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  • Sarah Raad

Perserverance

Updated: Dec 29, 2020

When we persevere with hope there is no fear.

The Caanite Woman (Jean Colombe)

Today I was praying the surrender prayer (“Jesus, I surrender myself to you. Please take care of everything”) for a dear one’s personal intention, when right at that moment, she messaged me to tell me that she had received a rejection. It appeared that God answered, “no”.


When we prayed together for a miracle for Saint Baby Charbel, and God answered us by taking him to Heaven, it appeared that God said, “no”.


Again, when I prayed for another unknown child, Andrew, who went to Heaven yesterday morning after suffering cancer, it appeared that God said, “no”.


And there are so many other prayers…


Those for the young mother who grieves, Vanessa and her family, a baby named Lucas who may have had a stroke prior to his birth, my dear friend Nancy, the family of Saint Baby Charbel, the mothers due to deliver children soon.


And this does not include all my other prayers. Those for the souls breathing their last earthly breath, the Lost Souls, families who have lost children, those who are alone, my baby niece, family, friends, and all of you who pray with me.


The list goes on and on and on... stretching out towards infinity in a never-ending parade of hopeful, sorrowful, desperate, blessed prayers.


These prayerful intentions stretch out towards INFINITY – or perhaps, more accurately – they stretch out towards the INFINITE mercy, love, wisdom and compassion of Almighty God!

Very often, over the last few months, those people closest to me have expressed concern for me, in “taking on” all these prayers.


I can understand their concern. It is genuine and filled with love. They are afraid for me, knowing the person I have been and the weakness of my soul. How weak my soul really is!


When I reflect on my life before that instant when God so wonderfully infused my soul with Grace, I am speechless. What words could ever explain, how in a blinding flash, in an instant, my soul went from the bleakness of utter lonely despair and distrust of God, to the magnificent glorious happy totality of absolute surrender to God – through no effort of my own?


From that infusion of Grace and that instant of surrender, I have embraced Jesus, The Prince of Peace, in all the entirety of my flawed little soul. And since that instant of Grace, despite my imperfections and my subtle and obvious flaws, I am not afraid – of anything.


By some great miracle, I am not even afraid of losing God’s love… for does He not work everything for the good? And if it profits His will and His good for me to feel alone once again, then God will work His wonders in that too. Just as each apparently answered “no” to our prayers, is in faith, a true “yes” for our good, which is God’s Holy Will.


In the meantime, I live in the infinitesimal moments of existence… for does He not say that to those who receive, more will be given?


I had not an instant of fear in promising to stay close to my dear friend, Saint Baby Charbel’s Grandmother, when she told me that as the time passes since Saint Baby Charbel entered Heaven their burden grows.


Now, through my prayers and this wonderful gift of Grace that I have so humbly received from God through no merit of my own, I can sit quietly by and pray until my friends, neighbours and those strangers who come to mind, are ready to pick up their Cross.


While I cannot carry their Cross for them (I have my own), I can stand ready to help them to lift their Cross. And, when they are ready to walk, I can shadow their steps. I can dance beside them along their blessed way to Calvary.


And though it seems that our blood flows along the road as we walk that path without shoes, as Christ did, the stones beneath our feet are not stones at all – they are our tears turned to diamonds through the time and pressure of our Earthly suffering.


You see, through our loving surrender to God, our tears, our sorrows, are a thing of beauty. They are precious diamonds offered to give glory to God, who so LOVES our faith in him.


I recount these experiences humbly, not to shine a light on myself – I who am so weak – but, rather, to hold myself as a light bulb, a useless empty vacuum, filled with a few small fragments of metal, which only proves useful when illuminated by a power far greater than it…


Let my life, and yours, be a vacuum, completely empty and completely prepared – to be filled with the Great Light of God so that He may use us to illuminate the world.

When you look at it that way, perseverance in prayer is not a difficult thing or even a really great sacrifice. It is perfectly simply to sit and wait, prayerfully, to help to lift the Cross of any passing stranger.


Perseverance in prayer is simply the emptying out of all our Earthly concerns to make room for God’s Grace. Through His Grace, all the world can know his Love, which will shine out of us, through our Peace, and illuminate the entire world through our surrender to Him.


Because, with prayers for an infinite number of things, everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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