Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Carthusian Comments on Evil and Suffering

This seems so appropriate to what has been menacing neighbors in the temporal realm, and we often have menacing circumstances in other manifestations, too. It is still a suffering, and it involves a form of evil, even if a wrong intent or motive in some action, an obsession or malice. The Carthusian writes so clearly on this; quoting seems best.

It is not a question of loving what is evil or painful, but of suffering it in order either to set it right or bring it to an end. That is God's way. He doesn't love evil, but He permits it for the sake of the good He draws out of it. Evil, like all reality, is a marvellous instrument in the hands of divine Providence. We shall be amazed one day--in the next world--to see what suffering will have accomplished in courageous souls, who know how to accept it and bear it out of love. It is the deepest source of true peace.

No one wants us to suffer, but we should love suffering as God loves it--that is, as something uplifting and a harbinger of peace. The world is made according to a plan which we cannot alter: it is the Master's plan. We are only servants, and we must take life as He has planned it, and bring our wills and efforts into conformity with His designs.

Now suffering falls within this plan. It is the way to joy, just as death--or mortification, which is death to self---is the way to life. "He that shall lose his life...shall find it." We are tiny seeds cast into the ground, and we must die if we would live anew in God. There are some verses in the 125th Psalm which give a wonderful picture of this divine plan; but it is not enough merely to submit to it as to something inevitable; we must love it as an expression of divine love.

For that we must be strong. But being strong does not mean resisting what is wounding us to rid ourselves of it. There is another, and much higher, kind of strength. It is that strength which accepts what it cannot get rid of, remaining all the while smiling under the cross. It is not to the cross we smile, but to Him Who carried it before us and for us, and Who carries it with us still.

These last lines seem to speak to a certain issue of which I pray. It is not the neighborhood, but the bloggerhood. I cannot quite be rid of the writing, and perhaps I must accept what I cannot get rid of, remaining smiling under this cross of writing blogs. Perhaps I can change the focus, and I know I will in some ways, for I desire to rise to the spiritual--to grow in self-renunciation and in being within the pure stream, unmuddied by self.

I'm not sure how to do that, for it seems helpful to place the experientials of life to the spiritual challenges and lessons, and thus to analyze and grow. But prayers will help discern this, and asking my angel and some friends to pray and give insights is also a loving means to seek and find God's will. God will speak as we remain under the cross smiling, as He is carrying even the seeming small crosses.

I did at least two very childish acts today. I will go over them with the confessor in the morning, although not the regular confessor who is still away. The Carthusian nor St. Silouan the Staretz would not have done these small things, nor chuckled over it--surely not!

This Carthusian quoted writes of courageous souls who know how to accept suffering and bear it out of love. This soul is not particularly courageous, as has been recorded recently! Nor is this soul adept at dealing with evil; and today even wondered if it is used to the tricks of the devil at all--any of the tricks--or if it will be used to them like the saints knew to be!

But the one priest, keeps saying, "I see you trying. You are trying. This is very good." If anyone with desirous heart and intent is reading this, the message would be for you, also.

As for true peace, this soul continues to be genderless, and nothing, and nesting within the Sacred Heart--even if sort of flopped part-way out of the nest in moments of fright or in childish leaps attempts to leap from the nest. Jesus' Heart holds us like a mother bird's beak gripping its young from too bad a fall. We're still nesting within His Heart despite the strong winds arising, challenging, but really rather natural in the ways of the world.


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