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  • Sarah Raad

Tiddle-Tatting

“If I will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.” (John 21:22).

Jesus and His Disciples at the Sea of Galilee (Carl Oesterley)

As a mother I hear a lot of tiddle-tatting. Although it is not actually the case, at times it very often seems that telling tales about each other is a favourite pastime of my children. At times it appears that my children are far more interested in the doings and not-doings of their siblings than their own goings-on… In fact, I very often find that if I ask one child to do something, I will generally receive feedback on all the doings of their sibling instead!


And I have been reflecting on this rather frustrating reality of my life as a mother over the last few weeks of Lent as this too is a small opportunity for sacrifice.


And as I have been reflecting on the tiddle-tatting of my children, I have come to wonder at my own tiddle-tatting to my Blessed Lord…


You see, I was reading a passage of Saint John’s Gospel the other day, and it really got me thinking…

“Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, ‘But Lord, what about this man?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If I will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.’ Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, ‘If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?’” (John 21:21-23).

And these very direct words of Our Blessed Lord have got me thinking. After all, God Himself is pretty much saying, “Mind your own business!” to Saint Peter the Rock.


And I have been reflecting on that directive of Christ because I felt His words reaching back through twenty centuries to speak directly into my own most unworthy ears…


You see, I am guilty of judging my neighbour. I am a soul who is ever eager to look at what the others are doing and measure my efforts against theirs. When I pray, my prayers so often fall into the same old terrible habits, “My Lord and my God, please be happy with my efforts. After all, they are surely better than the efforts of X, Y, or Z…”


And when I think about this, I hang my head in shame.


Because I am not called to compare my efforts to any other soul – I am called to compare my efforts only to God Himself. And seeing that my efforts are so lacking when compared with those of my Heavenly Father, how could I ever presume to ask God to see my weakness as strength?


Can a rotting apple call itself whole because it is less rotten than the apple beside it in the crate?


And as I ponder this question about the apple, I ask my Beloved for the Grace to see my weaknesses and my rot. For there is much in my soul that needs to be cleansed if ever I wish to see my God face to face… There is much…


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

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