• Sarah Raad


Saint John took hold of the hand of the Mother of God – Queen of Heaven – and she led him to the hardest place, and she stood with him – giving him comfort as her Son died.

Saint Mary Saint John and Mary Magdalen at the Foot of the Cross (Francis Ferdinand Maurice Cook)

I have been meditating on the Most Holy Trinity.

There is a beautiful doxology (short prayer designed to be repeated as a hymn) that we pray at the end of each decade of the Most Holy Rosary, the “Glory-Be” and I have been reflecting on the words of that prayer very much over the last few days…

“Glory-be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever-shall be, world without end. Amen.”

And though the prayer is very short – only two short sentences in fact – the message in that prayer is very profound. You see, this prayer first celebrates and adores Our God – the Trinitarian Lord of the universe! And then the second part of the prayer acknowledges the perfect equality of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit as it acknowledges their ETERNAL NATURE.

And I have been reflecting on the comfort to be found in that eternity – in the eternal and unchanging nature of God…

You see, when Christ was crucified, there was suffering – terrible unimaginable suffering – and it occurred in a moment in time. And yet – that suffering was also eternal – Christ is the eternal Lamb of God – sacrificed perfectly and eternally to save us from our own sacrifice and the consequences of our own sins…

Pope Francis said, “Let us journey toward Easter with His forgiveness. For Christ constantly intercedes for us before the Father. Gazing upon our violent and wounded world, He never tires of repeating: Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

And He repeats those words ad infinitum – eternally – for me! And He repeats that eternally, for you too… And I know this because Christ did this for His disciples…

You see, when He came to be crucified, nearly all His dearest friends left Him – they deserted Him... They ran away so that they could save their own skin. Men who had promised to stand with Him and follow Him – even unto death – ran away, cowering before serving girls and denying Him three times before the cock crew… And they left a young boy and His Mother (and a handful of women) standing there – at the foot of His Cross…

And I wonder at the grief that night – the grief of those below the Cross, and those far away from it – for the grief is inescapable… You see, for most of the disciples, they surely wept bitterly... After all, we are told that after Christ looked at Saint Peter, “He went out and began to weep bitterly.” (Luke 22:62). And I am sure that the other disciples did the same – for who could fail to weep when confronted with the massacre of perfect innocence on the Cross…

But what about Saint John – the Beloved of Christ – who stood at the foot of the Cross. What of him? Well, he took hold of the hand of the Mother of God – Queen of Heaven – and she led him to the hardest place, and she stood with him – giving him comfort as her Son died. And she helped Saint John to stand in silence to witness the death of God!

And how I long to reach for her holy hand… For if my Blessed Mother would hold my hand, she would help me too to stand firm in the face of suffering, and bear witness to the suffering of my eternal God…

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

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