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  • Sarah Raad

Greatness

Our Blessed Mother is truly Great. For she stood in silence at the foot of the Cross…

Descent from the Cross (Rogier Van Der Weyden)

I have in recent days and weeks, been praying very intently for a dear friend who has many many worries in her life. Due to factors beyond her control, she lives a life of uncertainty and is raising her children and running her home in a world that is constantly in danger from the proverbial slippery slope.


It takes a certain amount of greatness for a soul to endure under such circumstances when it would be so much better to give in and give up and walk away. I see some greatness in my friend.


And as I was praying for my friend, it occurred to me, that she is not the first great woman to stick around despite uncertainty and grief. Without any disrespect to my friend, there is another far greater woman, who did just that!


She is Our Blessed Mother.


Pope Benedict XVI wrote, “Mary’s greatness consists in the fact that she wants to magnify God, not herself.”


That. Right there. That… is greatness…


Even there – at the Foot of the Cross – Our Blessed Mother endured. Not once did she cry out, “Enough.” “Stop.” “Please no.” Not once did she say, “This is too hard God. Please take this cup away.”


No.

She stood there. Silently. At the Foot of the Cross. And she waited with Her Perfect and Dying Son until at last, He was DEAD.

And what physical and mental torment did she endure there. Surely the miracle of His conception would have seemed a distant memory on that terrible terrible day, when Christ the King was executed as a slave.


And yet, Our Blessed Mother did not falter. She did not surrender or give in or cave. Despite the uncertainty of her future – as a now childless widow in a world where all currency, all power was in the hands of the men in a woman’s life – she placed her trust in God and said nothing.


There is such glorious greatness in that!


Saint Joan of Arc mirrored her example, when she said, “I place trust in God, my Creator, in all things; I love Him with all my heart.”


For there is greatness in facing the unknown with a trusting heart!


How I mourn that I have none of that greatness in me. I am like a baby in a cradle. I hold on to my little blankie and hope that it will save me from the monsters in my mind. But the blankie does nothing. And the monsters are not real. Ironically, like that baby in the cradle, the real terrors of the night – and day – are so far beyond my imagination that it has not ever even occurred to me to know the real dangers from which I am saved...


And because I am not great and have no great knowledge, how many times have I cried out… “Not me.” “Not now.” “Not here.” “Please God it is too much. I cannot bear it. Take it. Make it end!”?


For shame… My Blessed Mother did not… For she KNEW the TERROR of SIN and she sacrificed EVERYTHING in her life to defeat it.


For there is greatness in the smallest things. There is greatness in Her silence, standing there, at the Foot of the Cross.


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

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