• Sarah Raad


We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song! (Pope Saint John Paul II, 30/11/1986).

Resurrection of Christ (Raphael)

I recently heard a story about Pope Saint John Paul II.

In October 1995, Saint Pope John Paul II was scheduled to greet the seminarians at Saint Mary's Seminary in Baltimore in the United States. Due to his great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, upon arriving, the Saint asked to first visit the Blessed Sacrament in the oratory.

Accordingly, his security personnel ran through the area with their trained dogs and swept the chapel and building. When they arrived at the chapel, the dogs reacted in a peculiar manner. You see those dogs were trained as rescue dogs. They were used to locate survivors trapped in rubble when there were earthquakes or other natural (or artificial) disasters. When they found a survivor in the rubble, the dogs were trained to sniff – smelling them – and then whine.

On that day in October, when the dogs reached the chapel, they sniffed, and then – approaching the tabernacle – they began whining in the same way that they would when they had located a survivor in the rubble…

At the time, the bishop of that diocese said, “It’s funny that even dogs can recognise what some Catholics can’t: that there is a real living Person in the Tabernacle and that He has been there for 20 centuries waiting for each one of us.”

And I have been reflecting on this little story and thinking about the beautiful image of the animals recognising the God of the universe concealed within the Blessed Sacrament, safely tucked away inside the Tabernacle…

For it provides my soul with a beautiful message of hope…

You see, the Most Holy Eucharist is the whole point of my faith. I mean that is it – right there… What other conception of God allows their people to CONSUME God Himself and to Hold Him inside the miserable smallness of their tiny, flawed, little souls?

But my God – THE GOD – does that for a soul even as small and miserable as mine!

And that causes me to be filled with hope and to rejoice…

On the 30th of November 1986, Pope Saint John Paul II, in his angelus prayer, said, “We do not pretend that life is all beauty. We are aware of darkness and sin, of poverty and pain. But we know Jesus has conquered sin and passed through His own pain to the glory of the Resurrection. And we live in the light of his Paschal Mystery – the mystery of his Death and Resurrection. We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song! We are not looking for a shallow joy but rather a joy that comes from faith, that grows through unselfish love, that respects the ‘fundamental duty of love of neighbour, without which it would be unbecoming to speak of Joy.’ We realize that joy is demanding; it demands unselfishness; it demands a readiness to say with Mary: ‘Be it done unto me according to thy word.’”

And there is great JOY in realising that I must make myaself ready for my Beloved as my Heavenly Mother did!

And I wish I could share such a joy as that. I really wish I could express it to you. For Pope Francis said, “Teach prayer by praying, announce the faith by believing; offer witness by living!”

And my prayer today is that I can pray and believe and live in a way that shows my Beloved that I am ready for Him…

For I am from an Easter People and Allelulia is my song…

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

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