• Sarah Raad


Christ – God Himself – suffers and dies for us over and over and over again… Who are we to complain when life is difficult?

Christ of Saint John of the Cross (Salvador Dali)

I cried many tears today, while I attended the funeral mass for my beautiful Aunt Farida and while I prayed for the dead.

Mostly my tears were for my uncle and cousins, my father and his siblings, who have known the beautiful Farida for almost 58 years and who will feel her loss in this Earthly life most keenly.

But some of my tears were for others who have lost loved ones – my mother who lost her sister, and my friends who lost their grandparents and parents and children and grandchildren and friends.

I cried for the recently departed and for those who had long ago left this world.

And there were still some tears for myself. I cried for my father-in-law, who I never met because he died so suddenly one day when my husband was only 10 years old, and for my baby who is with him in Heaven.

And each of my tears carried a prayer for a million billion intentions of all of those who pray with me.

This grief that I experienced today is familiar to me. I have felt this grief before today and will feel it again before I die. To acknowledge this repetition of grief is not pessimistic – it is TRUTH. Knowing that this Earthly life is filled with tears is to know the LOVE of God.

For through this grief, which is so difficult to bear, we can feel great love – because, lucky for us, we were not the first the grieve…

When the fallen angels fell – rejecting their Creator, God grieved. Later, when Adam and Eve too fell, and dragged us all into sin with them, separating us from God, God grieved. God, the Almighty Creator of the Universe, who had created us not from necessity, but from love – felt grief.

Real pure grief. Far more immense than anything we could ever imagine.

This grief – God’s grief – is the sign of God’s love for us – just as we grieve for those separated from us by physical death, God grieves for those separated from Him by spiritual death.

When we grieve for those we love, we suffer – for love of them.

There is someone else who is the perfect example of grief and suffering for love. And He – for love of us – grieves and suffers over and over and over again…

Today, through my tears, I saw the sacrifice of Christ Crucified.

There – on the altar during Mass as I watched the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist and the Holy Chalice being raised during the most Holy Moment of Transubstantiation, I saw something of the Hidden Christ because I saw the miracle of God who so loves the world, that not only did He send His only Son to redeem it two thousand years ago – but he repeats this offering again and again and again. Every single Mass celebrated in every time in all of the world is Christ’s sacrifice for love of us. His Passion and Death on the Cross. Every. Single. Time.

This Earthly life is so short, and like the bridesmaids who await the Bridegroom with their lamps trimmed and ready – we are called to remain vigilant and prepared.

So, tonight, when I walk through my home and secure the doors and windows to keep our physical selves safe, perhaps, I will take an extra moment to secure the doors of my soul too. All it will take is a few extra prayers. And if, being tired after this long long day, I happen to fall asleep in the middle of those prayers, perhaps that too could be pleasing to God – for I will be a child asleep in her father, her Daddy’s arms…

For, tonight through my tears I remember the words of Saint John of the Cross, “whenever anything disagreeable or displeasing happens to you, remember Christ crucified and be silent.”

Though I grieve only during all the days of my Earthly life because my Beloved grieves forever for those souls who are lost I humbly hope that there is some silence in my tears today…

For I wish to remember and be silent – even despite the tears.

For with prayers for Farida and all the dearly departed souls, everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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