Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Being Stripped by God

Debated on this for victim soul or hermit blog. Really fits to both. A Victim Soul of the Sacred Heart of Jesus must be stripped of all that encumbers it to the vocational task. A hermit must be stripped of all that encumbers it to the vocational task.

The reason I left suddenly from the south of France, when on private retreat and had a gift given of a place to stay on the Mediterranean in a most beautiful cove, was a woman in tremendous suffering. That is a story unto itself. But part of it is that she told me things.

There are relationships that found me comfortable, but they were encumbering. I needed to send them on their way. It was a kind of parasitic thing.

I knew it was true. One of them I just let go, did not initiate calls. 'Twas for the best as there was nothing more to say, and what had been said was not getting through. Seems as if there were others, less major ones, that soaked back into the ground of earth. Then I realized I was to allow the Lord to bring those whom He chose and not to approach on my own initiative.

Now, within the last week, four major and five total relational sectors have been lopped off. One has dropped in a way that was unpleasant and brought to a head from my own sin. Another was an offshoot of that one. Two others were from my no longer simply being an affirming host; I no longer upheld congenially, faulty comments in conversation. At least, according to our faith, they were not on target. The final relational dropping was from one who initiated the drop sensing we had taken each other as far as we could. Well, I think it had gone as far perhaps a year ago, but it was one of those comfortable host deals, where the guests hang around not realizing the host is rather weary of it all. Finally the host says something or acts a certain way that the guests realize they aren't as welcome, as it stands, to remain. Sort of pointless.

But when the guests leave, there is yet a void for the host. A relief in a way, but a shock at the emptying out and just how still and silent is the place, with no guests chatting. There are no polite meals to prepare and serve--and by polite, I mean in serving what others want to eat (or hear...).

Then the host is alone with God to face itself. It is all right. Especially if one is a victim soul or a hermit, or both. The emotional ties, now broken, are what is painful only in the way in which some have been broken and in the way others have been stripped or removed themselves. The fact is, the host was somehow ready to send these comfortable guests on their way, but didn't necessarily have the courage or the tact to do it graciously, or to do it at all.

That is when the Lord steps in and does the stripping. He allows the host to bungle with some and has mercy after the confession of the sin of the way in which the bungle was enacted. But in others, He finishes off the work that would also, no doubt, be bungled by the host.

What is next? I don't know, but I must proceed in faith and not try to fill the empty place with other comfortable guests who desire to be affirmed, when victim souls and hermits are really not in the business of affirmation. We are in the business of suffering and praying, of being alone with God, and of delivering messages only if God brings someone who asks for the message. And even then, we must know that the Lord asks us to give that person the message for which he asks. And give it once, perhaps twice if the Lord asks us to repeat it. Only if.

The suffering for the victim soul and/or hermit, when being stripped by God, is in the humility that comes when one knows its ineptitude and cowardice, as well as its sinfulness on many fronts. It is a good suffering, and that, too, can be offered to the Lord for the very guests who have been sent on their way or who chose to leave, finding the accommodations no longer inviting or comfortable.

The suffering then, for the victim soul and/or the hermit, is to get up after the initial shock (like the breath being knocked out), and to keep going in yet more blind faith, realizing that we are the guests of God, and in His house there are expectations and truth, and truth in dealing with our own souls is not going to mean that we will be affirmed in whatever we choose to think or do. We will be affirmed only in truth, and that is in God's truth.

These Asiastic lilies bloomed Christ-blood red. Along came the wind one day, and the petals were stripped shortly after the photo captured them--already mature in bloom and ripe for stripping.


Blogger Dreaming of The Beloved said...

Dear Nothing, I thought this to be of interest as it reminds me of your two blogs and one vocation. Today in the book I am reading, Poustinia by Catherine Doherty, she says (Paraphrased) "Who were these men and women of Russia and why did they go into the dessert, into the poustinia? Who were they spiritually? They were people who craved in their hearts to be alone with God and his immense silence. Why did they crave that silence, that solitude? For themselves? No. A hermit of this type, according to the eastern spirituality, went into the poustinia for others. He offered himself as a holocaust, a victim for others." It goes on to beautifully describe the call and vocation that is given to His chosen souls to come to the desert, not for just this souls individual profit, but for all souls does God call him to abide there. How beautiful a vocation it is! Difficult I am sure to carry out at moments, but what love God has for His creatures! I rejoice for you! I hope this little quote inspires you and comforts you some as your blog has done for me. In the end, all that matters is God loves us. Thank you for your prayers. I am being reminded that it is lightening out so I am closing. May God bless you and keep you!

4:32 PM  
Blogger nothing said...

Dear Dreaming of the Beloved,

What you have written has touched me--just when I needed the touch of the Beloved! Has been a very physically painful day, and yet somehow we keep going in slower pace, in and out of bed with the ice pack, a little painting, putting out more vole poison, bending to pluck weeds by the roots, some editing.

All the while, thoughts weave their way into prayer, and I have been praying for you and your intention that you privately shared. I am asking St. Catherine of Siena and other saints to intercede, as well. We ought to ask Catherine and Eddie Doherty to pray for the intention!

I have the book but have not read it. It will be helpful, I can tell, from the quote you share. Yes, it rolls the victim soul and hermit life into one, doesn't it? At least for a hermit of that type, of offering oneself as a holocaust.

Anyway, I have wanted to share that the misdirected e-mails have been twice now. Both brought much good. The first brought good in revealing a terrible sin/sideways cross. It hurt deeply a relationship, but there is even goodness in that in a way, for there was not much truth to the situation, deep down. Then the odd situation with your getting the comment reply--which baffles me other than of course the Holy Spirit working out the will of the Trinity.

God bless you and your loved ones! We must keep going in total trust and faith and much love of God--and in Him, for others. Thanks SO MUCH.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

"...in His house there are expectations and truth, and truth in dealing with our own souls is not going to mean that we will be affirmed in whatever we choose to think or do. We will be affirmed only in truth, and that is in God's truth."

So very - True, nothing, so very true.

I longed for Truth before knowing I was designed to long for Truth. I searched in many places, and tried to make Truth in my image, to fit my "style" and keep me 'happy.' Then Truth hit me like a 2x4, knocking me off my high horse and throwing me to the ground so that I would have to ask "OK, now what?" And then Truth revealed Himself to me in 3 books. Then Truth brought me home to the Catholic Church that I had in my younger, more presumptuous years, thinking being "born again" meant leaving every "organized religion" behind, and finding real Truth in independent fellowship...I ignorantly and a wee bit arrogantly thought Truth was not there, in that Catholic Church. Oh the folly of youth and the folly of misguided zeal!

Oh the JOY to be back Home!

God bless and keep you, nothing.

your friend,

6:03 AM  
Blogger nothing said...

Joyful Catholics--little--so good to hear from you! At first, in the comment, I did not recognize what had been written in the blog so had to re-read that section. It it all true, though, how it it in God's house, and how we are as guests.

What you write, little, is big. It is the truth of how we eventually come to naked truth of our souls, our selves, and of the robes of God's majesty and the crown of being in His Church, being Catholic!

so thankful for little, is nothing

6:56 AM  

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