• Sarah Raad


We only need to quietly listen to God’s command!

La Dolorosa (Our Lady of Grief) Bartolome Esteban Murillo

When my children were younger, they loved reading the classic children’s picture book, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, by Eric Carle. My nieces and nephews, and many of my very young students love the book too. I have read it to children so many times over the years that I surely know it almost off by heart…

This beautiful book describes the life of the hungry little Caterpillar life from his beginnings as a “tiny egg lay(ing) on a leaf” to a caterpillar to a pupa to a “beautiful butterfly”.

In the story, there is much activity that occurs between the hatching of the egg and the growth of the caterpillar. Each day the caterpillar eats so that he can grow. And each day the caterpillar eats a little more, until at last he is not a hungry little caterpillar anymore but “he was a big fat caterpillar”.

And being “a big fat caterpillar” the caterpillar was ready for the next stage, and being ready he made a cocoon around himself and stayed inside for two weeks.

But when the time comes, the caterpillar does not come out of the cocoon without any effort. First, he nibbles a hole in the cocoon and then he has to PUSH his way out to reveal himself in his true form as “a beautiful butterfly”!

There was no Mass today. Nothing this morning. The church was quiet. There is nothing this afternoon. The Church is quiet… as a tomb.

Tonight, some of us may choose to celebrate the Easter Vigil – but that is a celebration for TOMORROW – today, on Easter Saturday, there is no Mass.

For today, we are in the MIDST of the Pascal Sacrifice and because of this, there is a GREAT SILENCE in God’s Church today.

But quiet time is not wasted time...

It is the time of transformation – the time for miracles…

For in the quiet I am drawn to Him – He who is the Pascal Sacrifice.

In the quiet, I sit outside the tomb. I grieve with His Blessed Mother, who lost her only Son. I kneel at her blessed feet and put my head on her lap and wrap my arms around her legs and feel the warm splash of tears against my hair. I feel her shuddering breaths as she accepts the will of God without complaint.

Even within her home, she can hear her neighbours’ gossip and she knows that in her village she is shamed. She is a widow in a world where widows have no place. As her son was dying she was given away – from the Son of God to one of God’s sons…

And she went. Quietly… She offers no excuse to the gossip of her neighbours or the judgement of her village.

In this, she mimics her Blessed Son when He was tried. She answers not, except perhaps to say, as “Jesus replies to the Sanhedrin (when they asked Him if He was the Son of God), ‘You have said so,’ (Matthew 26:25).

She is quiet in the midst of this Pascal Mystery.

For in her quiet, her soul is reaching out to Him within the tomb and her lips offer only praise to God.

And she knows – perfectly surrendered to the Will of God – that just as the caterpillar needed to eat to grow, so too does humanity need to suffer for salvation. Just as the pupa must PUSH his way out of the cocoon to reveal his true nature, so too must she…

For Our Lady is the First Disciple of Christ – She followed His Command through the messages from God the Father and through the action of God the Holy Spirit from the moment of His conception. Was she not told to go to her cousin Elizabeth during her sixth month? “Look, even Elizabeth your relative has conceived a son in her old age, and she who was called barren is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.” (Luke 1:36-37).

We are Commanded by Him too.

For only through the quiet can we hear, and only when we hurt can we be healed, and only when we are healed can we too become the beautiful butterflies that we are supposed to be!

We only need to quietly listen to His command!

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

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