Saturday, August 13, 2005

Preparatory Comments for the Act of Immolation

Before making an act of oblation as a Victim Soul of the Sacred Heart, I share with you this dream which gives an idea of victim soul offering.

I was in a room with many people, and we were all lying down on the floor, curled sideways, cuddled up against each other like new-born puppies nestling. Then I saw a man: working-class, thirtyish, wearing glasses-- and holding a machine gun. He told us in a peaceful voice that we would all be shot but that he would do so as gently as possible, and that we should think of it as a sprinkling of pebbles that would hurt only for an instant. Then he came and leaned over me and asked, "Do you want to make your soul right before you die?" He was very kind and concerned.

In my mind I assumed this man didn't know I was Catholic or if he did, that was the reason for the massacre. I calmly explained to him, that I am a Catholic and have a spiritual director and have been to confession recently so am about as right with God as I guess I could be. The man accepted my response without hesitation.

We were sprayed with bullets. I wasn't killed in this round, but it seemed some were. All was exceedingly quiet and calm, yet I personally felt the reality of my impending death. I had my crucifix and some religious tapes with me which I placed in a box which was there (as items in dreams can appear in the unfolding). I addressed the tapes to a friend who I hoped would be inspired to convert, and the Crucifix to my adult children. It didn't occur to me that these people might not mail the box. The top of the box was torn, and without any notion of attempting escape, but rather, with the need to find a piece of string to secure the box for mailing, I walked down a hall hoping to find string in another room. I passed a room to my right, and surprisingly I saw many priests vesting for Mass! Still, the thought of escape was not present. Rather I knew that I would return to the room, with the others, to give up my life.

Now, you may be wondering about the meaning of this strange dream.

When I first awoke, I was horrified. Was this the work of the devil--trying to upset me by such images? The more I prayed for illumination, and throughout the day, the more the dream unravelled its powerful message--a message to help explain some aspects of being a Victim Soul of the Sacred Heart.

The images are modern-day and not the images of the angels with arrows or darts. The people in the room represent victim souls. They are calm, willing, and have done their best to be right with God through the Sacraments and their own souls' dispositions. The man with concern yet with a job to do is equivalent to the descriptions by saintly victim souls who describe a seraph or Jesus appearing to wound them and enact the sacrifice of love. He assures the soul it will not be painful for long. The process is not cruel. The person does not physically die, but the soul dies to itself in a certain degree; and most often there is no visible sign of the wounding. Often, there is no manifestation of this process at all!

In the above dream, however, the crucifix (to be given as a personal effect of one's own atonement) and the religious tapes (attempt to spread the faith for conversions) represent two aims of victim souls. The Sacristy, the room with priests vesting, symbolizes the third aim, the offering for priests and their work in holy Church.

The calm acceptance and docility of the victim soul facilitates this offering, this act of oblation, in reparation and expiation for these aims. What should have been horrific in this dream was not at all. The room, hallway, man with machine gun, priests, and victims were all calm, quiet, peaceful, and luminous. Only within my intellect was there an initial reality in fear of pain and dying, but the man's sincere and matter-of-fact manner made the process seem necessary and inevitable. All told, it simply seemed like a job that needed to be accomplished.

I pray this dream doesn't frighten or hinder but rather helps explain in images the extent of loving sacrifice, the aims, the worth of those aims, and the peace. Fear not! We must overcome all estrangement from this mystery of expiatory suffering, the mystery of the Cross.

It is with some reservation that I proceed to sharing specific acts of oblation for Victim Souls of the Sacred Heart. My concerns are that there is still preparation which could be helpful. Joshua in the Old Testament gave a challenge to the people, and they quickly accepted. "...choose today whom you wish to serve,....As for me and my House, we will serve the Lord." (Who of the people dared say they didn't want to serve the Lord in the face of such a challenge?) The people answered immediately (not preparing themselves or thinking it through for long), "It is the Lord our God we choose to serve; it is His voice that we will obey." Joshua made a covenant for the people and wrote down the statute and ordinance. Joshua then set up a stone in the sanctuary, as a witness to their words in case they would deny God and fail in their oblation. As we know from history, many did fail. It is not good to fail in one's oblation.

So, you see that even though I jumped into offering myself as a Victim Soul of the Sacred Heart several years ago, I have stumbled and struggled but am persevering by the grace of God and the Church, the Sacraments, spiritual direction, and much personal effort, too. If you choose to make an act of immolation at this point, that is good. But please do not take it lightly or decide further preparation is unnecessary or that the path is too tough to continue. Further preparation in the way of holiness, the way of perfection, will assist you, as Jesus and His Church will provide what is necessary. All you need to do is cooperate.

Written, sample acts of immolation will be shared on the next post for desirous, loving, Victim Souls of the Sacred Heart. Immolation means to offer as a sacrifice. Do not shrink from the terms immolation, sacrifice, and victim. We are wrongly drawn to self-gratification. We forget that Jesus did not tell us that in receiving that we are blessed. Rather, His Way is that of giving without expecting anything in return. The right motives and intentions (love of God and souls) are critical. When we stop shrinking from sacrificial giving, we enter into the narrow path by which Jesus leads us on the way of truth and life.


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