Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Suffering of Sideways Crosses

The balloon flower photographed and viewed sideways disturbs the sensibilities.

So also, the sideways crosses we bear and suffer, contorted by our own manipulations.

Have written about sideways crosses in the Catholic hermit blog, but they are true sufferings. Victim souls are very much affected by sideways crosses. Those of others can seem insufferable. Should a Victim Soul of the Sacred Heart of Jesus offer oneelf for someone's sideways cross?

Seems as if one ought make that offering. Sideways crosses are those unholy ones, created out of vices and dysfunctions, borne often without the person realizing the burden--without realizing how ridiculously unnecessary, and also how damaging.

They are like tiny voles in the Mary Gardens, quietly and swiftly boring down into the mulch to gnaw the roots of trees, bulbs, perennials, grass. The gardener must act swiftly and rid them out, or the lovely gardens will be lost, the trees and other plant life will suffer, languish, die.

So, too, the soul that suffers sideways crosses that are not detected and rid out.

Should one suffer one's own sideways crosses? No. They must be detected and rid out. No delaying. See them for what they are, for the victim souls' own sideways crosses prohibit freely accepting the holy crosses Jesus offers and desires the victim souls to bear for love of Him and love of others.

But suffering others' sideways crosses is made in the offering, and the prayer includes desiring those others to be able to detect and rid out their own sideways crosses. Souls are not free to follow Jesus until those sideways crosses are out of their interior landscape.

Sideways crosses can be so subtle. Here's one detected in a person: a fascination with whatever parish priest's life. Then the desire to discuss the details of conversations and whatever information the priest lets slip, such as during a visit or dinner invitation. Such a sideways cross creeps into other conversations, seeking out (like the vole boring holes hoping to discover succulent roots) information on other priests' lives who others might know about.

Women are prone to this sideways cross, but men have been noted to discuss Father so-and-so.
This sideways cross is gossip, of course, but it has insidious undertones of infatuation, and the tidbits gleaned of the priests' lives can become quite the spiritual distraction and can feed emotional deprivations.

What motivates such a sideways cross? Loneliness? Curiosity? Boredom with oneself or one's other relationships? Intrigue with the otherwise hidden life of another--desire to unravel a mystery? Well, this latter is a subset of curiosity. Women tend to suffer this vice more than men, but anyone can construct sideways crosses from idle curiosity.

Perhaps this sideways cross is best rid out by the direct approach. If it is within oneself (and doesn't have to be a parish priest as object of curiosity--the movie star industry is filled with curious voyeurs who purchase tabloids), the poison must be placed in the vole-hole, or traps set. One must see the sideways cross as it is, root out the underlying needs, and instead feed on the spiritual, bolster the virtues, and pray for holy crosses to replace the dysfunctional ones.

If the sideways cross (of improper fascination, curiosity, obsession either spoken or mulled in the mind) is detected in another, do not succumb to the same or fall to discussion (which equates to listening to gossip or contributing to gossip). But this sideways cross, particularly when a priest is the object, is more pathetic due to whatever is motivating the interest.

Prayer to the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, mother of priests and of all souls, will provide answers as to directly revealing the sideways cross to the one dragging it about, or to practice all the more changing the topic or removing oneself from the person who has constructed that type of cross within his- or herself.

But the Victim Soul of the Sacred heart should not abandon praying for that person, or from offering penances or to suffer on behalf of that person's suffering. Underneath this sideways cross is some other suffering of emotional need or desire, surely. Or it can boil down to a hunger that has grown into a vice problem, innocently masked as just simple interest or small talk.

Sideways crosses might not stand out blatantly as a tree that is photographed sideways. But as in the photo of a sideways balloon flower, the wrong of it jars the rightness and niggles the spiritually striving, sensitive conscience into desiring to set it aright.

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