• Sarah Raad


Updated: Dec 29, 2020

Out of evil, God can work great good. We just need to trust in Him.

Saint Dennis, Bishop and Martyr

My beautiful baby niece was weighed yesterday. She gained 400 grams in a couple of weeks! It is the most amazing news. For those of you who have been praying for my niece, you may be familiar with her journey – for a while there it seemed she would never gain weight! What a blessing!

This journey with my niece has caused me to reflect on perspective.

Saint Bruno who established the Order of Carthusians in the 11th century said, “The Cross is steady while the world is turning.”

The other day, someone asked me how it was fair that my niece suffered when she was an innocent little baby. They asked how it was that I could believe in a God who could cause that suffering.

But of course, I have a different perspective on these matters – especially now – after all of this.

Most importantly, God does not send us suffering – He allows us to suffer due to our fall through Original Sin and then, in his infinite mercy and goodness, he USES our suffering FOR us. He uses it for our greater GOOD.

So, to answer the person who believes that this suffering is unfair, I say that we suffer with God, as He suffered in the person of God the Son, on the Cross. We suffer for the redemption of sinners. That is the textbook response.

But that textbook response is theoretical and at least for me, before my niece, I could not see its practical application very clearly. After her, my whole perspective has changed.

Because my niece suffered, we pray. Because we pray, we are at peace. Because we are at peace, we can endure the suffering. Because we can endure the suffering, we are united with Christ Crucified and we are not alone. Because we are not alone, all of the beautiful people praying for my niece are praying, which means that they are also at peace, which will cause them to better endure their own suffering and be united with Christ Crucified through the Communion of Saints, and so they too are also not alone.

The gracious parents of Baby Charbel set such a strong example of faith for us through their greater suffering than ours. They have so faithfully, eloquently and publicly accepted God’s will. In witnessing their acceptance, we petition God to hear our prayers and heal baby Charbel and send him to his Earthly home to live a long and healthy life with his Earthly parents, before he sees his Eternal Father in Heaven. In praying for Nancy, who is (God Willing) in the final round of chemotherapy to treat her cancer, we witness her determined faith and her unwavering belief that God gives her the strength to cope with each step of her journey. Her courage in the face of greater uncertainty and suffering than we have makes us strong.

This is how saints are made.

So you see, if we suffer with Grace, if we embrace the suffering in our lives, if we wear our suffering on our sleeves so that others can witness our courage and faith, we are never alone.

It is simply a matter of changing our perspective just a little. Suffering is constant, and steady, as is the Cross, we must just learn to carry it with Grace – because through Grace, we are united to Christ Crucified and we are never alone.

With my niece and all these others, everything is clear. Here, at the Foot of the Cross.

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