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!


Post a Comment

<< Home