Thursday, February 16, 2006

Suffering of Distractions

Distractions--unwanted--are a form of suffering which require on-going effort and offering.

This morning at Mass the distractions of colors, clothing, shopping, and size-fitting caused tremendous humiliating pain. The only thing I knew to do was to offer my body with His Body at the Consecration--my colorful, clothing-clad, make-up gooed body. I pray that Jesus be pleased with the effort I am making to fit in.

Oh yes, wearing these clothes and having to spend useless hours in shopping, trying to get such as undergarments to fit: this is suffering. I offer it all for love of Jesus, for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the conversion of sinners, and for the poor souls in purgatory. I also pray that I learn to be like Mary, outside in.

May the colors I wear be pleasing to Jesus and to Jesus Who is in others, as He keeps reminding me to love others as He is in them. He is in even the mediocre Catholics who gripe and irritate in their sluggishness. Yet, I learn from these the various aspects of my own mediocrity, and my distractions wander before my very inner eyes like old, fat dogs waddling to their half-empty food bowls. They are so stuffed and full of themselves that they can barely get up energy to drool and gobble another mouthful. Such is the disgust of my distractions.

A woman comments how pretty I look in yellow. She does so at the sign of peace. I thank her. Turning back toward the Tabernacle, gleaming behind the white marble altar, I ask inside, "Now, why didn't I say 'All for Our Lord' or 'Sunny yellow for the Son'?" So I say it then, silently aloud to Jesus. I ask again that Mary please teach me to be like her in meekness, gentleness, humility, and sweetness from the inside out.

Today I must return some undergarments and go through the effort of correcting sizes. I offer the suffering of these efforts, the time, the weariness of trying on and taking off. I offer the expense and mental focus required to Jesus the Beloved. Once done with this swoop of clothing effort, the mind will hopefully be detached again. The work completed for awhile, perhaps years if the undergarments hold up. Until death, God willing.

The bright yellow sweater, I pray, is a beacon of His light and love on this gray, rainy February day. May the poppy lipstick be the exterior outline of an adoring, inner smile. I thank Jesus for the means to have clothing. I thank Him for the beautiful rainbow colors and the sight to see. I thank my parents who, in their other world, take care of me yet and provide well for me, just as they did in their lifetimes.

A thought comes: Perhaps this outer is who my inner really is? Perhaps I am colorful and pretty (for a post-middle-aged woman) and pleasing in His sight and as a sign of His love to others who perhaps now are more comfortable with my outer appearance. May it be so!

My Love, my Love, my only Love! The cross, the cross, and only the cross! Am I beautiful for You? Is my soul sunny for You and the You in all others? All others? I pray so! Be it so! I do not want to be distracted with this outer appearance! Thank You for the joy that peaks into my life now, like new soft violets, bright yellow daffodils, orange day lilies, spring green grass spikes, and pink coral bells. May I be a tender lily of the valley in Your refreshing garden heart. Let me suffer the cutting and plucking and be stuffed in a vase upon Your altar of sacrifice, to adorn, then wilt, then die and be tossed in the mulch pile for Kingdom come!

A few words on suffering, from Jesus to a French mystic (d. 1950) named Gabrielle Bossis:

"Nothing that you may possibly have imagined of the love of My heart comes anywhere near the reality. Remember that I wanted your joy so much that I came down to earth to know suffering. And when I see you suffer, and suffer for Me, I gather each of your sufferings with great love, as though yours were greater than Mine, and had a value that My heart would like to make infinite. And this is why, when you allow Me to do so, I merge your life with Mine."


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