Sunday, December 23, 2007

Teresa Higginson, Servant of God: on Suffering

While reading a book purchased from England, a small leaflet fell out from the final pages. The hermit-victimsoul picked it up from the floor, and there was a short description of the life of Teresa Higginson, and a prayer for her process.

Teresa Higginson, it is learned, is a victim soul and mystic born in 1845 and who died in 1905. In between is a lifetime of growth: sensitive child loving God, simple school teacher, suffering victim soul with many graces. She had ecstasies, bore the wounds of Christ, developed in the ways of being an immolation for souls, and also wrote of the devotion to the Seat of Wisdom: the Sacred Head of Christ.

This devotion has obviously not caught hold, but it is coordinate with the devotion to the Sacred Heart, and it has been reviewed by theologians and is in keeping with the teachings of the Church; there is nothing illicit about it. In fact, it makes sense; and surely there are some who ponder this teaching; and I will do so, quietly, now that I am aware of it.

Regardless, Teresa Higginson wrote in a letter to her spiritual director, some aspects of suffering which are appropriate for victim souls to consider, as she relates the joy of suffering and the means and ways of suffering for Christ, through, with, and in Christ.

...that I feel now God has removed that mist and therefore that suffering which in His mercy and love He gives me as a pledge of His Love changes not in its nature but in its effect; I feel that He has given me an unfailing means of helping those souls for which He died and for whom, too, if it was His Holy Will, I would die as gladly as I accpet these favours. Pain, I mean, is not suffering; it is so sweet, such inexpressible bliss, to know it is His Will. And each pan makes me love Him more and more, for in it souls are saved and more and more glory given to the Lord of Glory....

O'Sullivan, A.M., OSOB. Teresa Higginson, Servant of God. 1924. London: Sands & Company, p. 118.

When this was written, Teresa had already suffered much from childhood on into adulthood. She knew and understood that she was destined to suffer, and she desired to suffer for souls, to suffer in union with Christ. She came to love Christ so very much, that it was in His suffering that she realized she would be as close as possible to Him, through Him, with Him, in Him.

She came to understand that Jesus glorified the Father through His suffering and death, for our salvation, and so it is that our own suffering, when united with Christ, can and does glorify God. Of course, we desire to glorify God to the best degree possible, and this is accomplished by learning to suffer as Jesus did on the Cross--very beautifully! He suffered with a long soul.

Yes, His soul is long and stretches out from before the beginning and after the end into eternity. In His incarnation, Christ was given a Soul just as He was given a Heart, just as He was given a Mind.

It is this Mind of Christ, as seat of Wisdom and Reason, that the Servant of God, Teresa Higginson, wrote to her spiritual director that Jesus had made known to her that He desired this Devotion to the Sacred Head (as seat of Holy Wisdom) and of His Holy Soul. Yes, the soul is made up of the will, the intellect (reason), and some include understanding--and the soul permeates our bodies. In the head resides the intellect and reason; in the heart resides love. It does make sense that in our time of intellectual individualism, that Jesus would desire us to reverence His Holy Head and thus His Soul, as conjunct with the devotion to His Sacred Heart. Fr. Bertrand Wilberforce gives a critical examination of this devotion which Teresa explains to her spiritual director.

Anyway, I had never heard of Teresa Higginson, but now there is another friend, another victim soul and mystic, to whom we may pray and ask guidance and help along our path of suffering. One can't have too many friends and helpers!

I have asked Teresa to help a certain priest who I have seen as dead--dead just as he is, which would indicate that he could drop dead suddenly, if he does not lose the excessive weight which is causing his heart to be troubled, and his lungs and other organs to be stressed. There is still time for him, as it would be a shame to die without conquering the vice of gluttony. This priest is exceptional in his knowledge of Scripture and of the Church, and his homilies enlighten all our souls: he is gifted in preaching. The suffering of gluttony (of any vice) brings its consequences, though, and I count on Teresa to be helping this soul to lose weight! Not sure why, but it seems that is what she is doing and will do in helping, for conquering vices can be facilitated by the use of the mind and of reason, yet the roots often are in the heart of the matter. This priest is very intellectual; somehow there is a connection that Teresa Higginson can make and in so doing, help him.

I like Teresa. I'm not sure why the Devotion to the Sacred Head has not taken hold. She wrote that Jesus would have it take hold against those who were resistant. I suppose it has not taken hold due to the fact that we are more enamored with the idea of the Heart, and that in our time period, we are so full of our own intellects, that we do not want to submit to the Sacred Intellect, Will and Reason! Is that not our perennial difficulty: submission to the Will of God?

Did not my agnostic friend e-mail: to each, his own? And that it is not this at all but rather: To God, His Will!


Blogger Marie said...


I wanted to wish you a Holy & Sacred Christmas.

Thankyou for the hard work you are doing on your blog. I shall be visting you often and will also spread the word of this remarkable blog to others.

God's abundant love to you:)

Your friend,


9:06 PM  
Blogger zenith said...

Dear Marie,

I pray you and all of us souls desiring to please Jesus by union with Him--to glorify God in and to the highest--had a blessed Christ Mass! Now we "take joy" in these on-going holy days and nights of Christ's Mass Octave.

Today I will print out what I had written thus far (over a year ago) on the victim soul guide, and will continue onward in the re-write of a book that you or a few might find helpful. I am updating it some, although it seems that the original is not to be superseded! Yet, the man I lent it to seemed stymied. Only when finished will I have an idea if the re-write is accessible in ways than the original.

This blog is simply a sharing of this soul's bumps along the way. I so appreciate your insights and comments. Than you for your prayers, and be assured of mine.

5:51 AM  

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