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  • Sarah Raad

Outage

Unlike Christ, I am not called to have Faith in the Silence, for I am surrounded by my Lord and God. I am only called to open my eyes to see and my ears to hear and my lips to proclaim the Good News of the Lord…


A couple of days ago, the company that owns Facebook, Instagram and What’s App experienced a global world-wide outage. Though the outage lasted only several hours, I felt the effects of it during my day…


You see – though I do not spend very much time on social media each day – What’s App is a very useful tool for me.


The original creator of What’s App was a man who was unable to call his dying father and speak to him because his father did not have access to a working telephone. As a result of that tragic situation, the original founder of the application decided to create a telephone that ran on the internet to ensure that there was a way for people to connect with each other in an affordable and practical manner all over the world…


My family talk to each other on What’s App during our day, my husband speaks to his family overseas and interstate using the same application, and each morning, when I wake up and say my prayers, I share some of my prayers with others using the What’s App tool. And so, when there was an outage on that application the other day, I felt that outage in my small community through the silence that made up that very quiet morning.


Some time ago – last term, in fact – while my children were being home-schooled during the latest lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Zoom platform that their school used to run their single hour of online classes each day experienced an outage and went down. During that outage on that morning, children across the Catholic education system in the Parramatta diocese were unable to connect with their teachers and their peers, and they felt the effect of that outage in their relatively small community. You see, we only realised that there was an outage when the children tried to log into their meetings and heard silence instead of talking…


Now, in our case, there was no serious harm done to my family or me from these outages. After all, we still have access to other forms of communication in case of emergencies, or even in case of the simple desire for a friendly chat... We have a telephone, we have access to email and – as a worst case scenario – we could have created a Twitter or SnapChat account to help us along in the interim…


And yet, I have been reflecting on that outage from the other day and on the Zoom outage from last term as I go about my work today because it was so quiet, and the silence on the applications made me think about the Great Silence that Christ Himself endured during His Passion and Death.

From Holy Thursday until His Resurrection on Easter Sunday Christ – the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity heard only SILENCE from the other Persons of the Most Holy Trinity because He had agreed to bear that sacrifice on the Cross Himself – alone.

That silence must surely have been more overwhelming than the darkest depths of Hell…


We often think we are alone. Many times, we feel spiritually dry or deserted by God, and yet – we are NEVER actually alone. I often remark that perhaps that is why people do not fear Hell as they should. For Hell – being an absence of God – is surely a horror that a soul could never willingly confront, unless the soul had no notion or experience of what a TRUE absence of God actually felt like.


How that silence must have tormented my Beloved…


In the Garden of Gethsemane, the angels came to Him to give Him comfort and even so – Christ sweat Blood… “And to strengthen Him an angel from heaven appeared to Him. He was in such agony and He prayed so fervently that His sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground.” (Luke 22:43-44).


Later – on the Cross as He cried out His prayers – Christ prayed the prayer of the Psalm of David, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1)… “About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). (Matthew 27:46).


And I have been reflecting on that silence and that anguish and those prayers as I think about the silence of the other morning …


You see, all of us are grieving for loved ones who have gone before us to their eternal life. And at times – in grief – I have felt that the souls of those who I have lost and God Himself are gone far far away… And all I feel is silence.


And yet – just as the Blessed Trinity watched Our Lord on the Cross – so too are the souls of those who we love (and God Himself) always with us…


And Christ’s example during His Passion and His example on the Cross, is surely an invitation to us to mimic Him…


For the only knowledge Christ had of the other Holy Persons of the Trinity at that time was through His faith in Them. There was no other way that He could feel Them – for They left Him alone to make the sacrifice that He promised…


And when I reflect on the depth of that Faith of my Beloved I weep for Joy…


For – unlike Christ – I am not called to have Faith in the Silence, for I am surrounded by my Lord and God. I am only called to open my eyes to see and my ears to hear and my lips to proclaim the Good News of the Lord… And if you think about it… what could be easier than that…


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

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