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  • Sarah Raad

Neighbours

What a joy – to be surrounded by our neighbours – those immortals within whom God lives.

Christ (Leonardo Da Vinci)

Although I love to write very much, I am no great writer. I am resigned to that and it gives me no grief because I know that any talent I may have is a gift come from God, and in the words of Saint Padre Pio – such gifts and talents are merely “borrowed”!


And yet, still I plod on with my limited means, content as a little daisy or a violet – I am no rose or lily – in God’s Heavenly garden. For even the smallest and most common flowers can give Him some joy. And hopeful in this I dance around like a tiny little rainbow finch, puffing out my chest and warbling as prettily as I am able, to give music and pleasure to my Beloved.


I have recently read a famous 1941 lecture called “The Weight of Glory” by C. S. Lewis, who wrote allegorical Christian works, like “The Chronicles of Narnia”, following his conversion to Christianity at the start of the twentieth century. If you would like to read it in its entirety, you can find it at: https://www.wheelersburg.net/Downloads/Lewis%20Glory.pdf.


In my own feeble way, today, I wished to summarise the beautiful message Lewis provided in his text, because it moved me more than my own feeble words could ever do…


Our desires are too weak. We have turned the positive of Love into the negative of self-Denial and though Sacred Scripture speaks often of self-denial – in taking up our Cross and following Christ, the reward promised is one of love through eternal salvation. Lewis explains that we are instead so half-hearted in our desire for God that we are “like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”


We have replaced the desire for the “proper reward” with the temporal satisfaction of “improper” rewards instead. Instead of marrying for love or fighting for victory, we marry for money or fight for promotion. Lewis explains that “The proper rewards are not simply tacked on to the activity for which they are given but are the activity itself in consummation.” And the problem with our modern world is that we are convinced that our good is of Earth and not Heaven. Yet, we long for something more than this earth – we long for paradise, which in no way ensures we become worthy of it, but is surely an indication that such a place and state exists.


Most beautifully Lewis explains…

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit— immortal horrors or everlasting splendours…. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat—the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.”

What a joy – to be surrounded by our neighbours – those immortals within whom God lives.


When we speak to them – we surely speak to God Himself. How blessed are we! How lucky – to be the children of such a Beloved God that He surrounds us with Himself…


For with prayers, everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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