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  • Sarah Raad

Privilege

I know that child is in heaven – and I know it with all the strength and conviction possible of my miserable little soul…

The Dead Christ with Angels (Edouard Manet)

Bad things happen in this world. Terrible things in fact. And they happen every sing day – many, many multitude of times each day…


There is prejudice and discrimination and abuse. There is war, unjust incarceration, torture and crime. The innocent are imprisoned and the guilty prosper. Innocent people are killed in appalling circumstances. Children – young, beautiful, innocent children – die, while devious and dangerous adult criminals and sinners, who are guilty of the worst crimes, flourish…


And, when you really stop to think about this, it can – at times – become overwhelming. In fact, if I were to focus solely on all the misery and grief of the world, it would truly feel as though there were no point in going on…


The other day, a very little boy – who had been very sick since his birth four years earlier – went to Heaven. You will notice that I do not say that he died, because – although his earthly life ended – what really happened on that day when this little boy breathed his last breath, was that this beautiful little child, who was the treasure of his house, was BORN to eternal life.


I am not using those words – die and born – figuratively. I am not speaking in metaphors or symbols. What I mean is quite literal… When that child took his final breath in this life, he opened his eyes to ETERNITY, and being young and innocent, and having suffered so greatly during his short and beautiful life, that young boy merited ETERNAL SALVATION, and saw HEAVEN...

And I know this in the same way that I know that gravity holds me to the earth, because I have FAITH…

It was not always this way with me. Although I said with my words and did with my deeds – pretty much – many of the appropriate things expected of a woman of faith, the faith in my heart was smaller than a “mustard seed” (Matthew 17:20).


And then – through Grace and no merit of my own – the Holy Spirit FILLED ME WITH HIS LOVE (and only as much as I could bear, for the Love of God is Infinite and I would have died of such a love as that)… And so, now – through Grace and no merit of my own – I have faith…


Did I earn it? Certainly not!

Did I deserve it? Never!

Is this faith my due? Did God owe it to me? Of course not!


And yet He gave it to me nonetheless… Can I explain why? NO! And yet – now there is PEACE…


There is peace when I am having trouble at work – because I have Faith in God’s Infinite Will. There is peace when I am having trouble at home – because I have Faith in God’s Infinite Power. And there is peace when I am having trouble with prayer – because I have Faith in God’s Infinite Grace…


And I did nothing to deserve such a peace as this… I still do not deserve it, because my weakness – even despite my best intentions – makes me the worst of all sinners and a hypocrite as well!


And yet, I take heart from the words of Pope Saint John Paul II who said, “Many people do not know or do not want to know who Jesus Christ is, and they remain perplexed and disconcerted... The great tragedy of history is that Jesus is not known, and therefore is not loved, not followed. You know Christ! You know who He is! Yours is a great PRIVILEGE! Always be worthy and aware of it!” (emphasis added).


And so, being AWARE of this PRIVILEGE of Faith – this Gift from God – I talk about it, so that others will hear.


For I know that child is in heaven – and I know it with all the strength and conviction possible of my miserable little soul…


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

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