• Sarah Raad


If we stay close to Our Blessed Mother, we can grow in holiness and not vice.And what a wonderous gift that is!

Mary Mother of the Apostles

The other day – after all the weeks of rain that we had in Sydney earlier this year – I was driving along the road, carefully doing my best to dodge each of the potholes that I saw.

As I drove along, I thought about these potholes very much, because it occurred to me that the potholes on the road are like the result of vice and sin!

You see, a pothole is formed on a roadway when water seeps underneath the bitumen and causes the ground underneath the bitumen to become uneven. When that ground becomes uneven, the bitumen becomes unsupported. Then, when a car (or any vehicle in fact) drives over the weakened part of the road, the bitumen gives way and a pothole is formed.

Now, potholes are a very inconvenient problem. They can play havoc on the traffic as vehicles do their best to avoid them, because driving fast through a pothole is not only uncomfortable but also dangerous, as they can damage the tyres of the car (and even cause the tyres to rupture).

And this is very similar to sin. You see, sin occurs when a person chooses to reject God. And a person would only choose such a monstrous thing if they had grown accustomed to it. And how do we grow accustomed to sin? Well, you make it a habit, by growing accustomed to the vices…

And those vices are like the water that seeps underneath the bitumen. At first, they do not seem to be a terribly big problem – in fact, you may not even notice that water for many many weeks. Actually, most people do not even notice the impact of the water until they stumble upon a pothole. And this is just like vices… You see, just as the water seeps beneath the bitumen and causes the bitumen to decay, so too do vices seep into our behaviours and cause us to sin.

But there are more similarities than that. You see, it is not only the case that potholes are inconvenient and require repair, but they can also cause accidents, which means one pothole can affect numerous vehicles. Sin is like this too...

Haven’t you ever heard the old cliché, “birds of a feather flock together”?

And as Saint Palamas said, “Repentance which is true and straight from the heart persuades the penitent not to sin anymore, not to mix with corrupt people, and not to gape in curiosity at evil pleasures.”

Really what it means is that like attracts like. Where one soul is sinful, the surrounding souls will become corrupted and where one is holy, those surrounding it also become holy.

You have only to think of the souls who surrounded Our Blessed Mother during her earthly life. Think of Our Blessed Mother… She was surrounded by saints. Her parents – Saint Joachim and Saint Anne. Her spouse – Saint Joseph. Her friends – eleven out of twelve apostles…

And then there are others – souls devoted to Our Lady… Saint Louis De Montford, Pope Saint John Paul II, Saint Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes, the visionaries of Fatima – and the list goes one…

You see, just as water seeps beneath the road and causes decay over time so that many many vehicles are affected, vices do the same to the state of our souls.

But we are more blessed than I have words to express…

You see, we have Our Lady… And if we stay close to her, we can grow in holiness and not vice. And what a wonderous gift that is!

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

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