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  • Sarah Raad

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“The soul, illumined by a ray of God’s powerful final grace, turns to God in the last moment with such a power of love that, in an instant, it receives from God forgiveness of sin and punishment, while outwardly it shows no sign either of repentance or of contrition…” (Diary 1698).

Christ Healing a bleeding woman (as depicted in the Catacombs of Marcellinus and Peter)

Over the last few weeks of school last term, my daughter – who was only eight years old – suddenly became very afraid that she would go to Hell when she died. I am not sure where this idea came from, whether she heard something or thought it, but regardless, it caused her a great deal of fear and distress…


As we talked about Heaven and the Love of my Beloved, we spoke very often of the great and PERSONAL love of God for each soul. You see, God will not turn away any soul who loves Him. If a soul asks God for His Mercy, God will MERCIFULLY embrace that soul and carry that soul to Heaven…


In her Diary 1698, Saint Faustina recorded, “I often attend upon the dying and through entreaties obtain for them trust in God’s mercy, and I implore God for an abundance of divine grace, which is always victorious. God’s mercy sometimes touches the sinner at the last moment in a wondrous and mysterious way. Outwardly, it seems as if everything were lost, but it is not so. The soul, illumined by a ray of God’s powerful final grace, turns to God in the last moment with such a power of love that, in an instant, it receives from God forgiveness of sin and punishment, while outwardly it shows no sign either of repentance or of contrition, because souls [at that stage] no longer react to external things. Oh, how beyond comprehension is God’s mercy! But – horror! – there are also souls who voluntarily and consciously reject and scorn this grace! Although a person is at the point of death, the merciful God gives the soul that interior vivid moment, so that if the soul is willing, it has the possibility of returning to God. But sometimes, the obduracy in souls is so great that consciously they choose hell; they [thus] make useless all the prayers that other souls offer to God for them and even the efforts of God Himself…”


And in light of these conversations with my daughter and these revelations of Saint Faustina, I have been reflecting on the experience of the woman who was haemorrhaging that we are told about in the Gospel…

“There was a woman who had suffered from a haemorrhage for twelve years...and she came up behind Him through the crowd and touched His cloak. ‘If I can touch even His clothes,’ she had told herself ‘I shall be well again.’ And the source of the bleeding dried up instantly, and she felt in herself that she was cured of her complaint. Immediately aware that power had gone out from Him, Jesus turned round in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’” (Mark 5:21-43).

And though there is a great miracle described in this story, it is not the miracle that has caught my attention this time – it is the personal response of my Beloved to the suffering of this soul.


You see, Christ was busy that day. He was really really busy and He was in a rush. He was going to cure the daughter of Jairus who was sick and close to death. He was surrounded by multitudes of people who thronged around Him like paparazzi, getting in His way and making a nuisance of themselves (for the most part anyway). And yet, still – when the woman who was haemorrhaging reached out – with FAITH – to touch the hem of His garment, when she attempted to STEAL a miracle from God, still, even then He made PERSONAL time for her.


And He did this out of love for a woman, whose touch would make Him (according to Jewish Law) unclean. And He did this for a woman who did not even speak to Him first. And He did this for a woman who stooped down into the dust of the street, to touch the hem of His garment…


And Christ did not let it go at that. You see, NEVER EVER EVER in the Gospels are we told a story where Christ performed a miracle anonymously. Rather, every single miracle that Christ performed was PERSONAL. He did not offer bulk deals on miracles, He offered a PERSONAL touch. He touched the soul of each soul with faith.


You see, God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows our weaknesses, our sufferings and our distress. And He calls to us so that He can have a PERSONAL conversation with us – because at the end of the day, Christ – God Himself – did not suffer and die for everyone. He suffered and died for me – and for you too.


And that means something… Because salvation is personal – between me and my God…


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

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