Saturday, January 28, 2006

Maria of Olonets: An Example of Good Useless

Maria of Olenets lived in 19th century Russia. She was a "desert dweller" which means she lived deep in the forest and adored God in solitude and silence.

She would be deemed useless, but a good useless, in our time of productivity and material usefulness.

Often it seems I run up against those who desire me to be "balanced." I admit that surely I've been concerned with this, myself. I used to try to explain that I am "balanced" in that on a line of 1% to 100%, I might be in the extreme 10%, but within that 10% I am toward the center, thus in balance.

Abbot Herman of the St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood wrote in the introduction to "Maria of Olonets" of "wholeness". He states:

"The integral nature or wholeness of Maria of Olonets points also to the power present in her--a power which enabled her to be totally free and to focus herself on the otherworldly meaning of humanity. These very qualities are being threatened with extinction today, which gives all the more reason for modern ascetics to draw strength from Righteous Maria and those like her, in order to be clothed in the image and likeness of Christ."

Mother Brigid of St. Xenia Skete delves, in the first introduction of the book, into aspects of the individual parts of the whole, of Christ's Body, in a way which better illumines the kind of balance to which a victim soul resolves such conflict.

"Monasticism arose specifically when the Church was recognized by the governmental authorities to have a right to exist openly in society, and in fact became closely bound up with worldly authority, with the persecution of Christians ceasing. In a sense, this is contrary to the essence of Christianity, whose adherents are called to be like their Master, Who was despised, rejected and killed by the authorities of this world. The Church (and even each individual Christian), being Christ's Body, must reflect this in itself somewhere. And monastics, fools-for-Christ's sake, hermits, and of course martyrs [and here we add victim souls]...are those people who are particularly called by God to complete this aspect of the Church, without which it could not truly be Christ's Body. Of course, the Church, because it exists in this temporal, fallen world, must also have an external organization to be able to function in an orderly manner here; but this aspect of the Church must remain within its proper limitations."

A victim soul is one aspect of Christ. One called to be good useless is one aspect of Christ. To be good useless is a form of suffering in conformity to Christ in the desert, Christ praying on the mountain, Christ alone in the Garden of Gethsemene, Christ crucified, Christ lifeless in His mother's arms and laid in the tomb.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A Victim Soul Must Be Useless

A victim soul is nothing. A victim soul must be useless. Being useless. Being.
Uselessness is not detrimental or negative. Uselessness is being.

Appearance is useless to a victim soul. Doing is useless to a victim soul. Being suffering seems useless. Being united with the Eucharist in suffering is unseen, inactive, and very good.

One must hold uselessness like a lifeless body in one's mind and experience the suffering of nothingness in one's heart, for a victim soul is nothing in Christ Who is Everything in suffering and in redemption.

In this, uselessness has meaning but remains unseen, undone, but exists in being. The ontological nihilism of suffering is for a victim soul dying with Christ to rise in love. Love to suffer; suffer to love.

Victim Soul as God's Bauble

Being useless qualifies one to be God's bauble. An ornament for Jesus, that's what I be. A good ornament, too, most of the time.

Bauble derives from Old French "baubel", meaning child's toy. A jester's baton was called a bauble in Medieval England. The word now connotates a figurative something of worthless value. These thoughts support being good useless.

Consider a Christmas ornament. Hanging amidst tinsel and lights and other ornaments from a branch of an evergreen tree, it be's good useless. Might be noticed individually, might be noticed as a total effect, might not be noticed much at all. Being noticed is not part of being good useless or of being a God's bauble. God's bauble is being a child's toy for Jesus. If He notices, good. Being an ornament for Jesus means reflecting Him, reflecting His love back to Him. If others snatch a gimmer of this reflection upon viewing the bauble, good. If not, just as good and not bad. Being a good useless bauble for Jesus does not require doing anything. Being good useless reflects light and loves hanging.

There is suffering in hanging. Loving suffering means loving Jesus who suffering hung on a tree.

A man awhile ago, here at Panera, asked me why sometimes it is said that "Jesus hung upon the tree." I explained the "tree" is an image for the "cross." Oh.

God's bauble, the child toy of Jesus, must love, also, being hung up on the tree.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Trigger-Point Pain

Triggers pulled by fingers not our own shoot memory bullets.

More is written on this subject on my other blog:

Yes, all for God. And my conclusions on the topic of how to avoid triggers which open gunshot wounds from the recent or distant past is to create a cave-dwelling for the soul. Sometimes the body must seek refuge in the cave for protection from those who hold guns, even if they do not realize their behavior, comments, or visual reminders pull triggers, shooting painful bullets--or rip open scarred trajectory pathways.

Triggers precede painful incidents and click warnings, too late to avoid the wounding. It is the quick response in binding up and the will power to remove oneself from the people, location, and trigger fingers which make the difference in survival.

Sometimes a new location, a fresh start, is the answer. A cave elsewhere. Sometimes the cave must be created in the mind: a resting place, a refuge of protection for the soul. Creating this interior cave is more challenging, requiring more discipline and counter-cultural existentialism, a kind of ontological aloneness which is not emphasized in Scripture, save Elijah in the cave and a sprinkling of other OT types who physically lived in caves for a time. But the interior cave in which Elijahs and others more prolific and exemplified in OT and NT types and archetypes, requires additional prayerful contemplation.

Caves of the mind for the soul are necessary for physical sufferers and more so for the mental and emotional and spiritual suffering victim souls.

A major project which I hope to complete is a personal search through this soul's resume: a hunt for here-and-now experiences and spiritual world experiences to ascertain validity of the victim soul state. No conclusions yet. Maybe it will come down to faith alone--faith in the supernatural, as suffering ends up in that world sooner or later.