Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Another Cold

Even being on antibiotics and taking cold medications, another cold or sinus infection either started or just got worse. Since shortly after The Great Peace in October, it has seemed more sinus and cold problems with only a short break between.

So it helps one to consider people suffering from asthma, allergies (which may be some of the problem here), various forms of arthritis, and other long-term or permanent afflictions, even cancer. Just because a person is used to one form of suffering, it is good to experience a variety so that compassion and understanding remain vibrant!

St. Francis de Sales and all of the saints advise to embrace all for the love of Christ. This means sinus infections and common colds. Probably Jesus' nose was broken from all the beating he underwent. Hard to imagine the pain upon pain that he endured--probably every pain that any human could possible suffer. One can unite the stuffy head and aching teeth, the burning upper respiratory tract--unite these minor areas of discomfort with Jesus' massive sufferings.

And, as the victim souls of the Sacred Heart of Jesus teach us from their experiences and private revelations, Jesus suffers yet in the timelessness of God, in the spiritual love and union with beloved souls; and He accepts our small offerings with our loving motives, our trust that He can use these aches and discomforts for the reparation of the sins of the world!

Now, that is truly amazing! Think how something ordinary like a sinus infection or cold can be used by the Lord to help ameliorate the spiritual consequences of some soul who perhaps has murdered or cheated some consumer or dabbled with the occult.

While in a short while I'll call the doctor's office and ask for a different antibiotic, and this morning tossed out the mug of coffee and decided to switch to tea (after some research that the coffee just might be inhibiting iron and zinc absorption), if the sinus problems linger, and as other bodily sufferings come along (like headaches from detoxing from coffee!), these ordinary pains of an ordinary life can be transformed by Jesus into extraordinary love for souls He knows are in need.

Then, He will also use the intentions and motives of love of Him and gratitude for a small share in His Holy Work, to purify this soul in need. This soul needs perpeatual humility and great love for all souls no matter who. Is it possible that this on-going cold and the weariness with it, are a type of enemy to be loved?

Well, some may think that is a ridiculous stretch. But in the discussion by the Carthusian as to why our souls are created (to glorify God), he points out that all experiences--good and not good--are means for us to glorify God. If one loves all experiences and discovers the benefits to all aspects of creation, then we learn to love our enemies, which glorifies God for it is his commandment.

Yes, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. Often, our neighbors have chosen us as their enemies. Or, there are people in our families or circles of friends who irritate or annoy, and we are tempted to react, as in creating a kind of enmity. We think of attacking an illness, but perhaps if we find the good in it, the good in the spiritual aspects and lessons and also perhaps changes in our diet, for the better, then we gently bring the illness into a loving conformity.

At some point, our bodies will have illnesses or injuries that become the loving vehicle to help our souls depart the body and enter the other world.

So today I will not fuss against this sinus infection but will simply seek help in gentle means, and to be patient in hosting it for awhile more, as one would a guest who is somewhat wearing and annoying. With each cough or blowing of the nose, with whatever money spent on more antibiotics, and in the small change in diet, I offer all to Jesus for souls. I thank Him for the added joy of realizing my body is vulnerable to all that is human, and to ponder the creation of germs, and to consider the many who died from colds (like St. Francis de Sales' 14-year-old little sister, Jeanne), and those in the world today who do not have a doctor or money for antibiotics. And, of course, there are many who cannot afford the luxury of coffee to give up or tea to take on, or vitamins and over-the-counter helps.


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