Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Uniting Sufferings

A friend who suffers a disease of mind and emotions, has been making great strides in holiness! We e-mail daily, and write of spiritual matters, excerpts from books, small incidents and joys of our daily activities. One book commented upon is St. Francis de Sales' Letters to Persons in the World. Each day is another insight and suggestion.

This friend responded to some comments made regarding St. Silouan's teachings on love of enemies and of being willing to, in that love of oneness of all souls, suffer the guilt and responsibility of others' sins.

We do join our suffering with others.  We do it by
accepting our cross and join with others who are carrying
theirs. Also, it it the privilege of the Christian to take
on even unfair suffering gladly because of what Christ did
for us. And it is only there that the cycle of injury and
revenge can stop.
What is written seems very insightful. The final line brings closure for Christians. Yes, the suffering is difficult, but given in the light of Jesus Christ's exhortation to pick up the cross daily and follow Him, it is appropriate that on His Calvary and ours, the cycle of injury and revenge will stop.

In years of praying for someone in the past, and now others included in the circle which grows connected with that person, there seems to be a cessation of the injury experienced. Within the soul of the one who prays and loves, no matter how harmed and injured, a change occurs. Love heals; love truly heals. And suffering on behalf of another is so incredibly loving, that the healing is all the greater.

One cannot expect to begin to suffer the sins of another, to make reparation through prayer and experiencing the wrongs, with great heroism and no ill-effect. It is a process. But prayer does help, even if it is a rather rote prayer.

In one past situation, a mother told the person to stop praying for that one who did such horrible things and continued to cause harm for a woman with children. But, the person kept praying without anyone knowing of the prayers. A transformation occurred many years later, within the person who did the praying. Healing came, a release of bondage, a cessation of the injury experienced. Only God knows what effects the prayers had on the guilty party. Surely goodness and mercy will follow those prayers, all the days of the life of the guilty--and also of the one who took on much of the responsibility, laboriously at first, and then with increasing ease.

One wonders if Simon of Cyrene, after the initial weight of Christ's cross, gained courage and strength in order to carry the cross, at least with heroic virtue--if not with actual, increased physical stamina?

If one gains the spiritual view in these situations of sin, the strength does come, sooner or later. Then the cycle of revenge stops, even if it is the person carrying the cross for the other, who makes the revenge stop or the injury not so injurious.

Suffering in love and for Love, is miraculous.

On this day of the 35th Anniversary of the heinous Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion in the United States, victim souls all around the world can suffer in love for the ones killing their own babies and the medical personnel (and sometimes not!) commiting the actual murders.

We can offer God a sacrifice of praise and thank these suffering infants who have lost their lives and will lose their lives in such horror and violence, for their prayers for our sick and sinful humanity. In all matters, God must be glorified, and these infants who are our soul brothers and sisters, may have their lost lives lived out by us, if we are willing to commit ourselves to the greater good and glory of God in love and suffering, in all our thoughts, words and deeds.


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