Saturday, August 23, 2008

Losing All One's Blood

The da gave this to nothing several years back. St. Padre Pio is a favorite of many! The da said Padre Pio was snappy with some Catholics who came to him in confession. Nothing said, "Wouldn't you be if you could read souls and have to deal with their lies over and over, plus have horrific pain day and night?" The da supposed he would.

What St. Pio said (when not yet a saint!) is so true: A victim must lose all his blood in order to be a victim.

Nothing is once again considering what the Saint's Beloved Mother, his Guardian Angel, and Others said to him.

There are all kinds of ways a victim can lose all his blood. And there are various aspects of blood that don't mean the life-giving liquid that God created for the body's survival.

A victim must lose all its blood, as in the martyrs. A victim must lose all its blood in the sense of worth in the world, or function, esteem, physical stamina, mental acuity, outer appearance, desires, being scrutinized or suspect, relationships, and so forth. It could be a loss of blood in financial circumstances, jobs and career, spousal upset, personal abuse, emotional and behavioral disorders, accidents. It could be in the spiritual realm, including temptations and falls to sins of all sorts that humble the person, inside and out.

Today, it seems that nothing is yet grappling with losing its blood in respect to not being functional in the TCW (temporal Catholic world), and wonders why God sends some out into another world. Of what use to the TCW are those latter types? Seems as if they are always in trouble, having odd experiences, being misunderstood or even envied, for pity's sake.

Victim souls may find similar issues, as mostly they keep their vocation on the QT. Just causes a lot of stir and incredulity among others. Hard enough to keep the wits about oneself when suffering, and to keep doubts away and faith strong and steady. To keep suffering, to keep losing one's blood (in one way or another), to battle the devil, to feel embarrassed in trying to describe or get help from those in charge of the TCW--it is nothing anyone would choose for themselves, truly. That is why it is a vocation: a call from God.

But Catholics accept the call, in love. There is a great love of God and desire to do His will, no matter what. Yes, NO MATTER WHAT. No matter if one loses ALL HIS BLOOD, no matter what kind of blood.

Losing all one's blood means becoming nothing.

The da said the other day that the ones around there who thought they were something, hot-shots, out in the TCW, grow old and just die off. And even if they thought they were somethings in the place where they were growing old, they die, and the ones around them, still living, often don't speak of them again, even though the deceased graves are just a couple hundred yards from where the remaining live bodies eat their meals. So he said, "Yes, we truly are nothing, whether we realize it or not."

It is as well to offer to donate one's blood in whatever way God might desire it. Allow the blood to be let. It has a lot to do with accepting humiliations, accepting whatever transpires in daily transactions and experiences, and humbly submitting, as one lays out the arm at the Red Cross when giving blood. Except there they let you choose right or left arm for them to stick with the needle.

A victim soul ought generously give its blood to God, allows itself to be bled. Sometimes this happens quickly, but most of the time it is a slow-drip process. Padre Pio had a huge crucifixion in one fell swoop when a young man, but there were lots of slow-drip sufferings before, and 50 years of bleeding following, right up until his death.

One is not considered a victim until it loses all its blood. So said the Beloved Mother, Padre Pio's guardian angel, and many others (and we can figure those others to be saints who talked to Padre Pio on a regular basis).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

More Speaking of Pain

[The caryopteris got huge this year. Didn't realize to cut it back--way back--in the spring and just gave it a gentle trim. This is but one small portion of a huge bush, now blooming blue nerve endings, shooting out, bringing color to that section of the Mary Gardens of Agnus Dei. Much of our sufferings are but small portions of something larger and shooting out, affecting not only our own bodies and souls but others out there, somewhere, living or dead or to come. That is why it is so important to learn to suffer, to learn to love to suffer and suffer to love.]

So the confessor explained this morning that if one speaks of pain in a way that will help others, or in some good way, and not just go on and on about it without any point other than of self, that it is all right. And, at least this is nothing Catholic victim soul's intention. But it would like to strive to speak less of its personal pain, and please the Lord (hopefully) more in sharing about the process of pain, and share about temporal as well as mystical pain.

But now more ways in which to ingrain oneself with suffering holyniques. Have holy water fonts in every room; keep a bottle of holy water on the nightstand. Wear a scapular at all times, and a Miraculous Medal; keep a rosary under your pillow, and if you cannot pray it, grasp it. Have any other holy reminders: statues, prints, relics, holy cards, medals, photo of Pope--all blessed.

Keep handy the Bible, Catechism, and other lectio divina--and don't forget saint books. Not only keep these handy, but have read them and keep reading, for in suffering, often it is not possible to read. Have the words of God imprinted in your body, mind, heart and soul. Be comfortable in advance, of hearing your voice call out affective prayers and ejaculations of holy love of the Most Holy Trinity, Mary, the angels and saints. Praise Him!

Don't stop sharing the experience of suffering, with the confessor and/or spiritual father. They are used to it! God gives them special graces to listen, and they do know, they do comprehend, at a holy level, in that level of compassionate understanding even if not having specific answers as to what the Lord is doing, exactly, or how long O Lord, or what if, when, and why. But a priest does know exactly that the Lord does not give us suffering because we have sinned. Although suffering often comes as a result of our sins, as consequence. And suffering is purgative; and in that sense, it is very beneficial for any one who grasps the benefits with much gratitude and appreciation. Be grateful and appreciative, and go to confession and Mass. Receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.

Try not to let others, in general, see that you are suffering. Get up, take a hot shower--all for God. Dress for going to the wedding feast, and be prepared! Smile on the way to Mass, pray, go in walking as if no suffering is occurring at any other level or realm. Remain recollected, in peace, with that little smile--and make it a large smile if someone looks at you, for that person may need your large smile right then. Smiles say "You, my brother or sister in Jesus Christ, my fellow Catholic, are loved by God and by me, no matter what."

If the pain is horrendous inside, then pray to the Lord, "No theatrics, please. Keep me hidden." Maintain your focus as best you can, and ask the Lord in advance for any intention He desires for reception of His Body and Blood. Whatever thought-flashing comes, offer that. When the priest holds up His Body, offer your own body--and if you feel as if your own body is rather a mess of pain, and that Jesus doesn't need your pain-filled body and/or mind, offer it anyway, for He is used to pain. He experiences pain as pure joy and love.

Or, if you'd rather, offer your heart. Place your heart on that paten, and then give Him your blood, too, when the priest lifts up the Cup of Jesus' blood. Offer it all for Jesus to use as He wills--even if there is a part of you that thinks, "Here, take it, for I really don't want my sick body or my blood." And then apologize, and say, "I offer it for You, Lord, and for all souls, and am grateful for whatever body and blood You have given me, and for whatever reason." What the Lord wills for us is always perfect. He has us as He desires in His perfection of willing.

Utilize whatever temporal means to keep going--even if it is keeping going by lying in bed calmly, or lying on the sofa, or using an ice pack or taking over-the-counter meds or prescription meds, or forcing yourself to eat when you are urpy, or not eating, and making sure you drink lots of water, if you are in a country in which you can get water or any medical helps, or even have a bed or sofa, hot water, a shower. Many people do not. Think on them, and pray for their sufferings, and then praise God for having an ice pack and a freezer, for electricity and the means to pay the bill. Praise Him!

Then force yourself to make other acts of love. These "acts" can all be done in thoughts or in nearly immobile movements. A glance of the eye, listening, that little smile, a touch, a word spoken of love. Or, these can all be done within, using inner sight, inner ear, inner voice.

Perhaps this sounds like too much to remember, but remember this: If souls would expend a little effort preparing for their inevitable suffering in a good, holy, Catholic way, utilizing the vast Catholic gifts the Church gives us, and even makes preparatory vows of suffering (such as might be in earlier posts), then suffering can become quite a beautiful experience, or at least an adventure in which one can make improvement by increments. It becomes autonomic suffering. This helps the suffering to transition into joy and love.

And if your confessor or spiritual father places his hands on your head as he gives absolution or a blessing, hold very still,and absorb the power of a priest's hands on your head, and take it in, for the healing and care and supernatural understanding that those hands impart, flowing into one's body and blood, from the Holy Spirit, in a way similar to how one ought absorb the supernatural and natural power when entering into Christ's Body and Blood in the Eucharist. And praise Him!

If you need to speak about your pain, go first to God and tell Him all. If you need help, call out to Mother Mary, any saint that comes to mind, your guardian angel and any other angels. Call out to the poor souls in purgatory, especially doctors and nurses who might be there, or if the suffering is financial, to bankers and mortgage lenders, or whoever fits the bill. Call out to your deceased relatives and friends, and also make a call to a living friend--first through a prayer to God for help. Then wait patiently but with great expectation, and pay attention to how God will answer. Sometimes He will say, "Pick up the phone and call for temporal help." Maybe He will even add, tenderly, " silly goose."

And then, again, Praise Him!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Speaking of Pain

Just thinking about the crosses that people bear. Everyone does, and prayer and penance helps.

Does speaking of pain help? Someone brings up valid points as to sharing the realities of one's sufferings. Perhaps there is a commonality expressed, and also there may be example given: how to deal with suffering in a holy manner, and how not! And, in any given person's life, there are no doubt admixtures of both.

For the Catholic--we are to suffer like the saints. We are to suffer like the Blessed Mother. We are to suffer like the apostles and martyrs. We are to suffer like CHRIST!

The person shared about various saints, including St. Therese of Lisieux. She did write about her pain. The person rightly pointed out that often the saints' revelatory writings are to be found in their personal correspondence. And usually, there is seen in reading their letters to others, a progression in suffering, of being able to watch them rise from selfish suffering of the baser human instincts, to heroic suffering in a kind of selflessness.

Perhaps it is the progression that is the joy in suffering, or an aspect of the joy. It demonstrates the person is striving toward and desiring union with Christ's salvific suffering.

Was going to try to not mention the pain, and that might help to not think of it. But when a person has steady, physical pain, or those who have steady emotional pain, it is probably not possible to not think of it, unless one passes out or falls asleep exhausted, or has some kind of ecstasy! Maybe some of the saints' ecstasies were God's way of lifting them out of the intense, human suffering.

Probably many who suffer have had experiences in which God sent help in supernatural ways. Perhaps an angel came in the night and injected the person with some kind of pain reliever. Or maybe there were other Divine consolations that made the suffering more endurable.

But as one goes along the victim soul path, a ways, the consolations are fewer, it seems. This is for a good reason. The victim soul is being trained in strength, endurance, and faith--at all levels: body, mind, heart and soul.

If the victim soul recognizes this, and anticipates that this is training time, the victim soul can cooperate. The recognition of such training helps the victim soul remain calm and patient. In many instances, the person does not know if the suffering will be relieved or not, soon, later, or ever.

Questions arise. They begin with basic needs and move up the hierarchy from physical to emotional/psychological, to intellectual and finally spiritual needs. How will the person manage the household tasks? How will the person handle not being able to do what it used to be able to do? What will be the mental ramifications of this change in existence or in the suffering itself? What is God doing? Why is He willing and allowing this added suffering?

Best to put those questions aside for awhile, and simply wait and pray. Keep trying to do little things, to remain as functional as possible. If one cannot, then the questions will often be answered by those God sends, human or angelic. Figure that one lesson God desires the victim soul to learn, is detachment.

Instead of thinking of what might happen and when, or how long, O Lord--think about prayer intentions of other people. If the pain is such that one cannot focus on specifics, pray for whoever God knows has the greatest needs. Let the mind be suspended and see who God brings into the inner sight. Keep assuring the Lord that whatever He wills, is fine and dandy. And think that you really believe it! And truly, all is fine and dandy.

Say, "When I'm on my death bed, am I going to worry about it?" And if you are on your death bed, say, "There are far worse things in life than death."

Well, maybe not say these things, but keep a sense of humor, anyway. And keep that sense of detachment alive and well, whether living or dying.

Don't count on certain deadlines, but have some goals. If your dear spiritual da wants you to visit on a certain day, set the appointment. If it comes to that day, and you are still suffering much, call and set a day at his convenience for the next week. Make going to Mass a goal, and if you absolutely physically cannot go, watch Mass on EWTN, and if you don't have that, listen to it on radio or computer, and if not that, read Scripture, and if you cannot read due to too much suffering, think Scripture, or ask someone to read Psalms to you, and if there is no one with you, then ask God to fill your mind with loving thoughts, loving words, beautiful music. Think love. Think of all the love in your life, and of all the loving people and glorious gifts in this world and in God's kingdom. Don't forget to LOL, and if you are too pained to LOL, then think laughter, for there is laughter in dying, and on the way to heaven.

If you become over-peopled, and tire from a phone call or cannot correspond easily or at all, then think the thoughts of love and prayer of people, and know in faith that someday, even if they do not understand why you have not been in touch with them, that they will know from God that you thought of them with love and prayer.

And then, after all that and other ways of good suffering, loving and functional suffering, if there is time left and you have a need, speak of your pain. But it is worth practicing not, for if a someone calls and asks how you are feeling, and if it really doesn't matter for it isn't going to change how your are feeling and you know the other person isn't going to comprehend the pain, anyway, just gloss over it and ask them about their lives.

But if you need help in something, then ask, and explain if necessary that you have not been well, and cannot do this or that and so forth.

And count on God to water the plants, if you absolutely cannot; but if you can even water two or three, and that is good as a little goal and to get some fresh air and move about, then try. And get in the habit of making an offering before doing anything, even before having thoughts, and offer the intentions for souls. It is also good to say the prayer intention that the angel told the three children of Fatima: O Jesus, I offer this for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Learn these techniques and prayers ahead of time. Have them ingrained so that they can come naturally in time of greater suffering. Remember, too, that smiling does help reduce pain, even if you are smiling alone in your bed, or as you go to sleep. Practice a nice smile when you are able to go to Mass, for think of how Jesus looks out at us from His Tabernacle, and sees such serious, sometimes grumpy faces with down-turned lips. Old people especially get these drooped lips, so it takes an act of the will for that tiny smile, a pleasant countenance. Practice this smile.

If you are besieged by sudden suffering and have not practiced techniques that saints have exemplified (such as suffering in silence or not letting on and being other-centered more and more), then begin practicing them with the first pain, whether physical or emotional. It can even be the suffering of financial hardships--both physically and emotionally painful.

Maybe tell your confessor that you feel so sick, that it has been hell, that you don't know what is going on and what God is doing, and that you no doubt are suffering for your many sins, as it is all right to be open to thinking about how one has sinned when one is suffering--as long as you don't make yourself scrupulous about them. Keep that little smile handy, and think about how good it will feel to have those sins washed away in confession. Laugh in triumph that the sins were brought to the surface in suffering (maybe as a result of pain), as God is victorious in your soul! Maybe tell your spiritual da how sick you've been, and ask his prayers, but only if it will not unduly distress him.

If you must release the pain through verbalization and expression, write it in a kind of journal, and remember to praise God, or bring the pain to some spiritual point, lovingly and joyfully. And don't worry if you don't seem joyful. God knows that you are trying to suffer as well as possible and are cooperating with the training session in victimsoulhood.

[The cross in the photo, on the left, is a bishop's cross. It has a special name, but am too tired to think of it. But have been thinking and praying about bishops, and the one in this diocese, and how many crosses he carries for the Lord and His Church, daily and nightly. Our bishop stays up quite late at night, working at his humble home, handling problem after problem that we sheep cause. His cross reflects immense light, for God is pleased with him.]

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

To Suffer or Die

St. Teresa, St. Mary Magdalene d'Pazzi, and some other victim souls of that time period, prior, and after, said this and similar sentiments.

This morning drove into early Mass, ice pack for the drive. Decided to not allow the ice pack into Church, as it can cause others to perhaps notice am not feeling well. Somehow, over the last 13 years (coming up this Friday) of being Catholic, events transpired to cause a great desire to be unnoticed. By going to early Mass, it was hoped the body would be more fresh, as yesterday's noon Mass attendance was full of suffering. It's a plan. Seemed to go better this morning, but the drive home incurred a bit much traffic.

During Mass, nothing was reminded of these saints' declarations. The words "to suffer or die" echoed down the spiritual genetic mapping, from those to whom we are connected in our Faith.

So nothing repeated the prayer, asking Jesus to let it be crucified once and for all, if it be His will. It wants to know if it should continue the ordeal of leaving the hermitage, or if this level of pain is something nothing needs to adapt to as a higher degree of suffering, or if it can die.

An adult daughter called and asked if nothing was alive, but that was because she and her family had made plane reservations to visit these parts in November, and had e-mailed that, and had not heard back. No, nothing had not seen the e-mail. Not even the adult children can quite comprehend the degree of pain--and nothing certainly does not want them to, or anyone.

For nothing can't quite comprehend the degree of pain the schizophrenic friend is enduring, of the elderly man who had a full bladder of infected urine, with nursing home folks unable to get a catheter in place. Nothing cannot comprehend the degree of pain in those who are depressed, or in the man who has asthma and weight problems and thyroid and now a torn cartilege. Or in the woman who is dying of cancer, lesioned all through her brain. Nothing can't fully comprehend the suffering of those souls who do not love Jesus, or do not know Him, or do not want to know Him. Or of those who are angry, hungry, lonely, misplaced, abused, paralyzed.

An hour of editing, finally, and thus more souls suffering from consumer fraud, out-of-control debt, foreclosures, elder-scams, rip-offs of the uneducated and unintelligent, of immigrants and youth.

Back to the thoughts of morning Mass, as the priest preached a stellar homily on the Word of God through Ezekiel, the psalmist and of Himself, to us, sitting (yee-ow) in the pews.

Suffer or die. Well, Lord, am not dead yet in the physical way. And am definitely suffering. So, it has been Your choice, and so it is to suffer, but if it is to die, that's fine. For it has been made clear it is going to be suffering or death. May as well suffer, then, for that is what is for now.

Do realize that the saints spoke the words as a courageous call, and nothing repeats them with a touch of irony and humor. It isn't as if at this point there is a way out of the suffering, and there isn't death at this moment, anyway.

But there is a kind of gratitude for the suffering, all the same, and a definite worth and value to suffering. Nothing tells the Lord it is grateful for all of it and any, and bring whatever more suffering, if it is helping any of these souls in such great pain. And nothing will try to do better with the suffering, to settle into it, and to keep going. Focus on stability and stillness.

How to proceed? In love! Pray for selflessness in suffering. Smile, listen carefully to the priest's homily and the consecration. When the sacristan points the annoying distraction for nothing to go to one side of the altar to assist with distribution of the Precious Blood, be agreeable, do not let on the interior agony, and know that God will provide the equanimity of body and soul.

Drive back to Agnus Dei. Set out a sprinkler. Then lie down with ice pack and read morning office. Set another sprinkler, then lie down with ice pack to read correspondence. Move one sprinkler, then ice pack while cousin calls. Tell cousin about how the devil will do all to bring discouragement, and that one must fight against any negative thoughts. Relates it to job change for cousin, of which the news upset the summer break. Move another sprinkler. Ice pack and write. Put small load of laundry in washer. Move sprinkler. Ice pack and write some more. Too much pain to bake peach cockaigne and no peaces set out to ripen, anyway. Eat a banana. Ice pack. Hang laundry on rack in sun. Ice pack. Move sprinkler. Ice pack and finish writing. Pray about all the people that come to mind, which are many. Pray for those who do not come to conscious mind. Ponder suffering while turning off water; too hot now to be watering. Tell the Lord it is all right if this level of pain is the next stage. Praise the Lord after reading Tobit 13, for praising Him has "suffered" lately.

Eat a little rice with kidney beans and a dollop of Madras curry sauce, microwaved. Get into bed and hold rosary, begin to pray. Too much pain to focus. Rest. Get up and see that the one who nothing had so horribly hurt from that behemoth sideways cross five or more weeks ago, has sent a few words. Nothing responds in gratitude for hoped-for forgiveness. But nothing is grateful for the lesson learned, and a life-long lesson to be practiced, like Rosa Mystica harp that patiently waits for nothing to learn, and practice. These first words from this person spell a success.

Then a phone call from someone who nothing has been praying for (and offering suffering). Success. Even the phone call yesterday morning means a success for the friend who is now willing to go to the psych ward. Even being able to do small tasks between ice-packs is success. And the biggest is having endured the pain of going to Mass, to be reminded of the call to suffer (or die), and either one is acceptable to nothing, for it is what God has chosen, either one, and both. And in some ways, both at the same time.

There seems to be success in the suffering--that God is letting nothing know. And there have also been loving exchanges from others who previously were strangers to nothing's temporal ken. Now they are known souls in the Body of Christ. Real live Catholics out there, and nothing finds itself praying for them, for their families, for their needs and intentions. And offering its suffering, even if so tiny in even the partial spectrum of suffering.

Amazing how God gave the stamina for nothing to endure pain of four hours in a hospital ER to help the elderly couple. Suffering works.

A nothing-needs-to-improve, big time--
Once nothing asked its confessor about someone with cancer, and her suffering--was there pain in such-and-such a location? He said that he wouldn't know, for she wouldn't be one to ever say if it hurt there or not.

Nothing was humbled, and this siege has thought much about this religious, and how she evidently does not complain at all about her suffering. Nothing wants to think that surely she complains to her family or to the confessor, but probably not. Nothing aspires to be like that, or like the confessor and spiritual da who celebrate Mass even if ashen-faced from virus or instable on feet from age and crooked spine and poor heart. Not to complain.

Part of nothing's suffering is the often-times spiritual aspects, the night work, and the various souls. But so? Still nothing could NOT complain of any pain. Is complaining of suffering, or even talking about it or writing about it, and especially of showing it (meaning maybe one should just stay in if it appears to be suffering)--is that another sideways cross, or at minimum one of those things that the Lord does not like about nothing's vocational practices?

Is it act-of-the-will time and get out the ax and torch to hack and burn a possible sideways cross?

When a person dies, he or she is not sharing about suffering. Well, maybe the souls in purgatory are, in those cases that the Lord has them tell some mystic about their experiences, as a warning to the living. When a person suffers, especially one called by God to suffer, and who has agreed and has offered to suffer, should that person, then, tell others, even any one person such as a confessor or spiritual da, or write about it?

To suffer or die! To suffer, it is, now! And maybe to suffer in SILENCE. Would the stairway to heaven allow for talk about pain? Doubtful. Am settling into suffering, more and more. It becomes comfortable as death.

[The Japanese Blood grass is of the perennial variety, and if nothing lives to spring desires to plant two more clumps along the stone edging of Lake Immaculata. A good reminder of Jesus Who bled for us, and suffered, and died for us, and did so in silence other than words of forgiveness, gifting His mother to us and St. John, and in crying out to Abba, Father, asking the famous question that we might comprehend why suffering may seem from the human view, a spiritual abandonment.]

Monday, August 18, 2008

Message to Anonymous/R: Go in peace

And yet another comment from you?

"[nothing's given name], you did not answer me. I wasnt to understand how YOU see suffering? Do you like it? do you think God is pleased that you suffer? What, exactly, do you believe you accomplish by it? Do you think that there has to be a constant ammount of suffering in the world, and that is one person suffers less, another must suffer more? Please try to answer specifically. I am aware of the documents you mention, but they do not answer my questions about how you understand things."

No, dear one, nothing is not going to answer you, for you may not need to know until at some point you may be called to suffer and to learn in the school of suffering, and then to understand how you see suffering, and how you suffer suffering, for isn't that the most important question each soul must learn for him- or herself?

Now, nothing kindly notifies you that it is not going to engage further with your comments, no matter how they are written, for good or ill. Your comments will not be posted or commented upon in reference, henceforth. This is a blog, not a public debate forum. Go in peace--this is nothing's prayer for you.

And Yet Another "Other"

Today there are two more comments, both of the same origin (and perhaps this root has divers offshoots). And this "other" has left comments before and doesn't seem to comprehend that those comments and tone are part of the reason why many Protestants are not impressed with Catholics.

However, the "other" asks questions, perhaps somewhat rhetoric and, from previous comments nothing has received but not posted from this soul, an attempt to bait or engage in a joust. Bl. John (mentioned him in a previous blog) gave up jousting for the love of God. Nothing is not up to jousting, either, but the commenter's questions in themselves, stripped of whatever motives good or ill (and that up to God to determine with that person), have a good in and of themselves.

"[nothing's given name used, to what point?], do you think that God likes people to suffer? Do you think that suffering pleases Him? How do you understand suffering?"

Well, dear friend in Christ Jesus and fellow Catholic, these are good questions. And nothing thinks that what it thinks is no doubt expressed as an outflowing of suffering and how the Lord is teaching nothing in the school of suffering. But what is better for you in an answer, is for you to develop what you think, and read the excellent encyclical by the late Pope John Paul II, Salvifici Dolores, as well as the Pope Pius XII encyclical relative to suffering and devotion to the Sacred Heart, as well as the information under the categories of "pain" and "illness" in The Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as the various books about and by victim souls. Perhaps you will be interested in the victim soul guidebook that nothing is hoping to have available by Advent.

Your second comment is a request for private information so that you can be an informant of nothing's writing and nothing's self to those who already know nothing. Yes, they are aware of nothing and seem not to make much ado about nothing. Which seems wise on their part, for who would want to be obsessed over nothing? Thank you for your past and current concerns, however, and always pray for me, as I have been praying for you and will continue to do so.

In fact, some might suggest nothing should simply ignore your comments. But did nothing ignore the lovely Vanessa, a young woman unknown to nothing, who came across the parking lot as nothing was hunched in the car, ice-packing forehead and back, waiting for traffic to clear and pain to ease a bit, before attempting the rather simple, seven-mile drive to Agnus Dei? No, nothing thanked this young woman and said it will be all right to drive itself, as the young woman wanted to drive nothing home. And if nothing had not been all right to drive itself, it would have gratefully accepted. But then nothing said it would pray a thanksgiving to God for this young woman, and told her she is quite perceptive, sensitive, and kindly generous--a marvelous Catholic!

Yes, out of all the Catholics at Mass, this one young woman was aware of someone suffering by the side of the parking lot, and came over to offer assistance. So then this lovely young woman said she did need prayers, and would nothing pray for her to get a job, for she has been in real estate, and we all know about that right now.... She would like a job in sales, in the medical field, to be precise, and nothing said it will pray very much for this; and the next time it sees Vanessa, there will surely be good news to share, and we will rejoice! Vanessa beamed. Lord, hear our prayer!

So nothing asks you, the one who asks these questions, has made various nefarious comments and desires to be an informant of nothing, to please (in between the time spent reading the above recommended and any other books you desire on suffering and victim souls in general) pray for this young woman and that God will help her secure a job of her wishes, for she does seem a lovely soul and would be well-placed in connection with the medical field, don't you think?

And anyone else who might read this, please pray for a job for Vanessa, a young Catholic of whom we can be grateful and proud, and take edifying example. (And a prayer for her mother who she says suffers from back pain and for herself who has migraine headaches.)

As Vanessa is a soul who desires prayers, and nothing is a soul who desires prayers, you who keep dropping by with whatever comments now and then, are a soul, and nothing does not discount any souls who God brings to nothing's attention. Love to suffer; suffer to love! God bless you and Mary keep you!

Perhaps the mentioned reading will be helpful to any others who have an interest in learning about suffering and victim souls, from the best of the sources. The Book of Job is so good, too, and Pope John Paul II references this much in his encyclical.

So, thank you for the comments and questions, Anonymous/R and whatever other alias you go by, for all things work for good for those who love the Lord. And I know you love the Lord, but please try to love nothing, also. Nothing loves you and cares about you, and sometimes is concerned as to why the tendency to anger and rancor as expressed in the past comments. So we shall keep praying for one another, all right, my friend? Reading nothing's blogs is not all that beneficial to you or peace inducing, or so it seems.

[The photo is of the first-blooming Gladiolus, planted this spring in the front corner of Our Lady of Fatima Rose Garden. Nothing had to just get those bulbs in the ground somewhere, and knew once grown would need something to support their height. So it put them by the picket fence, in a spot where a rose bush had passed on, prior to nothing deciding to give roses another try. Anyway, that is a picket fence post behind it, and the morning light cast a shadow, and it seems rather a posed posey, as in some kind of indoor setting. But it is out in the light, exposed to the world and the elements, right next to a red rose bush and doing battle with the Japanese Beetles that are yet flying about and landing to chew and destroy leaves and blossoms.

Just last evening nothing went out and had to whack them off the Bishop's Rose and the Vicar General's Rose with a nearby bamboo rod, for nothing could not manage to get the sprayer readied. Maybe today, maybe not: God willing and body able. Those beetles just hang on and on, and even when dusted with Sevens, drop off but others just keep coming. Some people do not grow roses in these parts due to the pesky little Japanese Beetles--which to look at, have shiny wings...are multi-colored and intriguing.

The devil can be like that, seeming to be just a pretty little bug; but the damage it does to that which is simply trying its best to bloom in Mary's Garden--oh my! The Gladiolus, in Medieval Mary Gardens, was also known as Christ's Sword. Am hoping these Christ Swords growing in the rose garden will fend off the Japanese Beetles

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Question Asked, an Answer Given

[...continued from the message of a couple of posts back, "The Loving Touch of His Pain".

The dear man spoke: And can I ask another question?

"You may speak."

And this is a very important question for me. Is this insight and wisdom, is it from energy outside the spiritual center of [name] or is it anenergy that's really from her and speaking her own inner thoughts in a very altered state? Or are these wisdoms coming from a process outside of her body, outside of her soul, outside of this room?

"This has been, indeed, a concern of yours, is it not?"

Yes it has.

"And the answer is quite clear:

"The strength, the wisdom, as you cal it, comes from God the Father and those who love this being very much, and who come from without and settle within the lovely spirit that we have here embodied in this being who now chooses to live on this earth.

"Does that tell you that this being opens her heart to the outer Source of all beingness and energy? And as she in her time of need would call for those such as her beloved grandmother?

"That it is God the Father, the Source of all beingness and energy who allows the outer love to encircle and reside within her inner being? From without to within, and as you hear now, from within to without as you are without her inner being. Is this clear to you?"

The man, a bit shaken by the interchange, continues: I understand the process and...the actual belief of...emanating from the Father and the aspects of...that's very difficult for me.

"As you may picture, then, waht was spoken previously, a figure 8 in a tube 8. And picture either a source of energy that you might know such as water or neon, and that flows through, and that is in three dimensions for you to understand.

"And that this spirit--this entity [name]--that we have here, is a link.

"Yes, you may even picture her body at a juncture point on this figure 8. And it is at juncture point with the lower back that is of such pain to her.

"And the Source, then, of all energy--of the system that is too incomprehensible for your mind as it is on earth to comprehend--this energy flows, and this body is merely at juncture with the source of all life on this earth, and energy without and beyond this earth and planet.

"Does this help you see?"

The man speaks: Could you answer this question? Is there in the future a physical healing for the body of [name]?

"Only in the sense of this body being linked and nurtured by the ever-flowing source of what you call Divine intervention. As for the body that walks the earth, it will indeed know earthly pain."

Is there any reason for this be in the conscious mind of [name]?

"Well, yes.

"Of course, she needs the help. She desires the help. And very simply put, she asked for help and she receives because she believes and has a great capacity to believe even more that will come and be shown to her-- for her loving kindness and for her espousal to others."

[The woodland anemone, "sylvestris", greets the dawn, and reminds those who suffer that it is in one's great belief and love of God the Father, that He will come and take us into Himself. As the white bloom, a great light glows and beckons all to believe in God and to place our trust in Him, no matter the suffering, no matter the need. And we praise His Holy Name with great love and faith, for we believe! And the more we believe in God and in even the smallest ways attempt loving kindness, He helps us. This is for everyone!

Faith, hope, and love, and greater love than we can comprehend, like the crown of yellow found within the center of the white woodland anemone bloom.... It is the crown of Christ's love for those who love Him and believe, who are willing to offer Him all our inadequate human pain, love and trust. We do this for love of Christ Who gave His Divine and Incarnate All for all souls, as we pick up the crosses He offers so lovingly, with such exquisite, pain that is sheer joy at other levels.]

For Yet a Little and a Very Little While

Love this verse and others from Hebrews:

"For yet a little and a very little while, and He that is to come, will come, and will not delay. But my just man liveth by faith; but if he withdraw himself, he shall not please my soul." (Hebrews 10:37-38).

Am getting so used to referring to "self" as nothing, that it seems odd not to, so will on this blog, as well.

Nothing thinks this clump of grasses or reeds, is like a little and a very little while, spiking out like nerve pain emanating from that opening in the body through which enters pain, which courses through the body as love.

A victim soul should not withdraw from pain, although it is very difficult in the face of human suffering. The pain screams sometimes, just like love cries out. Sometimes love is so intense that it takes the microphone and sings acapella, full-voiced. Sometimes it doesn't even need a microphone. Then, at other times, as one accustoms to the love in His pain, it seems to whisper.

Last evening, during Mass, nothing was sick with pain but thankful to drive Stella Maris (name of car its mother purchased for nothing several years ago--with a comfortable seat) seven miles to the Cathedral. During Mass nothing found itself making yet another offering: "Jesus, please crucify me once and for all, if it be Your will--or whenever--for I am ready to die--or I think so, as best I can think anything right now. And I am quite willing to not leave the hermitage ever again, if that be Your will. But You know best and You know all."

Victim souls can make offerings. Anyone can make offerings to Jesus. More blessed to give than receive, the Scriptures tell us.

A little and a very little while, He will come and will not delay. Wake up this morning, and the pain is singing its love song, at first softly and then quite noticeably, and nothing rises and gets some hot tea microwaved, and eats the third day of a peach cockaigne it bakes every five days (with whatever fruit has been on sale). Then it begins to write and write and write, and gimps outside in nightclothes (no one around since both houses on either side are empty at this point), and takes some photos in the Mary Garden, sets the sprinkler, and gimps back in, done in by Jesus' loving, pain touches.

Last night, after Mass, nothing was able to speak with its confessor. Nothing mentions a dear soul met via the blogs, who has e-mailed by the grace of God at this time, and encouraged nothing to get to Mass even if having to drag the body. For nothing yesterday was so depleted, it was ready to withdraw itself. It felt that if it did not get to Mass, it would never go again. No energy, just withdraw and suffer and be thankful to suffer in total solitude. A kind of loving, painful bliss. Nothing was feeling extra solus Deus.

So the confessor said that this person who e-mailed nothing the encouragement to get to Mass no matter what, was a very wise person with very wise advice. He said it was good that nothing listened to that advice. Yes, nothing is grateful to this person. Nothing Catholic victim soul is thankful to have received Christ at Mass and also the insights about Jesus' pain being love.

Then it drove the seven loving painful miles back to Agnus Dei, and there picked up the file from the past, and found yet another little message that seems possibly of benefit to others who suffer, and for anyone, really, for who doesn't suffer or who won't suffer at some time in life?

And nothing also realizes that to bury a gift out of fear, is not what Jesus was teaching in His parable of the talents. Nor is withdrawing what He intended when He allowed the Canaanite woman to beg Him to heal her daughter, and He three times denied until He had brought her faith to fruition. Of course, then He healed the woman's daughter and showed the world for ages to come, that Christ is for all and everyone! He will come, and he will not delay, in a very little while.

A Victim Soul of the Sacred Heart of Jesus does not withdraw. Nothing explained again to the confessor (after he assured nothing it had not committed mortal sin in its blog writings) that it wants to help others to know some of what victimsoulhood is like, in its very candid and human aspects. Nothing held up the current reading, Marie Anne of L'Agnus Dei, and said, "I want others who suffer to know that Jesus desires many to be willing to offer their sufferings to Him, as victims of His love for souls. The books don't always reveal the doubts, the anxieties, the despairs--the painful, daily, nitty-gritty of what it can be like."

(Am suddenly growing depleted, and will cease what was going to write, and put it in a separate blog, the message of several years ago. Might be helpful to others, as it is a good reminder and encouragement. Nothing is not going to withdraw itself, for it wants to please Him. In suffering, in prayer, in being a good Catholic, in being in process, in love, in faith, in hope, and even in writing.)

"But we are not the children of withdrawing unto perdition, but of faith to the saving of the soul" (Hebrews 10:39).

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Loving Touch of His Pain

From the files of the past comes this little message.

"I am your humble servant. Yes, the deep blue-violet petunia has a deep brown, cord root. And even though there is much of it exposed to the air and the elements, the root is strong and deep--thicker than one might imagine for such a delicate bloom.

"And your life may not grow in the ways that your exposed petals think it should grow. And one might not recognize the root as belonging to a petunia. But that which is underground is linked to the Source and is nurtured by God and grows by God.

"And whatever elements attack the exposed root and bloom do not affect in the least the root that thrives below the ground in the deep, rich soil. It hangs on and can grow anywhere that God desires it to grow.

"And even withered blooms have magnificent root structures. This never ceases. It is ordained and shall be.
"Recall your roots."

"The number 8 presents itself.

"Like a track it keeps going. And it twists and twirls, never ending. Beginning without end. Not flat, but multi-dimensional. Luminescent. Filled with power. And filled with love.
"Love is the power that surges and courses through the roots, through the 8.

"Stop thinking and perceiving of it as looking down from above on situations. But stay beneath them in the depth and the richness where your roots take hold firmly. And let the love circle the track and surge through your roots.

"You can be very comforted beneath the surface. Remain there in your strength."

Yes, Lord, in this suffering and in all sufferings, I will try to remain resting beneath the surface. In all of life, let me be hidden beneath the surface. You are there in the roots of infinite, encircling love.

So grateful for the insights given, the loving words which assist in pondering how to endure in any situation. Tonight during Mass, ice-pack being used on the various parts of the body in such pain, praying "please don't let others notice", looking up at the crucifix at Our Lord suffering for everyone and, yes, for me, it became clear how much love there is in His pain, in His offering and sacrifice.

I was touched deeply in the heart with much pain then, and realized it was Jesus touching my heart with love. Love to suffer; suffer to love. Pain in and of Christ, with His love, offered in love, is Christ's loving pain touching us. He touches all of us, but do all of us love His touch in this way? Do we think of HIs love when we are touched by holy pain?

[Sorry about the not-so-focused photo of the deep, blue-violet petunias in the Mary Gardens of Agnus Dei. Gimped out this morning, and morning sunlight intense, and too much pain to hold camera still, and so forth. But perhaps it is best this way, with a thread of the Frankie Boy Arborvitae [think "St. Francis"!] weaving through the upper left, and the reality of the petunia roots somewhere beneath the surface, unseen but there feeding the blooms. Whether or not one sees clearly or as through a fuzzy mirror, the roots thrive. Recall them.]

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dear Friends in Christ Jesus

The suffering of this pain siege continues, and yet am able to get up, thankfully. It is all very good and as Julian of Norwich said, "And all shall be well." Thank you for prayers, and be assured of mine for all of you.

An interesting development arose, perhaps even expected, and after consultation am going to be in prayer and will not be blogging for now. Will see what the Holy Spirit desires.

God love you, every one of you, and especially a special soul for whom I have prayed and will always continue to pray.

Who Suffers for the Victim Souls?

This question popped, and the answer is: Jesus.

When the suffering gets to the point of annihilation, or approaching that, from all human perspective, there is but Jesus Who takes the brunt of the load. As He always did and does and will.

Last night, awoke a few minutes prior to 3 a.m. Awakened by the sound of singing, and the song was a hymn, and it was a hymn not often sung at Masses, but yet the words came and had meaning.

In the thick of suffering, now approaching 3 p.m., the words and tune hide behind clouds. Yet the reality remains, and the message, and so there is no doubt about the suffering, no frantic desperation. That doesn't mean no attempts at distraction. Have been painting another picket fence section, laid out on sawhorses in the garage. Praying. Trying to keep the mind off the pain so as to not vomit. Never liked to vomit so mostly never did! Act of the will, in a temporal affect!

Now am writing, for the section needs to dry before painting the reverse. And writing about suffering, and thinking about Jesus taking it from here, for He Is. Thinking about victim souls who were bedridden, and their only distraction was removal of another means, into another world. Am part-way out and on the way. Then, was thinking about practicing what has been written in this blog, and what has been read, and to coach the self to suffer as well as possible, like a runner in a relay, and now ready to hand off to Jesus for the rest of the race.

The hymn. It is being sung in timeless suffering, and the recollection of the voices in the middle of the night, helps assuage the pain enough to tolerate, to think enough to be able to write.

And writing is a good distraction, depending upon what is being written. After all the over-the-counter pain relievers that might possibly take the edge off, gave up on those. Poured a half glass of some awful bubbly kind of wine, purchased a year ago on the discount shelf, local grocery. Maybe that will help settle the stomach?

Too much pain to read, or not yet. Too much pain to attempt to figure out the electronic tuner for the harp, or to tune the harp, to learn a new trick. Not yet. When all thoughts of this or that placid activity turn the stomach and increase the desire to call the confessor or spiritual da--then it is time to just hang in and keep in conversation with Jesus.

A bit ago came a comment, and it led to thoughts about distractions. And previously had been in a fuss about distractions, thinking they should be rid out. Yet now, in addition to the pleasure of suffering for souls, thoughts consider that distractions can be gifts to be utilized in time of need!

One distraction considered was to gut it up and go to the nursery, to get three chamaecyparis out of hock, and return and try to plant them along with the three dwarf evergreens--all in one fell swoop so as to have them spotted in lovely and cohesive, artistic array. But the financial advisor had already sent out the little help check yesterday. That ruled out this distraction option, for now will wait two weeks to plant any of them, unless some inspiration comes for the three that are here now.

Just as well! Too sick to be driving anywhere, even a few miles. Too sick to eat, too sick to even want to sip that bubbly pinot noir. But will, in hopes it will offer the stomach a good and lovely distraction.

Since this suffering came from heaven, as have not lifted anything heavy, not over done, not this or that--and since the voices were singing the appropriate and unexpected hymn in the middle of the night--will lean into the suffering, and utilize the small distractions available, although once at this stage, there is really nothing to do but suffer it and let Jesus take it from here.

The mind, however, and the attitude: remain calm, offer it for whatever Jesus desires and whoever of greatest need in His Sight and Mind, be joyful in the mystery of it all, and keep going in small ways, silently, in stillness and serenity. Be grateful for the gift of distractions--the ones that He chooses to gift. And in a bit, if He so wills, read a little of St. Hildegarde. Lives of saints, especially the old, hardbound larger print books, are soothing and not too mind-rattling. Hildegarde had her suffering, and she also was outstanding in her time for medicinal abilities with herbs.

And think about the ones in the past two days for which a willingness to suffer was offered, and know at least in one or two cases, the suffering is accepted and has had its effect! Praise be to God! And remember Who offers it up for those who offer to suffer: Jesus suffers for the victim souls!

Monday, August 11, 2008

You Will Find Him in Your Pain

Amazing what messages come when one is alone in the Church, kneeling before the Tabernacle of Christ our Lord. He is there. His mother is there. Angels and saints are there.

Once, several years ago, not long after converting to Catholicism, a visit was made in the afternoon, and there was a great deal of physical pain, and yearning, as well as a questioning to Jesus: "Where are You? It seems You have left me!"

Then, from the Tabernacle which was slightly to the right and ahead, and at the same time from the Mary altar, to the left and front, came two small and airy--yet discernible to the naked eye--whitish puffs. They floated toward the questioner, and then hovering next to each other, stopped, above and in front.

Then a woman's voice spoke from the whitish puff which floated from the Mary altar. Gently, firmly, clearly the words resounded: You will find Him in your pain!

A victim soul must always remember this truth. Our Lord is always present, always with us, and especially, we will find Him in our pain. And that goes for any mortal, any human being, who may wonder where He is, or who feels as if left alone by Jesus. One needn't look far to find Him in one's pain. Those who suffer are not alone in their pain. Perhaps they don't know to look there to find Him.

For there, in the pain, is the peace and joy of loving encounter with Christ.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Victim Soul Offerings: Into the Future?

Someone asked good questions on a separate blog, and the thoughts to share, now, seem suited to that of the victim soul blog. Here are the questions/comments:

"I have read about suffering to console Jesus, to share His cross, out of love for Jesus, in reparation for the sins of mankind (which brought to mind sins being committed or already committed). Can a victim soul suffer so that a sin may never be committed?

"As an example: could a victim soul have a vocation to suffer so that children would be protected from abuse, that their innocence not be taken from them in any form of evil? That they may be spared and remain wholly God's for a while longer?

"My heart says yes because I have trust and faith in God, but my mind cannot comprehend the logic of it as we all have free will. I know one can stand between God and sinner to obtain forgiveness for the sinner, but can one deflect it from even occurring in the first place somehow thru their sufferings?"

Yes, a victim soul may offer his or her suffering with the intention that a certain sin may never be perpetrated. A victim soul may offer to Jesus any and all sufferings for group categories, specific persons and illnesses and sins--past, present and future. God's realm is timeless.

Will the offering made keep someone from sinning or keep someone from being harmed? That is all up to Divine providence and includes humankind's free will.

My confessor (thankfully returned but himself not feeling well, so this one offered the gut-sickening pain of this week along with some prayers to the Virgin Mary, asking for his relief and recovery, citing his many important responsibilities in the Diocese) commented that it is well for a victim soul to offer the suffering for the person or persons who God knows need it most.

Also, there seem to be levels of progression for victim souls in their offerings and work. At one level, the victim soul offers for specific persons and/or groups or categories, usually known. At another level the victim soul offers for specific groups or categories, but not specifically known. At yet another level the victim soul simply offers the suffering and/or offers to suffer, for whatever and however the Lord has need, for souls, for situations, for sins, for reparation, for love of Him. This latter is the level to which a victim soul does well to strive and attain.

Sometimes the Lord allows the victim soul to know for whom or what category the suffering has been utilized. Perhaps He does this to encourage the victim soul, as a kind of consolation. But often and perhaps most often, the victim soul suffers in blind faith; and this is best to not expect any feedback and to squelch curiosity. Just do the work of suffering and be thankful for it, keeping in mind it never approaches Christ's suffering but is all the same pleasing to Him!

A good offering to make is not only for future victims of suffering or sin but also for the prior conversion of the one who may perpetrate an evil. As the questioner suggests, this all must be offered and the suffering effected, in faith, without knowing outcomes.

The same goes for suffering offered for souls of the past and sufferings and evils of others of the past.

(We may never know or fathom how many sins and sufferings were and are alleviated and also averted as a result of the work of victim souls all over the world, in various centuries. But we know from some victim soul saints, that this is so, for the Lord showed them some results of their offerings and sufferings.)

At some point, the victim soul may sense within, from the Lord or His messenger, that the victim soul is to offer suffering or to suffer for a particular group, cause, or individuals. This takes the victim soul yet further from self and allows and agrees to the suffering without personal preference. However, it is not wrong to suggest and offer to suffer for those causes and cases close to our hearts. These may very well be the ones for which Jesus wants us to offer and suffer.

Or, there may be something or someone that we would not have thought of, or felt desirous of suffering for that cause or person! Then we know that Jesus is in charge of the who, what, where, when and why of victim soulhood!

And that is where the crux of this cross stands: Ultimately, we become victims of love, willing holocausts, agreeable and cooperative immolations. We take the assignments as they come, not seeking that which is beyond us or above our means. We remain with hearts and bodies open to whatever the Lord desires to bring in suffering, having told Him that we are willing to offer all, no matter the agony. And even if that agony is that He does not seem to utilize us often or at all!

Nonetheless, the victim soul continues to make offerings of every detail of every day that can be offered to the Lord for souls! Sort of like: the right hand knoweth not what the left hand doeth! Give without expecting anything in return. Go in faith.

For example, one is suffering. Assume in love and joy that the Lord is utilizing that suffering since one has made a victim soul offering. Or, perhaps one has had a glimpse interiorly of some group or persons--even in a dream!--and then feels a strong desire and draw to offer to suffer for the same. Then some suffering comes along--perhaps not physical; maybe it is an emotional suffering such as feeling down, or a financial hardship, or a sorrow within one's family or friendship base, or a spiritual suffering such as a sense of abandonment or rejection. Without doubting, know that the Lord is utilizing the suffering, so be sure to suffer it as well as one can! Even in that, know that if one does not suffer as well as one would like, it is suffering, and the victim soul offered it and tried to suffer well. If the suffering didn't go so well and there was complaining, doubt, or fear--offer that!

And don't ask to know if the suffering effectuated the prevention of, for example, a child being abused, or if it caused the conversion prior of one who would have abused, or if it kept a child's innocence and closeness to God preserved for a longer time. Try to not even think of it. The Lord will know if the victim soul needs encouragement, and He will provide the encouragement necessary, according to His will and pleasure.

The sufferings of a victim soul may be utilized for souls and for past sufferings and sins. Think of the souls in purgatory who are in this category! Think of Jesus' sacrifice being re-enacted daily in the timelessness of God, on the altars of Catholic Churches all over the world. So, yes, past and future and very much present: offer to suffer, offer any and all sufferings, and offer to be ignored in the offerings, if God so wills.

A person may have an interior inclination that it is to offer to be a victim soul, for example, for priests in a Diocese. If so, then offer this and agree to it. Then even if a priest is in a terrible predicament of sin, and the suffering so detestable: offer oneself. Learn to love to suffer, suffer to love. And the best way to learn to love to suffer is by suffering, over and over and over, and particularly for that which is most difficult to suffer. Even if a priest has a virus, offer to suffer for the relief of that virus, or to be given that virus vicariously, or to offer chronic suffering for that soul.

If the Lord does not need the offering, He doesn't have to accept! That doesn't mean one should stop offering the suffering for good intentions and purposes. And, in God's timeless realm, one might find oneself suffering at some other time, long after the offering was made. And, always, part of the suffering is utilized in the purgation of one's own sins.

Offer, offer, offer. Past, present, future. No questions asked. No answers needed. Sacrifices of praise, suffering becomes!

[These are thoughts submitted by this victim soul, after prayer, augmented by some years of reading and vicarious suffering, and after today's consultation with the regular confessor. Hope it is pleasing to the Lord and agreeable to His purposes.]

Friday, August 01, 2008

Did Jesus Have Particular Friendships?

An outstanding comment was left on a blog in which I had written about not having particular friendships. The person simply wrote, "Jesus had particular friendships." This caused me to ponder anew on this aspect of Christ and to review points of Scripture. The pondering is going to be for awhile, and it is very good.

I'll have to ask Him if they were "particular". We only have the view from those who wrote of the experience with Him. Yet we have revelations of the saints showing His love of all and not seeming any more than others. But closeness, perhaps this is better what we could mean. (Semantics can be rough waters of expression sometimes!).

Jesus is close to all, but all are not close to Him. It is a matter of perspective, and who was it who wrote "the disciple who Jesus loved"? It was St. John who wrote that. Now that I think of it, I guess I never read in Scripture the expression from Jesus that He was more particular with this one or that. We can infer from His asking James, John and Peter to go up the mountain with Him and to witness the Transfiguration, or that He was particularly close to Peter in giving Him the keys to the Kingdom!

Yet who knows if that was His having particular friendships or of loving all, and yet of needing to rely on some for certain reasons, for certain tasks.

He did say that Mary chose the better part, but was His friendship particular to the exclusion of closeness to anyone else--who desired closeness with Him?

This has brought up a good point of ponderance: Did Jesus have "particular" friendships--or at least in the way "I" might think of particular friendships--or is it the perspective that "I" might have on Jesus' "friendships"?

As for "Harold" [reference in a previous post], that was a friendship that the other perceived was "particular", and thus the thoughts grew to behold that particular friendships are in the mind of the one who desires to be particularized! And this is not always such a good thing....It can create much spiritual and temporal distraction and be emotionally unhealthy.

Seems that the most antithetical of the Pharisees, were no less particular friends to Jesus--but they thought themselves not at all His particular friends. But does Jesus make a person a "particular" friend, or does the person perceive that relationship (or not) for him- or herself?

Then, we look in on the scene and make the assumption from our human observations.

Who are my mother, brother, sister? So it seems from the words spoken, these were not what we would view as courting specialty but more generality. He seemed to be making a point: that anyone who does the will of God--who chooses in particular, God--is His particular friend. And that could be and is anyone, and maybe that is why I cannot conclude that He Himself had particular friendships. I just do not know that He did.

Let us pray and ask Him to make it more clear. But perhaps the answer lies within motive of the person--and I've often wondered why St. John would refer to himself as the "disciple Jesus loved"--if St. John didn't very well understand that Jesus loves everyone. Aren't we taught this--unconditional love, pure love, eternal love?

Admittedly, though, there are those who are closer to us than others--but if one is spiritually detached, then one is close to this one or that only because this one or that has need by God's will to be in one's life at this or that juncture. It may be a temporal nearness. Spiritual nearness is another matter, and in that, the nearness thrives from spiritual indifference!

Particular friendships can be rather elusive. Jesus did choose this or that disciple, and He continues throughout the ages in His saints. Yet, was it for particular friendship or for a Divine purpose?

The comment brought up such a good point, but I guess I'm not ready to simply say that Jesus had particular friendships, although we may be viewing "particular" in a different way.

I do admit that I have a particular friendship with Jesus, but if He has a particular friendship with me, it is because then He has particular friendships with everyone--or that capacity. And, perhaps this is the better point, I then should consider all in the world, souls living and dead, as particular friends.

Now I will ponder this all day, and it is very good to do so. And to root out any who I do not love in particular, yet still not allow myself to be "particularized" by any given individual. No hugs for any particulars who desire to be particularized, as that is not spiritually free. Jesus did not particularize his own family members, yet if they loved and did the will of God, they were family. He did not exclude, them, either--unless the point needed to be made.

Should we do likewise?

[Pictured is the tomb of St. Jane Frances de Chantal, in the Convent of the Visitation, Annecy, France. She is known by others (perhaps assumed by others?) to have had a particular friendship with St. Francis de Sales, and vice versa. But as in the spiritual friendship of Bl. Jordan and Bl. Diana, the letters extant from St. Francis and Bl. Jordan also indicate similar expressions of "particular" love to others with whom they were in correspondence. Spiritual love, then, seems not to particularize one over another, for all are elevated to the spiritual heights in which the mother, brothers, sisters in the mystical Body hear and heed the will of God. They are through Him, with Him, in Him. Perhaps it is our human non-union status that allows us to assume a kind of particular love, a humanized particularity. Did St. John write in Revelation at the same level as in his Gospel--or even in the Letters of John? He seems to have grown to a union with Christ that did not refer to people in particular views. It seems very much, regarding particular friendships, that the designation is made by those who approach the other with need to be a particular friend. In Scripture, from what I can see, it is the humans who pointed out Jesus' closeness to this or that person, and what does Jesus say about it? I can't recall that Jesus said this one was the one I loved over that one. He seems to have loved Judas as much as John, but John loved Jesus more (at least in certain moments and actions), and thus appeared from our view and others' to be a particular friend. If St. Francis and St. Jane had particular friendship, it seems to be at those times when they were in that mode yet, of human particularity. Later, they rarely saw each other, and it was with others that St. Francis met and spoke prior to his death. It seems that he and Jane had transcended particularity in friendship, one to the other. And that seems to be the point for me--to transcend particular friendships. Seems as if Jesus shows the way for that, as particular friendships in my life (from my perspective or sometimes from some other person's) have been neutralized by spiritual detachment, which has been achieved by earthly decisions and unearthly clearings!]