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  • Sarah Raad

Wonderous

“If you cannot feed a hundred, … then just feed one.” (Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta).

Saint Martin and the Beggar (El Greco)

Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “If you cannot feed a hundred, … then just feed one.”


I have been reflecting on that simple directive very much over the last few days because it seems very fitting in my own lived experience.


You see, I am a small soul, and – being a small soul – I live a small and very simple life. There is my husband and my children, there are parents and siblings and cousins and friends. I work and I socialise and I relax. I do nothing massive, and yet I do things every single day.


And the miracle is that despite there being nothing amazing or wonderous written in my list of achievements, I live a wonderous life.


For though my life is as mundane and monotonous as a billion trillion other lives, I cannot give into the very great temptation to consider that mundanity and monotony as an excuse to avoid the heroic. And that is the wonder of my existence!

For small souls such as mine often fail to see opportunities for heroism in our every day lives. You see, what I have come to realise is that just as the Evil One does not come to us dressed in a black cape and with horns on his head, heroes do not wear spandex or fight evil villains. True heroes do so much more than that!

Venerable Pope John Paul I said, “I have never had an opportunity to throw myself into the waters of a rushing stream to save someone whose life was in danger; very often I have been asked to lend something, to write letters, to give simple little directions. I have never run into a mad dog in the street; on the other hand, I have encountered any number of tiresome flies and mosquitoes; I have never had persecutors who beat me, but many people disturb me by speaking loudly in the street, by turning up the volume of their TV, or even by making certain noises while eating soup. To help others as best you can, to avoid losing your temper, to be understanding, to keep calm and smiling on these occasions (as much as possible!) is loving your neighbour, without fancy talk, but in a practical way.”


And the practicality of that directive is an important consideration! You see, just as the Evil One is obscured in our fallen world, so too are opportunities for Grace – where we chose to accept them – that allow us to blossom into heroes.


When he was still serving as a soldier, Saint Martin once encountered a poor beggar in the freezing cold. Having nothing else to offer him, he took out his sword, cut his cape in half and handed half his cape to the beggar and kept the other half for himself. That night, in his dream, Saint Martin saw Christ, who came to him wearing half that cape.


And I have been thinking about that beautiful realisation ever since I first heard that story… Because I have come to realise that if I could only see a little heroism in the mundanity of my life, I would not be able to stop myself from marvelling at the wonder… I would not be able to stop!


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

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