• Sarah Raad


When terrible things happened this year and we felt lost and alone, we were in fact standing on Holy Ground. How Great is God!

The Pentecost (Louis Galloche)
The Pentecost (Louis Galloche)

Today, while I was praying the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary on this, the last day of the year 2020, giving thanks for God’s blessings and asking for strength for those who are grieving, it once again occurred to me that there are no coincidences.

You see, the Luminous Mysteries are those that deal with matters of enlightenment, where we see evidence of the Divinity of Christ. These mysteries shed light on Christ and allow us to reflect. Through the Grace of God, they reveal Christ to us more fully, so that we may be like lovers getting to know each other, and loving more and more the things we learn. This is so that we may fall so helplessly in love with God Himself, that we will cling to him as lovers do and hold Him to us, dreading ever parting from Him.

For how could we ever resist loving God, if we really knew how much He loved us? The love we would feel would draw us so tightly to Him, we could never look away!

I have long ago stopped believing in coincidences. In a year filled with such misery and fear for so many, it is no coincidence that the final reflection of God’s life through the eyes of His Blessed Mother, through the Most Holy Rosary, should focus not on DARKNESS, but on LIGHT.

And which of the three Persons of God enlightens? The Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit – who through His INFINITE CONDESCENTION and NO MERIT OF MY OWN – suddenly and without warning, infused me with Grace while I was praying for my little niece, who was so sick earlier this year!

How lucky am I! How wonderful is God for doing this for us!

Thank God! Thank God! Thank God!

This year God showed me clearly – and without doubt – that He is using His great glory to turn evil to HIS PURPOSE.

This year that so many of us hated and regretted and could not wait to see the end of. This year, when we felt the darkness closing around us, as Christ did while praying in the Garden of Gethsemane during his Passion.

This year – we stood on Holy Ground!

The Holy Spirit is Fire and Water and Wind. And in THESE FORMS, He has filled this year with His majesty and power and light! How I love Him for that!

In Australia (and later in California), the year began with fire. A literally baptism of fire. The worst bushfires on record. Whole communities and economies were decimated. People lost their lives. Families were destroyed. At times, it must have felt like the end of the world.

Then came the water. In Australia, fires that we were told could only be doused by significant rainfall (in areas where there had been decades of drought) suddenly received flooding rains. Such flooding that whole years of work were washed away. People died. People suffered. Again, the communities and economies suffered. At times, it must have felt like the end of the world.

And after that, came the wind. Around the world a virus spread through the air starting a Global pandemic, and this microscopic threat that seemed to rear its head out of nowhere did something that many had considered totally impossible – it brought to a standstill the entire global functioning of this planet! Travel ceased, economies ground to a halt, healthcare stagnated, people stayed inside, governments took control, people were restricted from socialising, working and, most terribly, worshipping together in community. People died – alone, afraid, isolated – many without access to the Blessed Sacraments. At times, it must have felt like the end of the world.

And yet, the world has not ended – life goes on. All the evil brought into the world through Original Sin – which is why these terrible things happen – has not ended the world.

Rather, the opposite occurred… The world did not end. Like Christ Crucified – there are BEGININGS in these ENDINGS.

From the fires came unprecedented community and economic support from around the world. From millions of dollars of donations to suggestions to “go with empty eskies”.

From the floods came an end to the fires and the start of plenty. For the first time in years, dams were filled, and rather than talking once again about water restrictions, Governments started the slow process of changing their dialogue and discussing dam-expansion.

From the wind came love. If familiarity breeds contempt, then distance must disperse love. For families (and communities) made sacrifices – one for the other – to protect their vulnerable ones, in ways that we have never before witnessed.

Surely, Christ – the ultimate sacrificial lamb – walks with us through this.

In speaking with a dear friend yesterday, I heard words that moved me beyond belief. She said, “Thank you for asking me to pray with you for your niece and others. Sometimes, we really just need an excuse to pray.”

And it suddenly struck me… What is prayer, but the purely loving, open, honest, devoted, undistracted, beautiful communication between a CHILD and their DAD who love each other more than the world could ever know?

And who could not use a little more of that?

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

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