Sunday, December 30, 2007

Finished the Book on Teresa Higginson

Completed it the other night. For a short book on her life of which the bulk is her letters, it was a long reading effort. Perhaps this is due to her writing style which seems florid, ebulliant, and rather a struggle to get the point across. (Much like my own writing, perhaps!)

There is yet another book added to the little library room here at the hermitage, and it is her letters but with another's commentary on her life. I may read it soon and complete the minor introduction into Teresa's life.

She wrote to her spiritual director, as he had asked, and thus she did not ask to be noticed or be read. She does display an urgency to have others know about the devotion to the Sacred Head (Seat of Wisdom, etc.). As has been commented, this devotion has yet to catch on with a bulk of the public. There is nothing wrong with adoring Christ's Soul, Intellect, Will, Mind and so forth.

The impression comes to me, only personally, that the manner of writing is an obstacle, and the devotion itself difficult in the description, for it is not simple--not seeming as simple as the Sacred Heart. However, this could be that the Sacred Heart is so known, that it just seems, now, more simply expressed and understood.

One thing that also red-flagged my mind a bit was Teresa's writing that the Lord would deal harshly with those who did not support this devotion. She also said that the Lord would grant graces to those who did, as well as to have particular favor on the spiritual director if he would get the devotion approved, etc. And all this may very well be so; although the spiritual director did not succeed in such a public manner as did St. Margaret Mary Alocoque's director or St. Faustina's director--difficult a time as they had doing so!

This is not to say that Teresa's private revelations are not valid. The Church is yet investigating, and if the Lord desires us to adore His Sacred Head as Seat of Wisdom, and to devote ourselves in adoration of His Sacred Soul, then Jesus will continue in another manner or yet again, to cultivate this devotion among mankind. Even trying to express the devotion, though, does not lend itself to simple clarity, somehow.

The best I've been able to do is to ponder His Mind, consider that Jesus had as Incarnation (and yet as God) a Soul with intellect and will, and emotions, and imagination with memory and understanding. In pondering the human will's capacity to will to love, and to comprehend that this willing comes from God but is given human freedom to choose to love (or not), then it is the soul that does direct the love which is somehow within the heart.

Personally, when settling down into deep pondering and love, the essence of my being seems to be in the area of the human heart--somewhere in that central vicinity. At times there is a sensation in the brow area, or at the juncture of the nose to the forehead, or in both that area and heart, but mostly in the heart area. Perhaps if the devotion to the Sacred Head were more expressed as the devotion to the Sacred Soul, that could be grasped. But then, where is the seat of the soul relative to the human body? Is it in the head or in the heart? The intellect seems to be in the head, but the will--where is that? It seems that the will is very connected to love, to the desire to love and then to be willed; and that seems to be in the human heart area, and where breath also emanates, and very little when in deep pondering. It is then that the mind seems more suspended, and the body functions slowed, and the love, the heart predominates.

One then wonders, does the Sacred Heart actually direct the Head? Are the heart and the soul relational one with the other in some kind of order, or directional hierarchy? Seems as if Teresa did mention the Trinity as example of the interweaving of elements such as God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit--and the interrelationship of these. Seems as if others have written that it is love that intertwines, and the Holy Spirit is the messenger of love, the flow of love that links the Trinity.

She links in her writing, but not maybe so clearly, that the Head, Heart and Soul of Christ in some ways represent the Three Persons of the Trinity.

Thankfully, the Church ascertains for us, these devotions, and clarifies when necessary. My personal stance has been on those who are being studied, is that if approved, they are for a future generation's blessed assurance. I thus have devotions already approved and fully fleshed out by the Church, over time. For example, there is Fatima and what the angels asked the children to pray, and what Mary asked us to pray and how to live. It is approved as valid. And if I did what she asked, that would be quite a bit.

I don't mind thinking about Teresa's private revelations, but as in the case of Luisa Picaretta and others, I figure I'm as well with what is set before me, proven by time and the Authority of Holy Mother Church. Medjugorge is another similar instance, and the controversy swirls, and such swirling takes much soul time (intellect and will), and often love is tarnished in the debates.

Teresa is my loving friend; I am counting on her prayers to help the priest who could just drop dead suddenly of a heart attack. This priest has a gifted and amazing intellect of which we all benefit, yet he has a weakness with food gluttony which has no doubt caused the heart and other bodily ailments. I am convinced she is interceding for this priest, as his mind is precious to the Sacred Head (and Heart!) of Jesus, as he uses his gift for our spiritual benefit.


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