Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Bruised Reed He Will Not Break

Had to remind myself of this just now. My, the pain is searing. The energy is nearly non-existent. Might have to get back in bed in a bit. Morning Mass had message of selfishness--how we become very drawn into the smaller picture rather than seeing the large view of God. Jesus did tell Peter and the others that they will drink the cup He drinks--but to sit at His right or left is God's prerogative.

Last night it seemed in reality, that I am dying. It is not a sudden death, but there is an obvious decline within the last year. An adult child noticed the decrease in energy and the greater effort to endure, to gut it out and keep going. The attitude was not faulted, thankfully, for there is still the little chant: I'm a happy, positive, upbeat, inside-out-joyful, Eucharistic Catholic. Around non-Catholic family members I do not add the final two words, out of charity, for they would balk at any of the words, then. They do not comprehend. It is the being a Eucharistic Catholic that makes the other words a possibility in actuality.

Took three over-the-counters this morning, spread out before and after Mass. In the prayer while receiving the Host, in a rare intercession (for me), I prayed for myself, that the Lord would refresh me and help me endure. So much for selfishness and the homily pointing out how easy it is to remain self-focused! My prayer was an act of desperation, and I know this priest would understand.

His point, however, is quite thoughtful. He prays prior to Mass and prepares well in advance, asking the Lord to give him insights as to what He would like him to preach. So this morning, the insight came that we carry much anger, hatred of others, and self-focus--to the exclusion of being able to view God's expansive sight.

As for recent (self) concerns that I have not love, or that I am frighteningly detached, this morning a good dose of pain and through the night, reminds me that one who is dying, who is drained, is like the lawn mower yesterday that started to slow, then sputter, then get a spurt and cut a few more feet before its healthy growling became a weak whining, and then silence. It was out of gas.

A bruise is a slow kind of dying. The cells have been injured on the inside, and die, and gradually the bluish red turns greenish blue and fades to yellow brown. It seems that my body has an inside-out, over-all bruise. The life source is waning. The bruised reed is not going to break, for bruises are platitudinous and not like an arm or leg that can be snapped. But, the point is, a bruise can weaken an area of the body, and in that weakened area, there is vulnerability.

The Lord will not break the soul at its innocent, vulnerable spots. Yet He allows the vulnerable spots and the bruises. These spots with bruises are a visible reminder (most often from the inside out but sometimes visible to self and others from the outside in) that the soul must take rest to heal; and then must avoid that which causes bruises, if possible.

Now, if the bruises come from encounters unavoidable, then the soul must simply have faith that the encounters will not break it, for the Lord will not break a bruised soul.

Can anyone break a bruised soul? Not really. It might seem like encounters with others and circumstances from the world--or even the faults and consequences of the self--can break a soul. But the Lord is over all, and a soul cannot be broken. It can be condemned, but who causes it to be cast into Hell? The self.

For those who suffer and who offer their sufferings, who have agreed to the sufferings for Jesus to utilize as He will and if He wills, the bruises can be continuous and all over, even internal. Maybe especially internal bruises. But the soul who turns to Jesus with its black eyes and bruised kidneys is reassured that it will not be snapped in two or more pieces.

Bruises can take a long time to heal. Sometimes they even effect internal bleeding. Well, a victim cannot be considered a victim until it loses the last drop of blood! I have not suffered yet unto blood....

When the bruises drain the body of seemingly the last drop of energy, and the blood seems anemic, it is best to not have a huge list of chores, but to develop a realistic plan for the day. Perhaps it is a day to pray, to doze, to tidy up one small area or two, with breaks, and to do smile exercise rather than plant ground cover or paint a door frame or run an errand.

Smiling does not take much muscle but is known to be rather healing, and if the smile is turned to the crucifix on the wall or a statue of the Sacred Heart, or even to the picture of the Sorrowful Mother or Virgin in Prayer, the Lord and His mother see that the victim soul is still trying to adore and be joyful.


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