• Sarah Raad


Updated: Jun 1, 2021

How lucky I am to be the daughter of a God who forgives me out of LOVE for me. How awesome is my Lord and God, King of Endless Glory!

Christ Blessing (Cristo) (Raphael, Raffaello)

Have you ever actually observed a child apologising to their parent? I mean really observed the body language in the gesture and the action of that very intimate apology?

As a mother, I have conditioned my children about the importance of an apology, in much the same way that I was conditioned by my mother when I was a child. I see it as terribly important to the development of strong morals and values in adulthood, this ability to apologise.

I believe that we must learn – as a fundamental truth – that when we fall, we must pick ourselves back up and then go back and make amends for the damage our fall has done.

Over the years, I have heard many, many, many apologies from my children. These have ranged from very small things. “Sorry Mum that I did not eat my food.” To more significant things, “Sorry Mum that I said I hate you.” And I know that in the future, I shall hear many many more, about many more significant things…

The other day, when one of my children was apologising to me – during Mass no less – for his behaviour upon waking up that day, I felt as though I were standing outside myself observing this sequences of events. As I forgave him, and gave him a cuddle, I seemed to watch – as though for the very first time – how he approached me in this action, and I saw great wonders in that there…

Firstly, I noticed that he looked towards me... Now, many an experienced mother will tell you that the first rule of parenting is to ignore bad behaviour. So, though he was looking in my direction and I noticed that look, it initially appeared to my child that I was ignoring him. That is where my second rule of parenting came in… Because though I ignore the negative, I reward the positive. So, that meant that as soon as I noticed my child looking in my direction in a repentant sort of manner, I immediately made eye contact with him so that he would know that I was ready and listening to him.

Secondly, once we had made eye contact, I noticed that he leaned towards me ever so slightly… But my child is only very young, and he is smaller than me. In Mass, when everything is quiet and reverent and holy, it is not possible for my child to speak into my ear in a whisper unless I lower my head, first. And seeing his remorse in his eyes and demeanour, and in watching him lean towards me, I lowered my head very willingly, bending my ear – so to speak.

Thirdly, after he apologised, I immediately forgave him and held him close… Now, this was for me, the most rewarding part of this whole exercise. It was not the remorse – though I was happy to see that he acknowledged his poor choices. It was not his seeking me out – though I loved looking at my children and having them near to me. It was the act of putting my arm around him and bringing him near to my heart to express my love for him, no matter what had happened before.

After all… It is for love of him that I discipline him. It is for love of him that I ask him to apologise. It is for love of him that I wish him to develop into the BEST person he can be. And for love of him, I waited for his apology so that I could shower him with love…

And though even through these actions I am very very very far below my Beloved, that day inside the Church, I saw my Beloved in my child, and I saw Him in me too. And seeing Him there, I loved my child more, and I loved myself more too… Because I could see the great WISDOM at work in us there.

So there, before the Sacred Altar, inside my little local church in Castle Hill, as I embraced my child during the Holy Sacrament of the Mass, My Beloved embraced us both too…

You see, I too offend my Beloved. And I too later show remorse. And when that happens, I have only to look towards Him – just for a moment – and He is there… Looking back at me. He always has been. He is there looking back at me with love. And how much hope I have in Him because of that! And then, when I approach Him through the Sacraments – Reconciliation and the Eucharist – that is when my Beloved is leaning down to me so that I can whisper my apology into His Holy Ear.

And after I have whispered my feeble apology for my actions WHICH CONDEMNED HIM TO DEATH ON THE CROSS, then He EMBRACES me. He embraces me with all His Heart, and my own heart beats in time with His and all is right in the world again.

For through this dance between us, this Holy Ritual of Love and Hope – I know that I love my Beloved and more importantly by far, I know that my Beloved loves me.

And I know this with FAITH, because Saint Louis de Montford told us that the Blessed Virgin is “so full of love that no one who asks for her intercession is rejected, no matter how sinful he may be.”

And if the Mother of God will not reject me – than I KNOW that God Himself never would…

How lucky I am to be the child of my God – King of Endless Glory…

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

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