Search
  • Sarah Raad

Stigmata

“Receive every trial, every annoyance, every lack of courtesy in the light that springs from the Cross; that is how we please God, how we advance in the ways of love.” (Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity).

Christ Shows His Wounds (Giovanni Antonio Galli)

I have been meditating on the stigmata of Christ.


The Stigmata are the Holy Wounds made into the Sacred Flesh of Christ by the Crown of Thorns, the Nails in His Blessed Hands and Feet and the Lance that pierced His Holy Side and emptied His Beloved Heart after His Death...


I started reflecting on the stigmata because I have been praying for a young girl for some time so that she will stay strong enough in Grace to accept God’s will in relation to her inoperable brain tumour. And as I pray for her, I have come to understand that she is effectively suffering from the Stigmata of Christ right now as I write…


This is a bold statement as very few Saints have experienced a physical or spiritual stigmata in the two thousand years since the death of Christ, but I stand by my words... you see, I am not referring to the LITERAL stigmata of Christ in this case of this beautiful soul – but to a SPIRITUAL one in unity with Him who suffers…

You see, this beautiful girl bears all the wounds of Christ as He smothers her with His Love by allowing the progression of this disease, which is leading her along the Way of the Cross and preparing her for the GLORY of her Heavenly home…

This girl wears His Holy Crown of Thorns on her beautiful head, and has worn this for some time now because a tumour of this size and nature must cause significant and – for me – unimaginable pain in her head…


She has received His Holy Nails into her hands and feet, which are unable to move due to the progression of this disease. And so – effectively like Christ – her hands and feet are now nailed to her Cross in preparation for her resurrection into the loving arms of her Bridegroom…


And the Holy Lance that dared to pierce the Heart of Our Lord, yes. She has felt that too because only a couple of months ago, her beautiful baby brother went unexpectedly to Heaven. And she –who surely assumed that at the very least she would be spared the grief of mourning a loved one in this world – instead has been allowed to cry the tears of her broken heart. For just as Christ’s Holy Heart was broken by the pain of sin and the Lance, so too is this girl’s heart, broken by the passing of her brother – which is a consequence of sin…


I do not know this young girl very well. In fact, I have never met her at all. And yet – because I know of her – I pray for her. For when I think of her suffering, I see her nailed to the Cross with my Beloved. And when I see her there, I see also her mother – and father and sisters and family – standing beneath that Cross, as Our Blessed Mother stood with the disciple whom He loved best.

And as I watch them standing there, I am called to pray for that child as though she were my own, or perhaps – more correctly – as though she were my Beloved Himself…

For God choses certain souls – like those of this girl, her brother, and her family, and all the others who suffer, sacrifice and mourn – to provide us all with a living image of His Holy suffering and sorrow on the Cross.


Just when we think that we can forget about it, we see them, and though at times – mistakenly – God feels so far from us, He mercifully reminds us of His suffering on the Cross through those souls.


Saint Faustina wrote in her Diary of experiencing the Stigmata of Christ in an invisible way when she was in the presence of sinners. During those moments she would receive the wounds of Our Lord into her body spiritually and experienced Christ’s painful wounds for an instant, but she writes of the profound impact such an instant had on her soul and how the pain endured in her mind for a long time afterwards.


And when I read these words of Saint Faustina the other day, it caused me to think… Christ too must experience that pain anew in His Holy Stigmata when He is in the presence of sinful souls…


He must surely endure His suffering again – until the end of the world – for love of us… After all, His wounds remain – even in His risen Body – and we are told this in the Gospels…


“Then Jesus said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and look at My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.’ Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and my God!’” (John 20:27-28).

It only makes sense that the wounds remained for a reason – and the reason is surely LOVE! Love of us is what causes Christ to suffer.

And so, as I pray for this young girl and the repose of her brother’s soul, and for Grace for her family, I reflect upon the words of Saint Augustine who said, “Trials and tribulations offer us a chance to make reparation for our past faults and sins. On such occasions the Lord comes to us like a physician to heal the wounds left by our sins. Tribulation is the Divine medicine.”


In this way, I pray that these souls – and mine too – will accept and even embrace the suffering sent by God, knowing that we are with them in prayer… For Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity said, “Receive every trial, every annoyance, every lack of courtesy in the light that springs from the Cross; that is how we please God, how we advance in the ways of love.”


And I feel this advancement because though I am not a worthy or a chosen soul, through Grace, I can stand at the foot of the Cross of those, like this beautiful girl, who are worthy and chosen. And in praying for those souls – at the foot of their Cross – perhaps I can learn something from them of how to grow in the ways of love…


For LOVE is the only way – even now. Just LOVE.


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

51 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All