• Sarah Raad


Updated: Feb 3, 2021

We must have faith in God’s Infinite Mercy or we can never achieve Salvation.

The Dead Christ (Andrea Mantegna)

Just as I sat down to write today, my father called me and suddenly, during our conversation, all the things that I was planning to write flew from my mind.

Today, I am going to the memorial mass for my student’s late father who passed away from COVID in Lebanon last week. My dear Aunt Farida died yesterday suddenly after a stroke. On Christmas Eve, my husband’s beautiful cousin Sandra died after a long fight with cancer. In November, was the first anniversary of Brian, my friend’s father’s death. All Saints’ Day marked the sanctification of little Saint Baby Charbel for whom many of us prayed.

Around the world hundreds of thousands of people die of COVID and millions of others die of COVID-related issues through damage to the economy, their mental health, and inadequate healthcare provision for other illnesses during times of pandemic.

It seems the list of the souls who have entered Eternal Life is long and growing ever longer in recent times. And with every death, I think of the Lost Souls of Purgatory, who wait, in their multitudes, for the opportunity of redemption – and my prayers for all those souls increase evermore.

In a world that would have us believe that we should be taking the wide and easy path – death occurs by the narrow gate.

Death is not easy – it is not mocked – it is a difficult and serious consideration for every living thing.

My father reminded me of that this morning when he spoke to me of Farida.

Speaking to her, while she drifted in the twilight between life and death, Dad said – more than once – “Farida, this is serious now. You are going to go on a journey. You must not be afraid. Go on the journey and have faith. When you reach the end of the journey, you will be happy."

I think that summarises things perfectly.

Saint Pope John Paul II said, “Human life is precious because it is the gift of a God whose love is infinite, and when God gives life, it is forever.”

That is what we people of faith believe – life once given is given eternally.

It is but a little journey from here in this life to there in that one.

But when we arrive… The JOY! The JOY! The JOY!

Though the journey challenges us and we are afraid, if we follow the words of my father to my aunt, perhaps it could be a little easier…

Perhaps, then, though the path through which our journey takes us is rocky and our feet are torn, we can imitate Christ on our walk over the path to Calvary.

And for us – who are saved by the Perfect Sacrifice – the Lamb who took the burden of our sins onto His Infinitely Gentle and Infinitely Suffering Self for our sake and no merit of our own – we may even be able to dance along the path.

And in dancing all the way to Calvary, perhaps we can banish the fear of a journey from this place to that… and people will be able to see – through us – God. Only Him!

For on this journey we can stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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