Friday, December 14, 2007

A Carthusian Sends Thoughts on Suffering

Once peace reigns in the soul, when peace is accepted by the soul (as it is desired by Christ that we accept the peace that He bequeaths to us), joy is sure to be accepted as well. We pray for peace; we pray for joy. In suffering, we must learn to desire that peace which passeth all our understanding, and this is the peace that comes from Jesus through the Holy Spirit Who is the Imparter of Love.

So the joy of Christ, imparted to us through God-is-Love Holy Spirit. This joy passeth all our human understanding, and it clasps supernal hands with peace.

Does this peace and joy ever leave? No. But we can leave peace and joy. We abandon them when we allow externals--the self--which is outside God alone, outside the Sacred Heart, glorifies the self instead of glorifying God. Peace and joy are created by God to be bequeathed by God to souls, for the souls to glorify God in His peace and joy gifted, fructated!

A Carthusian wrote the silent words which speak to us of suffering:

Part of its [the soul's] greatness is precisely its power to pass beyond all these ephemeral disturbances and to reach out and touch the eternal through what is merely passing. The causes--or occasions rather--of our troubles are only instruments; what we must try to do is to see the One Who is handling them--the God of Love.

It is the spirit of faith that sees this Love in suffering, and turns its darkness into light. This light of love--in reality the light of the Holy Spirit--is what imparts sweetness and goodness to everything. Our daily crosses are the disciplinary exercises by which the Holy Spirit develops in a soul the habit of using this light.

In another meditation, A Carthusian share more on suffering:

Suffering comes within the scope of God's will for us. By accepting it lovingly, the soul unites itself to that Will, and becomes one with Him Whose Will is His Being.

Why does God so often call us along this road, wehre we meet Him more surely than anywhere else? Because it is a mark of His special love for us. These are our "trysting-places" with Him. Thank Him for them, then, and be faithful in keeping them. To be faithful does not mean we shall not suffer. One of our greatest illusions is to imagine that we suffer badly because we suffer.

Suffering is, and always will be, suffering--that is, violence done to our nature. Even God cannot change that. "Thou has made us for Thyself...." It is in the "Thyself" that lies our happiness. Suffering is in opposition to the "Thou hast made" and to the movement towards our end, "Thyself."

By suffering with us and for us, Jesus has brought this opposiiton into the movement towards Himself. Suffering ahs become the way, but only (to use a philosophical term) "Per accidens". In its essence, and by itself, suffering remains in opposition, hostile. It is only when we have waged war against it and mastered it, and have proved ourselves superior to it by bearing it, that it becomes an instrument and a servant.

Go on, then, bearing suffering bravely, making it serve to enlarge your capacity for the divine life in you. Continue, too, to look upon God with love when He sends you these hours which mean so much for our spiritual growth--when our crushed ehart can do little more than utter its "Fiat."


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