Sunday, June 15, 2008

Suffering Repeats Itself

Suffering is a double rainbow. A Victim Soul of the Sacred Heart of Jesus does well to hold fast the image of the rainbow with its less visible reflected rainbow beside it. We are looking at light, after all.

And like reflected light, and refracted light in some aspects within a rainbow, such as that caused by prisms, too--we consider suffering of all types.

Suffering repeats itself.

We may learn to avoid some suffering. But other suffering comes as part of life. A victim soul learns to accept the sufferings as reflected light. Our sufferings are a reflection of the light of Christ's sufferings.

Last evening I accepted an invitation from a couple to dine out. They are moving away soon. We have good conversations, refreshingly Catholic conversations, and of worthwhile content. But the sitting has brought pain--some last night after the sitting, and more this morning in a kind of reflection. This week after Mass, driving back to Agnus Dei, there was an accident three cars ahead. A young woman driving a small volkswagon tangled with a heavy-duty pick-up truck hauling a large trailer--a contractor's truck. Thanks be to God there were no serious injuries. But I considered my own accident nearly 24 years ago, and prayed for the young woman's body, as the next day she no doubt felt all the pain of the impact throughout bones, muscles, nerves and tissues.

This morning I feel as if I've been kicked by a horse--in the back, and the head feels as if a vice grip has been tightened 'round. This suffering has been repeated many times over.

I made the choice to go to dinner, to sit, to enjoy the conversation--and to risk what could and most likely would come. I do not think about it much ahead of time, yet I do consider the reality and shove it aside. Then, later I think I will be more strict with myself in future, but then consider that the couple would be taken quite a distance out of their way to come to Agnus Dei. And, they do not comprehend the suffering as I do, although they are amazingly empathic people. So they understand in part, for they suffer other maladies which I do not comprehend as they do!

I also suffered the truth of having wasted $10 on a plate of pasta with a greasy sauce that I could not at all eat. So a salad was brought, and my stomach was unused to so much dressing. This suffering has repeated itself, also, and has developed from the basic (perhaps detached to some views) diet eaten over the past several years. Food has decreased in interest and is the necessity of an earthly body. Simple foods the body accepts best, at this phase, and meat (other than fish on occasion), does not abide well in the stomach!

So the suffering of this outing last evening is repeated from most other times out--if not all times. Thankfully, these times are fewer; yet in other ways, they are a blessing because I can now have something more to offer the Lord this morning. I have offered the bodily pain for a young woman who has moved away with her husband and children and is feeling the pinching pain of adaptation away from what had been a rather controlling parental situation (her parents). While she knows it was an unhealthy situation, she loves them and misses them, misses the place where she grew up, misses her siblings.

And, she repeats this suffering each time she thinks of them and considers the move. She does not comprehend how to offer this suffering. But I offer my repetitive suffering to Jesus, to utilize if He wills, for this young woman's suffering. Jesus knows. He might also use the little sufferings I offer this morning, for something else unknown to me.

So the offering repeats itself, also. A Victim Soul's work is to endure even the sufferings that repeat themselves--if by our own actions or if not instigated by ourselves! I know that when I sit on certain chairs or venture out on certain activities, that I most likely will have added pain. I tend to forget just how painful that pain can be, and tend to ignore the fact that it will cause me to have to struggle all the more to endure, as well as the added effort in controlling the emotions and thoughts that pain affects. I could also, at times, forget how to joyfully offer the pain, whether from my own choices or from situations beyond my control, to the Lord for His beneficial use!

Today I am not forgetting, however. And this is because the Holy Spirit is reminding me that pain repeats itself, and so too, the offering must repeat itself. And thus, the joy repeats itself, and also the work in strengthening the mind and soul for suffering repeats itself.

It is like the slighter image of the rainbow beside the stronger image of the rainbow, and knowing that the images are reflections of light, of reverberating light and refractive light, that the human eye can discern from a distance. And the beauty of the rainbow and the double of the rainbow, and pondering the glory of God in this sight, reminds the Victim Soul of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that there is much beauty and hope and glory in sufferings reflected, in sufferings offered, in sufferings appreciated for their value.

There was a value in accepting the invitation to dine out, in the levels of suffering produced, reflected, and offered. But it would be unwise to accept many such invitations, as the body has finite limits. There are other opportunities for suffering in this body, and just maintaining in daily life taxes the body. A victim soul must be responsible. That is why the saints suggest not taking on sufferings unnecessarily, for the Lord brings them to His victims of love quite naturally.

For someone to repeat sufferings unnecessarily, such as to rake over painful memories that will only bring more suffering (and the distinguishing point, it seems, is selfish suffering--suffering that pivots around self) is not loving suffering. That is unhealthy suffering. To keep drinking alcohol, or overeating, or smoking is an unhealthy repetitive suffering. Dining out, for me, although rarely, is becoming a bit like beating my head against a wall and forgetting that the head is going to hurt soon after!

So I may need to suffer not accepting an invitation, or of inviting others to Agnus Dei if they want to converse and suffer the physical effort in hosting--or of repeating the suffering of sitting to dine out and risk money spent on food that is not easily digestible.

It might seem odd to detail such thoughts on suffering, but the little details make up the threads woven into the daily fabric of one's life. These nuances are part of a victim soul's experience, and must be considered in the training. Jesus accepted suffering, for it was His mission. It is a victim soul's mission, as well, and what is the great work of that mission is the reflected and repeated suffering--and ultimately, how the soul offers the suffering, repeatedly.

Yesterday, in an unexpected conversation with the Bishop, he said to use the gifts for the Church. Yes, many forms of suffering are just that: gifts. And in using them for the Church, of course one is using them for Jesus, for He is the Head of the Body, the Church.


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