• Sarah Raad


If we can follow God’s call in doing His will nothing would ever be impossible.

Saint Peter Walking on the Water (Alessandro Allori)

Yesterday was the 148th anniversary of the birth of Saint Therese of Lisieux. Twice in my life have I read her autobiography, “The Story of a Soul” – once during my first year of university, and again last year. On both occasions – though I am a prolific reader – I found the text difficult. And yet, despite my density of mind in digesting this text, its message was more simple than words.


Saint Therese wrote that at one point in her life she suddenly - through no effort on her part - felt the presence of God in her soul and found the strength in that moment of Grace to change her life to more fully love and embrace God.

Though I to my shame have committed mortal sins – unlike Saint Therese – through her story, I could humbly see some similarities in my own experiences. I too, last year – through no merit of my own – felt the presence of God suddenly in my soul and was moved, desperately, with His strength to make changes in my life for love of Him. In that instant, I suddenly thought, “why am I not a Carmelite Nun, cloistered away, dedicating my lifetime to God and God alone?” How God must have laughed at me! I am married with 3 children – that vocation is so far removed from my life that to even think of it is laughable. And yet, the sentiment remains. God is LOVE and for LOVE of Him we must all atone for the sins of our past, present and future. We have much to do to show our love for He who is perfect love.

I remember the feeling as so vividly transforming – in an instant I was humbled, awed by the Majesty of the King of Kings. It felt as though there were a fire inside me and it was burning me up compelling me to speak out so that others would know the GOODNESS of God.

I am no scholar of theology. I have little solid formation in faith. Though I study secular subjects, I feel no calling to study my religion or my God. How could I, being so insignificant seek to ever understand the majesty of the Supreme Being?

I feel – as Saint Therese described – only a longing to be His child, to sit at His feet and look upon Him. I feel that if I could only see His face there would be such love and beauty in it, I would not look away for all eternity. In a way, I can see how it would not matter then who was in Heaven with me - though it would sadden me beyond grief if God did not receive ALL love from ALL souls - because the love that He bears for me would consume my soul.

Saint Padre Pio is quickly becoming one of my favourite saints. He told us that “poverty, humility, degradation, contempt surround the Word made flesh. But from the darkness in which this Word made flesh is enveloped, we understand one thing, we hear a voice, we catch a glimpse of a sublime truth. All this He has done out of love, and He does nothing but invite us to love; He speaks of nothing else but love; He gives nothing but proof of love.”

God is Love and Love is God – that is all I know!

For those we love we will do ANYTHING. God does ANYTHING for us – sacrificing, through the mystery of the Holy Trinity, His Beloved Son for LOVE of us!

And yet, how flawed we are! We are worse than Simon Peter. We see God standing on the water. We believe in Him. We seek to reach Him. And yet at the first test of our faith in Him, at the first feeling of the water beneath our feet, we lose faith and we start to sink.

Oh, we of little faith!

If only we could really be CHILDREN of God. Children are fearless. They do not know danger because they trust their parents to save them from it. They step without looking and walk without thinking.

If only we could look upon His beloved face and see His glory. Never again would the water under our feet fill us with fear. Never again!

If we could only look upon our God and see Him we would be able to take one step and another and another, millions upon millions of steps, over fire and water and air - ever onwards, ever upwards, stepping always closer to the loving tender embrace of our Infinitely LOVING God.

How wonderful that would be!

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

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