Friday, August 19, 2005

Listen to My Blood!

This morning at Panera, I was asked by a patron just how it is that Jesus can practically use sufferings, such as if he offered the hassles of his job--a job he finds very laborious and frustrating. So, I did my best to explain Jesus in His timelessness, and that we continue to hurt Him by our indifference, insults, and offenses in our earth time. Then I tried to explain how St. Paul brings this out in Col. 1:24--the one that is so easy to overlook--which says how he makes up in his sufferings for what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ, in the Church. More is discussed, such as the power of making a vow, even a small or limited one, and I assure the young man that if he makes a vow to Jesus to offer his work sufferings to Him, that Jesus will respond in some way, letting him know He is using them and is pleased.

And this, after a grizzly night of personal pain and doubts! I have read in another rare book on victim souls that it is best if a person making the offering have a spiritual director, and regardless if the person can't find one, that much reading, preparation, and on-going practices on the way of holiness are undertaken. So, I become concerned that what I am writing is not clear, is not succinct, is not even what Jesus may want. Perhaps He'd rather I spend the hours praying in front of Him in the Tabernacle, in a chapel, in hiddenness.

Then morning comes, and I recall an experience someone had nearly a year before converting to Catholicism. (I mention this latter point because it always amazes me how Jesus prepares a soul for His will, without the soul comprehending in advance.)

The person was lying in bed, having much pain. It became so intense that something happened to the body, yet not physically, as if being lifted up. The person was lifted up and then could see Jesus on the Cross. The soul's body was placed on His crucified Body; and the right ear was placed against the wound on His right side; and the soul was told in words heard inside itself, "Listen to My blood!" The person felt His blood, slightly warm, flow into the ear. The person could smell the blood, too. In an instant this happened, and then the soul found itself, in body, again lying on the bed, in pain, as if nothing had happened.

Several months later (after the person was well into private Catholic instruction with a priest) the person one morning heard again: Listen to My blood! Then followed an outpouring of explanation, which the person wrote down.

This morning I remembered this "poem" of ten years ago which the soul shared with me. I located it and re-read it, as the words help me focus on what Jesus asks and provides. Maybe I will share it with the young man who asks me good questions here at Panera.

Listen to My Blood, I tell you:
That's why I drew your ear to My wounded side,
pressed your ear into My Self, so you could hear
the message of suffering sacrifice,
so you could sound out My pain and know that you are not alone,
and know that My blood speaks for you and all who love Me enough to listen.

Listen to My Blood!
And you will hear the rhythm of the universe coursing through your veins from Mine,
whispering secrets of divinity,
of My loneliness and persecutions,
of My physical and mental torments.
Oh yes, I felt all human stirrings of desire and held My heart out to this world
of beauty, sensation, and tempting wonders.

But listen to My blood, you mortal--
you who would wish not to suffer so on one level yet yearn to be
one with My blood for now and ever--
listen well, for My blood flows into you and fills you with powers of forgiveness,
healing, hope, belief, and love,
and nourishes you with the peace to seek and find Me within your human heart.

Listen to My blood and smell its sweetness,
like the sickening pain so sweet that it seems unnatural for you to suffer so,
but I tell you that the strength of My blood cleanses your weakness,
washes your fears into the deep veins of faith,
floods your longings with satisfaction,
gushes My greatness into your soul which now is weeping, now laughing with joy.

For My sorrows are your sorrows, My loneliness your loneliness,
My joy, My life's blood--all yours, My love who hears with bloodied ear.
My love, My love, do you know My Love? Just listen!

Maybe it is the devil who is trying to dissuade me from writing about and for potential Victim Souls of the Sacred Heart. Maybe that is why I have such doubts at night and desire to just be hidden in the chapel, still and alone with Jesus in the Tabernacle instead of here in a corner booth of Panera, writing. I happened to turn to some pages written by Conchita, the Servant of God from Mexico who was a victim soul. I turned to the spot where Jesus told her He wanted her to be a victim of love for Him and that He needs souls to help assuage the effects of so much sin and lack of love of Him. I flipped on a few pages and noticed a section from Conchita's diary as to how the devil tried to convince her that rather than helping souls by offering her sufferings as a victim soul, that she would cause more harm and delude people, and so forth.

Regardless, until I gain more guidance on this writing from my spiritual director, I will quote from the old Guide what the Sacred Heart of Jesus gives to those who offer their sufferings to Him.

"Our Lord gives a Victim Soul:
1. His Heart, wherein we find all necessary graces; for He is the magnificent supplement to our feeble powers.
2. His Passion, to supernaturalize and deify our sufferings.
3. The Precious Blood and Water which came from His wound of love to offer it in sacrifice, in propitiation and reparation.
4. The Eucharist, to live by it, to be nourished by it and to make other souls live by it.
5. His Mother, the Virgin Mary, to honor her and have her honored, to glorify her by imitating her steadfast constancy in immolation."

In the next post I will utilize the guidelines of the old association of victim souls as to who may become an "associate." I will also share some of the history of this association which was approved by two pontiffs and at one time had thousands of members. Since there seems to be no active apostolate now, I pray and hope that this is my little task in writing and developing an updated plea for victim souls--extending the boundaries for even more souls who suffer and love and desire to offer themselves to Jesus' Sacred Heart.


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