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  • Sarah Raad

Invitations

All that is required of us is to invite God into our lives through a desire for holiness – we can rely on God to do the rest.

Saint Faustina

Today, at 1:55pm, my dear Aunt Farida entered into eternal life. She was only in her early seventies, and for the last five days had been dwelling in the twilight time between life and death as her body slowly stopped functioning after a sudden unexpected and very severe stroke.


I visited Farida briefly this morning. I spoke to her and prayed for her, and then, a mere few hours later – just like that – Farida shuffled off her mortal coil, and her spirit was GONE.


Saint Faustina found a profound peace in realising the goodness of God – so wonderous, that in her Diary 359 she wrote, “This peace gives me such great strength and power that all difficulties, adversities, sufferings and death itself are as nothing.” In that same Diary entry, Saint Faustina wrote that in opening ourselves just a little to the “influence of the Holy Spirit, He Himself will fulfil what is lacking in us.”

It is interesting, this revelation granted to Saint Faustina. It has given me much cause for reflection. To embrace God and live in holiness is a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Of our own merit, we humans, so flawed by sin, have no possible power to achieve holiness. The only possible way to become holy is to cast ourselves onto God’s mercy, as Saint Peter did to Christ, in attempting to walk through the storm to meet Him and then becoming scared and sinking.


Just as Christ did for Saint Peter, God Himself – through Grace and no merit of our own – does everything that is required to make us Holy. The only part in this process that we play is to INVITE God in.


It occurred to me today, that there is some similarity in the process of inviting God into our lives and the process of death.


When we open ourselves to God and especially to the Holy Spirit – who is perhaps the most difficult of the Three Persons of God to understand – we do so entirely by an act of faith. We have no tangible proof of God’s existence, apart from the accounts in Sacred Scripture which are thousands of years old, Saint Augustine’s “Proof for the Existence of God”, or various “miraculous” occurrences that cannot be explained scientifically.


And yet, Saint Faustina, and my own humble and completely unmerited experience, tell that in inviting God the Holy Spirit into one’s life through the desire for Holiness, Holiness grows!


Just look at Saint Paul. He is amazing! Have you actually sat down and read some of Paul’s letters? Listen to the man’s words. They are AMAZING!

This guy, Paul, was a person who so fervently believed that Christ was NOT God that he martyred countless Christians – including Saint Stephen – in his misguided effort to please God.

Imagine his utter devastation in realising his mistake! Imagine his remorse! Imagine his desire to make amends to God! Imagine his humility in begging forgiveness for the unforgivable! Imagine his surrender to God – his willingness to make Christ known!

In an instant, through his invitation for holiness, Saint Paul transformed from the greatest enemy of the Church to its greatest advocate. Paul had the desire – God did the rest.


It occurs to me that death – physical death – is no different than this conversion of Saint Paul or any other conversion caused by holiness.


In answering Christ’s call on the Road to Damascus, Paul cast off his old life and embraced the new.


Farida did much the same thing today.


Now, today, we pray that she will be with Christ in Paradise. And what need has she for her Earthly body there?


For in death there is life – how lucky for us!


For through death we stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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