Friday, December 14, 2007

A Carthusian Shares More on Suffering

It is in silence and solitude that we come to be befriended by suffering. It is in slowness, for it is a process of learning to love suffering: to love to suffer and to suffer to love. It is by suffering that we do learn to love, and we most of all learn to love suffering which means we most of all learn to love Jesus. It is in suffering within Jesus' suffering that we share intimately in His love, for we become one with His suffering and one with His love.

And what is His love? It is a love of God the Father; it is a love of the Holy Spirit; it is a love of all souls in all eternity: then, now and all to come. It is a love of souls we knew before and souls we know today and souls we shall meet. And these souls may be known then, now, and later, in Scripture, through books, through newspapers, through observations and physical encounters, through dreams, through all the ways God utilizes for us to meet souls.

It is in loving to suffer and suffering to love that we have union with God. This is what He Is About.

Did I share once how I peevishly asked Jesus what He was up to that day? I was tired of suffering, and bored, and without energy to do much else but think about what I could be doing if not suffering, and thinking surely Jesus was doing something interesting.

Well, He was; and He is. He immediately appeared, beaten and ragged, cross bearing down on Him and said to me, "I am suffering, and this is well enough for you!" So it was.

Part of being able to love suffering is to not expect to do lots of other things. It has to do with being a Mary and not the Martha who multi-tasked, for it was in her multiplicities that she became frustrated. If one is suffering, then that is well enough. In the stillness of suffering, one can learn to suffer well, to suffer better, to not scatter, bruise or crush the fruits of suffering which include peace and joy.

A Carthusian wrote these words expressing more of suffering--words come from silence and solitude and suffering experience:

Try to rise above suffering. It is a state of soul which springs from the best that is in us.

It comes from a desire to belong more and more wholly to God, and to fuse our very life with His. This desire is excellent, and we should grieve when we see it being realized so slowly and imperfectly. Our suffering, however, should always remain calm, and ever turned towards the tranquillizing rays of a joy superior to it. The suffering is due to our fallen state, whearas the joy comes from the goodness of God. Now God is good infinitely more than we are bad. The joy is the term and end for which we were made [to glorify God]; suffering is merely one aspect of the way. My peace I give unto you....These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be filled. You know what the words "These things I have spoken to you" mean. Jesus had just said: As the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you. Abide in my love. He says the same to us, and we respond to that love by desire and suffering. And suffering is an admirable response--the best, I think. Try, then, to unite yourself with the supreme suffering whereby we were redeemed.


Perhaps one might think that to try to rise above suffering means that we do not appreciate it or are trying to escape it. The Carthusian does not suggest this; rather, as all of us who are learning the peace and joy of suffering--and I mean learning it, for there is a school of suffering--we go into the suffering but do not dwell in the temporal aspects. In this way, as a molecule rises and transforms and unites with unseen elements to form a droplet of water--a tear, perhaps--we rise above suffering.

This rising is expressed in many forms: rise above ourselves, our spirits rise, our hearts are raised, He rose on the third day. It is a transforming, ascending motion enacted by the empowering of the Holy Spirit. It is the operational affects of Love. We must then, love, strive to love in our suffering, and to love within the Sacred Heart Who claims and teaches suffering, and shares this gift to willing souls.

2 Comments:

Blogger Marie said...

Personally I never prayed to suffer if anything I prayed the usual, 'Lord let me be strong so 'I' can do this or that for You.' How blind and wrong I was, I can give nothing to God, He does not rely on me. God is sufficient unto Himself.

When illness knocked at my door I railed against it I could not understand how God could do 'this' to me. Just like Peter I was looking at myself and trying within my own strength to 'beat' the illness. I ended up in hospital.

It was the second year that I went silent, I simply placed myself in God's Presence. Did I hear thunder claps or see miraculous things? NO! Yet I had such peace of heart in the knowledge of my own nothingness.

God gave me the strength I needed for the present day. Each day I trust the Lord to give me the strength to persevere and God has answered every time.

God does not need our 'busyness' He wants our presense, He wants our attention, He loves us more than we can ever love Him.

The key is to stop listening to your 'feelings' lest your feelings turn into a tyrant.

All focus and attention must be placed on God and God alone. It is through our weakness that His Majesty is known. It is through our suffering while displaying joy that others glimpse the Divine Hand at work.

The world does not understand pain it flee's from it. Weakness is repugnant to many and yet it is our suffering that ennobles the soul to become One with the Beloved.

The only way to Christ Heart is through the Cross there is no other way. Embrace the Cross and pray for a spirit of joy then believe one has received it and Joy will fill your heart.

Joy is a choice it is not a feeling. Choose JOY.

Zenith you write so beautifully on a topic that is close to my own heart. Thankyou.

Peace & JOY to you:)

Marie

9:23 PM  
Blogger zenith said...

Marie--what you share places the crux of the victim soul's desires within the crucible: it is the suffering which we sip within and of Christ's Precious Blood. Yes, it is FAITH. It is the BELIEF, and that is so simple once one surrenders, as you say, to God's presence and desire to simply love us. And in loving us, we love Him, we adore Him, and this through our suffering. I love how you point out to ask for JOY and then to BELIEVE! Then the JOY will fill our souls. But you see, your soul was emptied out in order to be filled; you took that second year to be silent. That is why the vocation of victim soul is often (perhaps always?) linked with that of "solus Deus": God alone. It does seem that the hermit life, in some shape or form, even if the hermit within and not exterior, is precurser and concurrent with the soul emptied of self.

I thank you so much for sharing the wisdom wrought from pain. We are, all of us victim souls, within His Sacred Heart. What we share is the the degree of our awareness of being within His Heart, at One, and blessed within His wounds. We are in here together.

6:03 AM  

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