• Sarah Raad


When we have the courage to resist temptation and look towards God, our natural state as children of God comes through and we are safe.

Temptation of Christ on the Mountain

Today, I am praying for a baby named Charbel who I do not know and have never met. He is very sick and though his survival to date is a miracle, his journey is long and doctors offer little or no hope for his survival.

As Charbel’s mother and father stand vigil at his bedside, watching over his soul, so my soul stands vigil for theirs. My soul, in offering prayers asks God to take the Graces intended for me and deliver them to those souls who need them more today. My sanctity can wait. To save their souls, I will risk some time in Purgatory for myself – because unlike some others, I have complete trust in God and will submit myself to await his Holy Will.

That is my offering and though I am afraid – I have no fear, because in Him there is no fear in He, who is the Prince of Peace.

It is a difficult road this vocation of mine, which I have only accepted in recent months.

I am not a generous person. Not really. It is hard for me to immerse myself in the cares of others. Though I have always asked, always prayed, without true depth of faith, I have never understood the Communion of Saints and am only now learning to bathe in the water and blood from the side of Christ to share the Grace that is offered through suffering – theirs and mine.

Now, without calling further sacrifice in my life, I pray for the Grace to recognise the sacrifices God has afforded me, and the courage to be able to use those for your sanctification – and mine.

But there is such strong temptation in this new vocation!

Some temptations are brazen and obvious like the dreams I have had and the visions I have seen in my sleep these last few months!

Some temptations are insidious like the small injuries that try to fester beneath the skin to distract me from my life’s work.

And there are yet other temptations like the relentlessness of suffering, the temptation to surrender hope!

Yet with Grace, and only with Grace, surrounded by the love of God, I will not turn!

Through His infinite goodness, mercy and grace, I see only peace and love and joy!

There is so much temptation in this world – driven by frailty and sin.

Our frailty, caused by Original Sin, where we chose to turn away from God to revel in sin through Original Sin, invites only illness and death into our lives.

That is why we struggle so much against them and why the temptations to lose hope are so effective and strong!

Why are we so dreadfully afraid of death and illness and suffering?

Simply because they are not NATURAL!

Though every one of us, including Christ – God the Son himself (though he later rose from the dead and ascended to Heaven alive) MUST pass through death to be afforded eternal life, death is NOT natural.

God did not make us so that we would SUFFER and DIE... He made us so that we would LIVE with him in Heaven for all ETERNITY.

It was our CHOICE to turn away from him through Original Sin that invited suffering and death into our lives.

That means that when innocent little babies, like baby Charbel get sick, or good young mothers, like Nancy do, God grants us EXTRA Graces. Because when the innocent and the good and the young suffer, the suffering, the illness, is even LESS natural than if the old, and sinful do.

For these chosen few, for these soldiers of Heaven, who suffer like Christ, God grants EXTRA graces, for they do EXTRA work for him!

With those graces, through them, we have the courage to pray – even though we are horrified at the unnaturalness of the suffering we see – for LIFE not DEATH is our souls’ natural state and our inheritance!

Of course, there is temptation to turn away from the light and give up! Why would there not be? When we were made for a greater purpose than this meaningless Earth, why would the evil and cowardly one not try to dissuade us from the light?

Of course, there is great temptation to cover our eyes with the dust of this world and looking downwards into the darkness to ignore the blinding light above our heads!

But what rejoicing in Heaven when we CHOSE to look up!

What rejoicing in Heaven when, by passing through death, we leave our mortal eyes behind, and in surrendering everything to God, resist temptation and finally, faithfully see the beautiful mystery of that blinding light that we spend our lives here on Earth trying to understand!

This resistance of temptation is how we inspire others to pray.

Our faith. Our hope. Our love. Our perseverance.

How good God is to us! To allow us this great power over sin. Grace. If only we chose to embrace it.

For with baby Charbel and Nancy, everything is clear. Here. At the foot of the Cross.

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