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  • Sarah Raad

Offence

The less deserving the insult and offence, the greater the pain it causes.

Christ Meets His Mother While Carrying the Cross (Murillo)

The other day one of my sisters offended me.


Now, I knew at the time – and believe even now – that the offence that my sister caused to me was probably unintentional. I could even see that the reason she was in the sort of mood to cause offence was because she was having a bad day of her own, dealing with a myriad of her own stresses and worries. And so, it was very clear to me that there was really no point in making a big deal out of this very minor offence. It was a little thing after all, and because my sister was probably having a bad day, and – though she hurt my feelings – it was nothing serious, major, intentional or significant, and so was not worth the time of day to discuss it… Thank God, I had moved on long before I had the time to reflect on this offence again…


And yet, although it was such a minor thing, and although I am myself most deserving of insults and offence – being a sinful creature – that small, undeserving accusation made that day, offended me, hurt me and ruined my mood that day…


And I have been thinking about offences over these last few days of Lent, while I prepare myself to contemplate the ultimate office given to God through His Passion and Death…


You see, when my sister offended me that day, the reality was that she was one flawed soul, who offended another flawed soul. And – though I was annoyed with her – my sister’s unintentional offence to me was no worse than the million unintentional (and intentional) offences I have caused to others over the course of my life. So really – in the words of the “Our Father”, my only response to such an offence should have been “…Forgive us our trespassers as we forgive those who trespass against us…”


And I have been thinking – if one small unintentional word from my sister could cause me offence and pain – me, who am so deserving of chastisement – how much pain do the millions upon millions upon millions of intentional and unintentional offences cause to God? After all, the Divine Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity and His Beloved Mother, who are completely without sin were offended IN PERSON during the Passion and Death of Our Lord!

You see, while my sister hurt my feelings, perhaps there was some truth in the comment that she made. I am – after all – imperfect and sinful and therefore at times deserving of chastisement… But when we sin, we offend God. And when Christ bore those sins and offences firmly in His own Holy Flesh and right into the very depths of His Divine Soul, the offence that I cause to Him – even through the smallest and least intentional of my sins – must surely be unimaginable.

After all, the less deserving the insult and offence, the greater the pain it causes.


And who could possibly be less deserving of offence than Christ – God Himself – and His Beloved Mother and Spouse, the Blessed Virgin.


And my heart breaks to think of the offence I cause to Almighty God, who is PERFECT, and to His SINLESS Mother… For I cause offence to Them – who are without sin – with almost every breath that I take, and I think nothing of it… Shame on me.


For in my pride I dare to take offence. When the only thought that should be in my sinful head should be “…Forgive us our trespassers as we forgive those who trespass against us…”


Woe to the soul who offends their God – for He is the Lamb, and without sin…


Oh, how I weep for shame…


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

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