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  • Sarah Raad

Necessity

Listen to God – He will tell you what you need so as to do His will.

Conversion of Saint Paul (Peter Paul Rubens)

Last night, during my final class of the evening, one of my beautiful students brought in a calendar that his mother had sent as a gift to me. It is a beautiful calendar in honour of Saint Padre Pio and each month there are many beautiful quotes from this Saint to read and reflect on.


When I thanked this dear lady for her gift, she told me that the Holy Spirit had guided her to send it my way.


How lucky am I to have received such a beautiful love letter from my Beloved – especially since it is not the first love letter that I have received?


Since being given – through Grace and no merit of my own – some imperfect knowledge of God’s love for me as a gift of the Holy Spirit, while praying for my beautiful little niece last year, I receive many love letters from God the Holy Spirit each day.

It often astounds me that I spent nearly 40 years on this Earth being unable to feel God’s love for me, when now it consumes my thoughts... Where was I looking?

Often, when I write, as the words are flowing onto the page, I experience moments of great doubt and anxiety that what I am writing is terrible or ridiculous or just plain wrong. And yet, miraculously, feeling myself held securely in the loving embrace of God I am able – through Grace and no merit of my own – to cast these temptations aside returning them to the dust from whence they come.


In doing this, please do not think for even a moment, that this proves my strength or power. It does not! I do not have this power over evil of my own accord – for I am weak.


All my power comes from God alone and in trusting in God to tell me what He wants, I know that God will let me know when He no longer has use for me or my words.


I must only await His instruction. He will not let me offend Him when I only seek to please Him.


Even if it means that God needs to throw me from my horse on my Road to Damascus and cry out in a loud voice to berate me from Heaven while striking me blind – God will do what is necessary to provide me with the opportunity of salvation!


There is no need for me to fear. Why should I fear when God loves me so infinitely?

And God does love me infinitely. He loves you too…

Whether sin keeps us from feeling the intensity of His love or not – it in no way detracts or reduces that love.


Here I sit – imperfect, offensive and terribly off-putting to God – in fact, only remotely acceptable to God because of the Grace that He, Himself, provides to me and through no merit of my own, and yet, here I sit, smothered by His love for me.


You sit here too!


I did nothing to earn God’s love. In fact, I spend most of my day being sinful, weak, frail and unfaithful to Him – I spend most of my time being unworthy of God’s love. And yet, God’s love for me is so great, so magnificent, so unimaginably infinite that He loves me anyway.


God loves me just as He loved Judas, who betrayed Him with one kiss, because, I too betray God. Only, I do not do it with only one kiss – I wish that was all that I did – I betray God over and over again with a million billion kisses.


Christ calls me, just as He calls Judas – “FRIEND”. Christ loved Judas and mourned the damnation of his soul overcome by the sin of despair and He loves me too, and you. He sends us the Gifts of the Holy Spirit to sustain us and give us hope to prevail against temptation – even while hanging on the Cross because of US!


Saint Padre Pio himself gave such divinely inspired advice… “Oh my Jesus, give me your strength when my weak nature rebels against the distress and suffering of this life of exile, and enable me to accept everything with serenity and peace.”


How then could I ever worry?


In today’s Gospel (Mark 6:7-13), Christ called the Twelve and sent them out to preach with a staff and sandals – nothing else. Those blessed Twelve went out into the world with “no bread, no bag, no money in their belts…” relying entirely on the providence of God.


Were they capable of the work they would perform? Of course not! They were no different from you or me. They were not like Our Blessed Mother, who was conceived without sin or even like Saint John the Baptist, who was born without sin. They were born with Original Sin, just like me – they sinned, the failed. Like me they too were weak.


But, unlike me, they listened to God, and in relying on His providence, they did His will and took only what was NECESSARY…


God provided them with all the rest!


And I have no doubt in my mind, that they – who were far more worthy than me for the work that they did – received beautiful love letters too!


For with faith and hope everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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