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  • Sarah Raad

Shock

How important it is to view God’s suffering as SHOCKING! Poor God!

The Crucifixion (Graham Sutherland)

I have been praying intently for many intentions over the last few days. I felt great gratitude in my heart for a young woman who was told some months ago that doctors held no hope for her survival of cancer, and who now has been advised to live her life and return for scans in five years.


And yet, there is another shocking story of a woman, a mother, whose life hangs in the balance, and for this woman, I now fervently pray.


The miracle of the first woman stays with me while I pray for the second, because God allows things to change in a moment… And this life is so fleeting…


This latest sick mother for whom I pray is not religious – at least she was not religious before this terrible illness – and yet there is great suffering in this journey – surely.


And though we try to avoid thinking about it… we all must die.


I heard recently from a dear friend of that very sick woman that she is now wearing a couple of miraculous medals while she undergoes her medical treatment in hospital.

It is true… we all must die – but we do NOT need to die alone!

God is with her, as He is with us!


Because He loves us so perfectly, He went to her and He is with her, because she is our sister, and we are hurt when our family is hurt – so for love of US AND HER – God is with her to give her Grace and strength!


So she will not die alone…


God Himself – who had no need to die – entered into Time and Space for us so that He would die.


Because of this NEVER AGAIN can we ask…


“Why me?”


Christ, God Himself – through the Holy Second Person of the Blessed Most Trinity – died so that we would finally ask the correct question…


“Why NOT me?”


Why You, my Beloved, and NOT me?


Allow me the Grace to bear a splinter from your Cross that your Cross may be one splinter less – I am UNWORTHY of asking for more than this...


The poet T.S. Eliot, in his 1917 stream of consciousness poem, “Preludes” aptly described God so beautifully as…

“Some infinitely gentle, infinitely suffering thing…” Our Suffering Lord!

My mother teaches Scripture in Public schools and has done so for about twenty years. Sadly, one of the concessions that Catholic Catechists must make when addressing children in Public Schools is to shield the children from images of Christ Crucified and any discussion of Hell and damnation.


Sadly, that is the world we live in and I make no criticism of this ministry here – surely some Catholic formation for these children is more beneficial than none at all…


But I note one thing… Surely the whole PURPOSE of our Faith is the SHOCKING reality of Christ Crucified. Without that we can have NO RESURECTION and our Faith becomes nonsense!


If that image of Christ Crucified discomforts, or if the notion of eternal damnation in Hell – FOREVER separated from the comforts offered by the eternal perfect infinite love of God discomforts – is that so bad?


Surely, if these things do NOT shock us, then something is terribly, terribly wrong with us…


For there is nothing more shocking than unfairness and injustice and suffering.


And NOBODY in the history of the world has suffered more unfairly, more unjustly or with MORE LOVE, than God Himself.


So, if that SHOCKS me and makes me uncomfortable… All the better!


For with prayer everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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