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.]


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