• Sarah Raad


Our Goal in this life is to reach Heaven. That is our only goal.

The Crucifixion of Saint Peter (Carravagio)

Today, I have been praying for the dear and beloved Lost Souls in Purgatory. In recent days, it seems that these souls cry out for mercy and in light of the Feast of the Divine Mercy – that was Sunday last week, the first Sunday after Easter – the Mercy offered to these souls seems irresistible to me. I feel, these days, that these Poor Lost Souls cry out and their cries fall heavily upon my soul and I long with all my might to help them. I cannot hear their sorrows and do nothing.

And yet, what is there that such a weak and unworthy soul such as mine could do?

Sometimes, upon reflection, the magnitude of the task at hand is overwhelming. After all, I am no great saint. I am no determined person in matters of faith. Though in many areas of my life I am the most disciplined of people, in matters of faith, my discipline wanes and I feel great resistance to even the smallest sacrifice or offering. Some people would call this a temptation, but I do not think that I merit even the smallest temptation in this regard. I think that for me, this weakness, can be attributed only to the natural weakness of my soul. Alone I am nothing!

Saint Pope John Paul II summarised it beautifully, when he said that even the call to pray, the desire to commence in prayer, is the result of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Even in this desire to try to reach God – God placed His Holy Hand!

In reflecting on my own weakness, I have taken to considering the strength of others – more worthy examples of faith to whom I should aspire.

The Apostles come to mind. How brave they were! How holy!

After the resurrection of Christ, the Sanhedrin tried to frighten Peter and John into submission – to convince them to be silenced about the Risen Christ – by arresting them and questioning them, though they had no legal grounds for such action…

“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, addressed them, ‘Rulers of the people, and elders! If you are questioning us today about an act of kindness to a cripple and asking us how he was healed, you must know, all of you, and the whole people of Israel, that it is by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, and God raised from the dead, by this name and by no other that this man stands before you cured. This is the stone which you, the builders, rejected but which has become the cornerstone. Only in him is there salvation; for of all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved.’” (Acts, 4:8-12).

Surely, God depended on the Apostles. Without their testimony, their courage, their determination to do His will, nobody would have ever heard of the Nazarene, who was born into poverty, executed as a criminal, and rose from the dead. Surely , He depends on us too…

As Saint Josemaría said, “Many great things depend - don't forget it - on whether you and I live our lives as God wants.”

Pope Benedict XVI said, “Each of us is the results of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.” We are each of us necessary, but for what? Necessary I suppose to the ultimate plan of the Father. And what is that plan? We must each of us help the other to reach Heaven… That is our ONLY goal because that is how we achieve God’s plan for us…

Because, there is no perfect life – sadness, death, loss, grief, confusion, hurt, loneliness, misunderstanding, abuse – exist for us all. But of one thing I am sure… Though there is no perfect life, there is a PERFECT GOD, and He takes care of everything!

And when I say that He takes care of everything, I do not mean that He is creating a perfect Earthly life for us. That is NOT HIS GOAL…

God’s Goal is Heaven in eternity. That is it! God is creating for us a PERFECT LIFE IN HEAVEN! For light casts no shadow, “God is light, in Him there is no darkness at all.” (John 1:5).

Just as Christ was born into the manger to suffer and die on the Cross in service of His RESURRECTION, so too are we born, to die in service of our ETERNAL LIFE!

With this goal in mind, the Earth seems to shift on its axis and all things come together in my mind. Saint Francis of Assisi said, “Remember when you leave this Earth you can take with you nothing that you have received – only what you have given.”

How different my goals look in light of this fact!

I recently read a beautiful reflection by a priest who I do not know, and in it the priest wrote about Saint John Vianney, who would hear up to 300 Confessions each day. One day, during this Blessed Sacrament, the Saint began to weep. The penitent, who seemed not to be expressing sorrow for his sins, asked him why he wept. The Curé of Ars answered, “My friend, I weep because you do not weep.”

That is my goal now…

To weep for those who do not.

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

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