people who joined with us to pray for her.


My niece did nothing to merit such suffering and it was terrible to behold. Some people who saw it asked why a God who is loving would allow such a thing.

And yet, I am convinced that this child’s suffering saved a million souls – but for me it is even more than that – That child’s suffering saved me!

Before I saw such a thing, I was traveling along the wide path – rather unhappily – plodding along, oblivious to the pit at the end… “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14).


You see, the experiencing of confronting such suffering, and having no other option than that to pray, turned me from the wide path…


And this turning – of one such as I – who was so determined not to change, is why I know that there is at least one soul in Heaven who interceded for me. This is how I know that Holy Souls were saved through those prayers of ours. Because, those Holy Souls know the suffering of time that sees to stand still. And I wonder about the torments of such souls. After all, if the suffering of a little human child could move us to pray – what of the suffering of my Beloved on the Cross? Surely His Perfect Divine Innocence could call for more than this…


If I could be moved to tears in considering the suffering of a little baby – though innocent as she was baptised and without sin – what would I be moved to do if I really understood the suffering of God? I think of that suffering of my Beloved, who came to me when I was afraid, and I mourn – from all the depths of my worthless little soul – for the neglect that I show to Him in never returning that favour He bestows upon me.


For my Beloved suffered for love of me…


And how that thought causes me to fret, for how could I ever atone for such a thing as that…? How could I ever?


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

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