Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Suffering of Envy

I suppose envy is about as close to pride as a vice can get. It is a terrible, unnecessary suffering.

Envy may take the form of simply "wishing" that things had been different. Memories and thoughts bring envy to the fore and afflict the mind and emotions with such pain!

They must be countered by, for one suggestion, offering the memories and thoughts--the vice of envy and pride, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for His glory, and then also for the conversion of sinners, the offenses against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and for the Poor Souls in Purgatory. Then, one must literally drive away the thoughts and memories, and whatever comments or negativities triggered them, far, far from the temple of the soul!

Envious thoughts usually have their root in pride. For example, comments from adult children may refer to their unhappiness in the past, or to strained relationships in the present, as if to say, "You weren't a good parent" or "My childhood was miserable, but I'm happy now." Well, in truth, maybe the parent wasn't so great, but maybe for legitimate reasons which are humbling. Or, maybe the childhood was, thus, miserable from certain situations.

Yet, it is a painful negative to hear and ponder. So one must not because the past is over. Apologies may be made and should be made, but one must not allow in the effects of pride--pride from thinking one should have been a perfect parent and the envy of perhaps others who make comments which point out how great a parent they are and aspersions to how awful other parents are. These comments are envy bait! Envy of those who did a better job of parenting or who have both parents intact in the adult family.

One must turn, like the Apostles in the boat on the stormy sea of vices--turn to Jesus and ask Him to calm the torments! He will bestow His peace.

He will use the suffering of envy and pride, turned away from the interior where it could do tremendous damage if allowed to settle in. He will take the efforts of casting out the envy and pride and return the soul to a state of humble acknowledgement of the beauty of the present moment: a moment of peaceful patience, love, joy, and freedom from suffering negativities.

The negativity of suffering from envy and pride can be turned to joy in humility.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Body and Blood of Jesus Christ; and reactionary suffering

Not that anyone reads this, except one or two and all those on the other side who have suffered greatly and loved greatly the One Who suffers and loves the most--I am checking in with a couple of little thoughts today.

It is Father's Day, and I wish every man on earth could have heard the homily that Fr. Edward of Sri Lanka delivered at the 7:30 a.m. Mass. But, more than hearing it, I wish all men would follow what he said, fathers or not. I ended up praying for all the fathers in Purgatory, but he asked everyone to pray for fathers living. They will die someday, so it is as well to pray now for the dead ones, too.

Now I will mention something about reactionary suffering. This is a most terrible suffering because it causes souls to be discouraged just in reactions to other people's reactions to one's actions! It can also cause suffering in souls' reactions to frustrating situations, to pain, to events.

This is like a butterfly that doesn't keep flying from grabbing hands and swooping nets. That butterfly gets caught and wings smudged, broken, or body chloroformed and pinned on a styrofoam mounting board.

Jesus allowed Himself to be caught, true. But He did not allow His soul to be trapped by negativity. He did not allow anyone or any situation to hinder His freedom in joy and love. If He was frustrated or discouraged, He didn't stay in that state long. He kept winging His way along the Father's will and toward the Cross, and toward Heaven, for sure.

I have observed a person who reacts with negativity, and I admit that I have been frustrated and vented to this person, and that I am a strong individual with strong vision and ideas, and plans on how to attempt reaching some goals, for the love of God and with hopefully good intentions. However, this other person ought to be one who is strengthened to a high degree with the Body and Blood of Christ, not to mention interior formation and the graces of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Naw. Discouragement, perhaps justifiable in the complaining, demanding, mediocrity of us Catholics, seems to have tainted his butterfly wings. Hmm. Hard for me to picture this soul with butterfly wings! Yes, I must envision him with little, fragile wings--yet strong in winging through life and leading hoardes of butterflies along with him.

Not yet, though. For now he is more like a worker bee, buzzing rather loudly and fighting his way through the honeycomb, expending great effort and stinging some and not stinging others. He gets the job done, though, and that is something very good.

But there is great suffering going on, and I mean suffering within me in my reactions to the worker bee. In fact, I suffer from reactions to many incidents I observe.

This is stupidity and foolishness! Jesus said that those who call others a "fool" will face the fires of gehenna. Is it permissable for a person to call herself a fool? I would not dare call others fools, knowing the consequences now. But truly, it is foolish of me to react to reactions or actions. It is self-inflicted suffering, and this is unnecessary.

With the Body and Blood of Christ in me daily, and most days twice, there should be a reaction of joy from deep within to without and back within.

As far as worker bees and frustrations and even physical pain which drains and creates challenges to butterfly flutterings, there is a tangible solution: fly away from these encounters either physically or within the mind and soul. Do not drag that kind of suffering and habitual reaction to negativity along life's journey. Do not drag it along in the soul into eternity, either!

Reactionary suffering can be dealt with, perhaps needing some practice and effort in doing so; but it is not a suffering which is necessary to endure. Shake the dust from the sandals! Move on to the next town! Take back your peace and leave that household! Love and be joyful! Be humble and gentle! Butterflies are free!