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  • Sarah Raad

Siblings

Christ made us not only children of God – but His siblings as well!

The Crucifixion with the Virgin and Saint John (Hendrick ter Brugghen)

Today I have been praying for the private intention of a new friend that I have made. I add my prayers for her intention to my own, as I pray for my family and yours. As I pray for the mother who grieves, the loved ones who have died and their families left behind, the people dying right now in this moment who are experiencing their final temptation, and the Lost Souls of Purgatory. As always, I pray of course for my little baby niece and those of you who pray for her with me.


Today, it feels to me as though I am arranging all those multitudinous prayers into a floral bouquet for God.


Like flowers arranged in a bouquet, my prayers – though flawed and faltering and inadequate – can bring God pleasure. Perhaps my prayers will not be the roses or the lilies of the bouquet, perhaps they will be only violets or daisies. But I take comfort from the words of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, ““The splendour of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of its scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness.”


Even my small soul and my inadequate prayers can add something to the pleasure of God.


Each prayer is chance to talk to my Beloved. Each prayer is another moment to kneel at His Feet and when I focus very very hard, each prayer becomes an opportunity to dare to reach out and touch the hem of His garment – He before whom even the Angels tremble.


Each prayer is a Holy Spring of Water welling up endlessly and reaching out to me – cleansing me.

I am flooded with prayers today... Today, I am Baptised in them – so to speak.

What an honour it is to be asked to pray with someone for a matter that is so personal intimate and dear to them that they cannot even bear the thought of revealing the details!


The details are not my department – they belong to God.


While I am happy to share in the burdens of a friend if they so choose to disclose them, it is not my place to ask for them and details – or a lack of them – in no way affect my prayers. After all, through prayer, I simply place all petitions at the feet of my Beloved and leave the details to Him!


His Plan. His Will. His Desire. His Love.


What a blessed relief that is in this world of tears in which we live!


Popular culture teaches us to fixate on the details. Entire industries and subcultures have been built up around the notion that all information is public information.


There is an entire industry – the paparazzi – devoted to uncovering every last shred of the privacy of others, seeking out details like hounds seek the fox, with little more dignity, respect or compassion than exhibited in a fox hunt.


But in this crazy world, details are not only hunted out as rich bounty – they are offered freely and cheaply – though with the same lack of dignity and compassion as the hunt.


Social media is a whole new avenue of life where the deadly sin of envy is fertilised and harvested. Instagram Models display their naked or barely clad bodies freely – selling their mortality ever so cheaply for fame.


While I am not one who believes that technology is evil, there is something evil in this culture of showcasing the body at any cost to foster deadly sins of lust and envy rather than virtuous compassion dignity and charity. There is something not right about this – something terribly wrong!


Often, these celebrities tell us that they display themselves thus seeking our approval because they are empowered.

I see the specious and dishonest meanderings of the Evil One in this.

What is empowerment?


Christ was empowered.


Standing as He did in the seven courts that unfairly tried Him during His Passion, Christ – as God the Son and therefore through the mystery of the Holy Trinity God Himself – was, and is, the most powerful being in the entirety of existence.


And yet, He did not say, do or show anything.


Dying on the Cross, when we taunted Him saying, “Well then, save yourself and come down from the cross!” (Mark 15:30). Christ did not say, do or show anything.


That is because He is strong.


There is strength in silence and power in rest.


That is the paradox of our faith.


That is the paradox that allows me to realise that I am merely the very weak servant of a very strong God!


“When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then He said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” (John 19:26).


When Christ did that during His final moments of Passion and Death, He confirmed His earlier words in Matthew 12:50, “Pointing to His disciples, He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers. For whoever does the will of My Father in Heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”


Through some truly profound miracle of which we are MOST unworthy – Christ in placing Himself into time and space, and in suffering and dying for us made us not only Children of God – but His Brothers and Sisters as well!


What a mystery!


What an honour!


What humility!


What love!


For prayers with my siblings in Christ, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.



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