Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Categories of Victim Love

Still the term "victim soul" startles people. Today, a new-to-the-area theology professor revealed discomfort in his eyes when I mentioned my writing on the topic. Later, after I explained a bit, he admitted he had concerns about my state! We laughed and all was well.

Last night in a discussion of one of Pope Benedict XVI's (Cardinal Ratzinger) many books, the topic of suffering was brought up as a definitive aspect in Catholicism. Well, of course it is, as Jesus' being the Divine Victim of Love, the Divine Sacrifice, is pivotal in salvation history! A nurse expressed difficulty with the whole notion of suffering and why people would desire to suffer with Jesus or for reparation. She said, "My work is to help people not suffer!" It was pointed out that this is what Jesus did on earth, too, in his many healings and trying to teach people how to love one another and not hurt others and selves. Yet, there always has been suffering which is a part of life in the death process. So, the nurse could see that her compassion for those who suffer and who cannot be healed, is in itself a form of suffering. If she could learn to offer her sufferings of compassion in addition to helping the suffering sick learn to offer their sufferings--and to understand that both types can be victim souls of the Sacred Heart of Jesus--then there would be great meaning and power and utilization of these sufferings. Once it becomes a point of knowledge and understanding, the human will can make a love offering, from the will, to God.

Now, I'm only sorting through these categories, praying for holy inspiration as I go. I may slip up and let my tired mind interfere; if so, I can always be corrected and edit these writings. In praying about this last night, a category classification occurred as "Situational Victim Soul." I explained this to the theology professor I met here at Panera Bread today. I used the example of a couple who shared the other night about being very hungry after a day of work and evening meeting. The husband suggested they stop at a restaurant to have a late dinner, which would be fine. But the wife, a convert of one year, said she had been feeling deep inside that the soul of a relative who had died in a car accident recently, who was about the age of their own young adult son, needed prayer--or something! She then recalled something about making sacrifices, which she attributed to my yapping on the subject a few months ago. So the wife suggested to her husband that they sacrifice their dinner and offer their hunger to Jesus for the soul of this young man who had tragically died. The husband agreed, and they suffered some hunger that night with purposeful, holy intention.

As they shared this event, I exclaimed, "Now this is an example of how you can be Victim Souls of the Sacred Heart!" They pointed out that they have jobs, a vocation in marriage, and that the suffering was a short time period. Yes, but I then pointed out that victim souls have various categories of involvement and that at any given time, that category can change according to God's plan and will. Maybe on that night they were Situational Victim Souls, but the next day perhaps one would be paralyzed and have a primary Victim Soul vocation. The nurse mentioned above could be a Supportive Victim Soul in her offering of sufferings of compassion for the Primary Victim Soul who suffers more or less full-time.

The theology professor today asked me if victim souls could be of psychological sufferings. Of course, but I believe in a previous writing I placed these in the degree of emotional suffering. Psychological or emotional sufferings could include mental illnesses or depression of primary, situational, or supportive categories. The Supportive Victim Souls in this case would be those who assist or support or live with emotional sufferers. Hopefully, these who suffer psychologically or emotionally would offer themselves as Victim Souls, too, in primary or situational categories.

Maybe there needs to be a secondary category for victim souls who suffer more than just in certain situations but suffer more frequently yet not as their main vocation. I'll have to pray more on this, as perhaps the situational category covers this, as situations can be more or less frequent in duration and intensity yet not necessarily permanent or constant. No, it does seem that there needs to be a Secondary Victim Soul category because some might suffer food allergies, for example, but not be incapacitated by them. Yet, there is a sacrifice and inconvenience, and these can be offered to Jesus for reparation to His Sacred Heart for various intentions of His desiring and use. This suffering would not be of the category of a Primary Victim Soul who suffers intensely to the point of active life being disrupted; nor would it be that of a Situational Victim Soul who offers sufferings as they may come along, situation by situation.

There also needs to be a category for one-time victim souls. Well, this may seem unlikely, but it could be that some souls do not have much suffering or are unaware of the possibility of being a victim soul. (Maybe it should be termed "imminent" or that of a coming suffering toward death.) That soul has a sudden illness or injury or affliction which rather quickly or spontaneously results in death. Some martyrs could qualify, as most of these who die for the cause of the Faith are killed rather quickly after their apprehension. St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) was one such victim soul. She was sent from a Carmelite monastery to Auschwicz, to her death in a gas chamber. This process was not long in duration but was the ultimate sacrifice to which she offered herself as a victim for Christ and the Church. It seems to me that it would be wise, if one is not willing to offer oneself as a potential victim soul in any other category, to make an offering in case an imminent death should present itself. Why waste any suffering at all? Make suffering the gift Jesus made it for us by His being a Victim of Love in His suffering and death.

These categories present themselves thus far: Primary, Secondary, Situational, Supportive, and Imminent. If the names aren't right, they can be changed, but they seem to fit for now. I should think that parents who are holy guardians of their children could offer their child, make an act of oblation on their child's behalf, if the child is born with an imminent suffering. Also, I should think that parents of children born with severe handicaps could make victim soul offerings on their behalves in the categories of Primary or Secondary. I can think of a young Catholic woman who nearly drowned when three but lives today and suffers with accompanying spiritual phenomenon. She is a Primary Victim Soul of the Sacred Heart. She may not have been formally offered, but perhaps she has been; regardless, in some realm she agreed and is cooperating beautifully with Jesus and for so many souls who are affected by her suffering.

Why would someone even want to be a Victim Soul of the Sacred Heart? In the next post I hope to write some on this, using exerpts from the Guide to Victim Souls of the Sacred Heart and with some examples of real-life victim souls who through their writings help explain this aspect of the mystery of suffering. It has to do with much love, but more on this later.


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