Sunday, January 24, 2010

Holy Stones! Am Going to God!

The stones, foreground in photo, are literally called "Holy Stones". They come from these parts, general region of country. Piled them around in late fall, awaiting spring inspiration but just might leave them piled! In background is Blue Spruce "pendula", with Uncle Jack Fogey Jack Pine in near background, trunk of Weeping Young's Birch. Catch glimpse of a couple upright stones. These are the unmarked Stations of the Cross. Dotted them around gardens; one can begin at any one to make the meditation Way.

So much in my spiritual life has occurred; can't begin to write it. Would miss what is on-going, present moment. No need to share. Have not been writing other than on web pages and decided to let God bring whom He wills to its site and shores. May it pass unnoticed, as far as I am concerned, but a creative endeavor, it is!

Last night, marveling at how God is unfolding events rather rapidly now, and how I am going to God--yes, I am going to God!--I realized that there is more than enough written in this blog about victim souls, to give anyone a good start, an overview, and then some.

After a certain point, it all becomes uniquely individual: the suffering, the messages, the trials, the joys, the spiritual growth, the souls encountered, the mysteries, the Love. So many books to read about victim souls, really. They share bits of their lives, or others share overviews and bits of their lives. Sure, much is left out. The older the book, the more often the grim details are glossed with finales of grandly executed final days and deaths. But in between first cognition of the mission and the glorious, joyful, victorious death, the victim souls do suffer intensely, immensely, and not always heroically. Not at first. It is a process. All of life, each holy stone of our spiritual lives are piled one upon another, painfully so yet beautifully so, creating a landscape in all seasons, awaiting eventual exaltation in God.

Not sure there needs to be any more written, at least not by me, here. Printed out all blogs, hole punched, put loads of pages in binders. Stuck them in a closet, bottom shelf near floor.  Now am going to God, and that, in a way expressed, so my dear readers may interpret in varying ways. Readers gain glimpses of what I write, make varying assumptions as we all are tempted to do, based upon our own souls' panorama, placement, and perspicacity.

A writer of matters mysterious, of spirit and soul and suffering, leaves much left in wonderment, leaves room for pondering, and if one desires, to make assumptions, form opinions, or simply sample for one's own holy stone pile compilation.

 Suffer all for the love of God and for love of souls, my friends who understand and those who don't!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Little Child Jesus, Lost and Found....

Son called frantically yesterday. "Use your prayers. I'm in big trouble."

As it turns out, a tape he'd shot of something coming down where he works, was missing. He was on a stake-out, but co-workers had torn apart his desk back in NYC, to no avail of finding it.

So this son (who lapsed from the Church after losing faith while in a liberal Catholic university) wanted me to pray. It might mean his job. So I prayed on the phone, aloud, to Little Child Jesus, lost and found, please help this video tape to come around.

I always like to make it rhyme. And I told him he also needed to ask St. Anthony to help, and for him to pray--that HE needed to do some praying for this.

In fact, a week ago he called while the harp teacher just leaving but couldn't find her car keys, and I prayed to Little Child Jesus while on the phone but also trying to help her find the keys, and within minutes, she held up the keys. My son overheard this. The Faith is in him; it is just kind of lost for now.

Today my son called again. The tape was found in rather amazing circumstances. Somehow just showed up under a fold on his obliterated desk, where they had looked everywhere, drawers pulled out, everything up-ended and dislodged from top to bottom. Yes, amazing.

Not only that, but the story they were working on had amazing outcomes, with much success beyond all expectations.

My son thanked me for the prayers. I reminded my son that we really need to thank Little Child Jesus and St. Anthony, and also his angel Pat who helped him re-locate the person he was following when he lost the trail, and again, amazingly, found the person's car and all unfolded with precision that only God could orchestrate. And reminded him that others prayed, also, but it is God who answers them.

My Protestant cousin had success a week ago when her debit card went missing. She asked St. Anthony to help her find it, and he came through. She uses holy water to great effect, also. Still not keen on Catholicism, but at least Catholic devotions and truths are helping her. The saints and the blessed items do not discriminate between Catholics and non-Catholics. They only want to help, to love, and the blessed items are God's to give to anyone who believes.

My cousin asked the other day for me to repeat the Little Child Jesus prayer so she could write it down.

As for suffering, today is the first day in weeks and weeks that I felt some improvement, and some hope. But this morning I did have a reminder that I am suffering as it is my work, and it is to suffer for priests, for souls, for the Church--yes, maybe especially these days for some of the less palatable aspects of how we Catholics sometimes behave, how we taint Holy Mother Church with our sinfulness, if not foolishness.

But we have truth and love and holy water and saints and guardian angels and Little Child Jesus.

Little Child Jesus, lost and found, help bring more souls around.

[Rarely post a human photo, but decided this reminded me of Jesus finding the lost child, holding the hand to keep from stumbling. It is my son with his little niece (my granddaughter) on a rare visit he made from NYC. Jesus finds us all if we desire to be found. Little Child Jesus, lost and found....]

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Skylands, the Church, Suffering, Haiti

In autumn, Tim planted for me the trees across Lake Immaculata--the conifers I got to represent the 12 apostles, plus St. Paul, the Trinity, St. Joseph, Mary, and the Church.
Skylands, a gorgeous golden conifer, is planted to represent Holy Mother Church. A buck deer marked it by scraping antlers on main trunk, near bottom. Praying the Church will survive this assault. Appears to be, but will know more come spring. Am offering the intense, on-going suffering, higher levels of pain than ever, plus spiritual assaults, for the Haitian people. Today might try to write more on web site blog. But for now, just wanted to share a photo of "the Church in winter", and the wound on Her main trunk, maybe like the horrendous gash to the people of Haiti. I am stricken, too, in suffering with them, offering my love through the small suffering I have which is great, perhaps too great for me at times--but nothing compared to what even one child whose broken limb has to be amputated, is enduring in Haiti. They have such faith, the Haitians! God bless them! God have mercy on us! Laus Deus!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Puff and Pain

Just so much going on spiritually, mystically, physically. Too much to write.

Haiti. Praying for the people in Haiti. Praying for those going to help.

Probably going to encapsulate all my writing onto the web site being developed, but have been in much physical suffering, and the Lord doing things with my soul and spirit, that I do not understand, and am not sure what is going on. So haven't been writing except personal correspondence, and haven't been reading much, either, due to pain level.

But we can always pray, even if it is praying with pain. Maybe that is the best, anyway. Pain sort of puts us in an altered state, or maybe a bit more in the MCW. Definitely sets us out of the temporal if it is severe enough pain.

Am praying about whether to give my web site address or perhaps better to let the Lord decide about who wanders upon it, or not. For sure, it is not going to be all that essential! We are all very inessential in our words. Love is the most essential aspect, if we can learn that in our life times. And that is essential only because God is love. It still has little to do about us, other than if we are in God and He can tough it out to be in us! Well, He purifies us first, so then it is possible, and the purification comes through the Blessed Virgin Mary.

I don't think I ever wrote about how I was told that the Blessed Virgin Mary is like a catalytic converter. But maybe I did. Anyway, she is, and our engines don't run well at all without her purifying the air intake. And smudgy cannot enter into something pure, as Jesus is pure, so first must be made clear.

Suffer well, as well as we can! I offered up becoming dreadfully ill the other day, from trying to smoke a first cigar ever, on behalf of our new Bishop! Was SO SICK! No one told me a stubby little mild cigar could do so much to a body that hasn't smoked. Someone asked if I inhaled. What? How? Well,  not likely. Clueless.

Too bad I don't have the stub to take a photo, a third left of the nasty thing. Left it, I think, by the Sacristy door, outside in the snow. Not sure. My friends had to come and haul my carcass to their home, after a Good Samaritan Seminarian held me up and walked me to the parking lot, until I started to pass out, and put me on a step, sitting, and waited until the friends arrived.

My cousin called. I told her the story, which is a lot more than I can begin to write or want to here. She said she'd never smoked a cigar before.... I told her not to. She believes me.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Marie d'Oignies: Mystic and Victim Soul

Love this shot of reed grass down by Lake Immaculata (pond). Highlighted in snow, reminds me of one type of crown of thorns. Some scholars believe the crown was not a ring of thorns as we usually see depicted in art, but rather was a kind of helmet of thorns. These frozen spikes remind me of a painful helmet, and pain it is these days, and much suffering at a deeper or higher level, both interior and exterior, spiritual and physical. The Lord is depossessing me. Quite a process. Marie d'Oignies and the supportive priest Fr. Jacques de Vitry, have been implored to befriend me, help me, and truly, they respond to the call....

Read a bit more in "Life of Marie d'Oignies" by Fr. Jacques de Vitry. First section describes external aspects of her life. A mystic from early age, arranged marriage at age 14 to John. Both decided to live celibate; John became very spiritual due to Marie's influence. Marie a Beguine, in the Beguine Movement in Lieges, France, 13th c. They were lay persons, not otherwise in convents or monasteries for various reasons, not tertiaries, but very spiritual, devoted, loyal to the Church.

However, clergy at that time viewed these (mostly) women as extreme, to be doubted and mistrusted for their spiritual fervor and mystical experiences. Some were declared heretics and were subject to persecution and "dispossession" by the clergy and others. Yet Fr. Jacques de Vitry became interested in Marie's life and witness, and was very supportive of her. While he did not have enough influence over others in the clergy to any great degree, he did provide support for Marie in her trials.

Sure enough, in the 20th c., Marie d'Oignies was declared a "Blessed" by the Catholic Church.

Marie's exterior life included various austerities, miracles, and devotions. She lived a sacrificial life and received many graces. She was not discounted by all, of course. Much of the exterior manifestations of graces and miracles include angelic interventions and those of Mary and Jesus, inedia, and the "typical" phenomena experienced by mystics. The next section in the small book will deal with her interior life.

Have been undergoing additional persecution and probably am not reacting with heroic virtue if any virtue, other than I am enduring, which at least is not a vice. Called the old Irish Da the other night and described the treatment, and he declared it mean and cruel. Well, yes it is.

Oh, I'm not referring to anything minor such as little snipes from online comments or the like, but this is from my current locale, from some tension of a couple or so priests. And the Da is my Fr. Jacques, but I am not a Marie, not to any great degree. But evidently the devil is not pleased that I am thus far surviving what has been the most severe pain siege, darkness, spiritual assault, and multi-level and dimensional suffering ever in my life. Much of it is incapable of memory recall other than know it has been hell. Some friends living elsewhere and adult children keeping in touch, praying, wondering if all right that I remain in current location. Am trying to endure by the grace of God.

Am not out of it yet. But had a kind of birth with Christ on Christmas, and being drawn even more out of temporal into mystical, and the shift has been a struggle--mostly from my resistance, I think. Have grieved some, feared some. The unknown can be a bit scary. Wanted to hang on a little longer to the temporal. But no, not happening.

Now, those who can perceive know I am not referring to not being part of the temporal world as in existing as a human being here, but it is a kind of inferential essence, of not being part of this world in most regards. Or, perhaps it is better to explain that am more part of the mystical world and less of the temporal. Perhaps that is easier to grasp for those who might read this attempt to explain the inexplicable.

No matter, reading about Marie d'Oignies (as well as recently, Berthe Petit) has helped bolster my exhausted soul. Can a soul be exhausted? I guess so. It seem so, anyway. I know in some of the painfulness of various levels, I have pushed back a bit, reacted to having doors closed, more doors closed, to that world. But in prayer and praise, albeit bed-ridden at some points and sofa-based often enough, but yet able to be at Mass daily except the severest of the siege--I am praying for courage to face the unknowns of what is going on and what is next.

Harp instructor came a bit ago. Said I should have called since obviously in much pain. But I said, no, needed her to come, distract, refocus me on the harp, even if so difficult to sit, to function. Have not been able to play since before Christmas. But now am practicing "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." Am drawn to that song even if I've preferred in past the traditional, classic Catholic hymns.

Harp instructor has become a spiritual friend--the evangelical Christian and the Catholic convert! We pray aloud together, and when the siege was at an all-time high (or low), she and her family--along with some of my Catholic close friends--prayed for my deliverance and continue. One friend sent an envelope full of blessed St. Benedict medals to place all about the house. The Da did the exorcism blessing of the crucifix I wear. Have had anointing of sick. All the Sacraments possible.

Bl. Marie d'Oignies and Berthe Petit, plus Fr. Jacques, the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary and Jesus my Love, my Love, my only Love--all the friends on the other side, the angels and saints, too--well, I'm grateful, and to my earthly friends and family. Many prayers to endure this suffering.

Not sure if will continue writing much on this blog or maybe encapsulate all on the web site being developed. Will pray on it, and see how time and energy permit, God's will and know. But do plan to comment on Marie d'Oignies interior life, once I read it, which might be tonight or tomorrow. Pain tends to have its way with me these days, so have to live extra in present moment.


[Found this old post of 18 months past--after I just lost somehow, a post I wrote about Marie d'Oignies, and it was good but will finish book and pray God to write it even better.]

Not sure if it is a victim soul thing or a hermit thing--probably both; but am in a strange state. Keep saying to self, "It is all right. I have agreed to this. There is no choice but to suffer it."

Then realize the reality of not having any choice. There truly is no choice but to suffer this. There is no need to try to hack back out into the temporal world--secular, Catholic, whatever world. The body pain will only increase, and it just doesn't seem to be the thing to do, anyway. There is no place to go in the TCW, for the doors are not opening; it is not prudent.

If attempt to interact or open up, TC's sense things. Or, the body wears out, and back to the ill aspects of suffering. Coming to the point that there is not the motivation or energy, for the facade. But do put on the facade at Mass, or in the check-out line (and this maybe once every two weeks or so). No talking today except at Mass, for the responses and prayers, and to softly whisper: Blood of Christ when offering the Cup. Or, did someone call? Yes, an adult daughter, briefly. Had energy to be enthusiastic, to listen, comment briefly.

Seems strange not to write and post blogs! The one from Arlington Diocese seems so disappointed. But must continue on in this mode, for the other, the blogosphere, was becoming a comfortable world, but a controversial world even amidst the Catholics who would read the posts. So, God seemed to say to stay away from the net, to keep on swimming out into the true deep waters.

It is hard to describe the mystical Catholic world. A couple folks who have e-mailed, suggest that the temporal Catholic world really does have the mystical Catholic world in it. And, one is close, in commenting that this happens when God writes in our hearts, or said Holy Spirit. If not, nothing says, yes, the Holy Spirit writes in our hearts, and the Holy Spirit is in both the temporal Catholic world and the mystical Catholic world. But the two worlds are not the same.

The other person thought it was that of apostolic world vs. contemplative world. No, that is not so. There is contemplative in the temporal Catholic world and contemplative in the mystical Catholic world. But the mystical Catholic world is not the same. It just is not.

There is something different that goes beyond contemplation, although contemplation is within it, surely, as it is within the temporal Catholic world, obviously. One has to be really and truly dead to be in the mystical Catholic world. Flat out dead. And this could mean physically dead, but more it means dead inside, flat dead inside. And out a bit, too. There is a deadness, a being called off solo, alone, as in a coffin, or in that state of being dead, as at one's wake, with others in the room being alive. But it is not at a temporal state of being dead. It is non-temporal.

The body cleaned the bathrooms today, and in sweeping them, noticed some peeling paint on a windowsill. Next will paint the front door trim, as it needed it, and then touch up. So thankful to angel Beth for pointing out the chipped windowsill situation. Catching up on editing complaints. That is, from the MCW observing into the temporal consumer world.

And maybe that is the best way to view the MCW: It is from an observation point somewhere outside the temporal. Even at Mass, where the TCW and the MCW meet, the one in the MCW observes from a point outside, looking in or around on the scene, from beyond. There is little to no interaction--only if the TCW approaches, and then, as in editing consumer complaints, the one in the MCW observes, reaches in for whatever minor point or action, or word, and that is that. Questions asked, such as, "How are you doing?" can be easily shifted immediately, to "How are things in your life?" The TCW Catholics (as do other temporal folks) have immediate responses, for they are active and involved in the temporal, and that is easily described. All mystical ones can listen and understand, for they all have been (even if but for a short while) immersed in the temporal.

It is much about degrees. Some MC's have been socialized to be more temporal, and to not linger with the mystical. Yet, if they are truly called to the MCW, they will keep tripping, and eventually will agree to leave the TCW, for there will seem no other alternative! If they have been agreeing to God's will and striving to please Him, then He will keep tugging to where He wants them.

And it is so strange in the adaptation, the transition phase. There is such a supreme sense of total abandonment. And that sense is daunting, and rather indescribable. Little doubts can inch into the thoughts, but when God has provided circumstances, such as finally leveling enough suffering so as to hamstring the person from much else, the person settles into it. Even if the person thinks it ought to be reaching out in some way, it does not. It is tired, and it realizes it is not coming back into the temporal this time, as it had done so in the past.

Yes, in the past when these sieges came, nothing would struggle to get better, and to overcome the bodily pain and depletion, and to fight against the strange sensations going on, the interiorization process. But this time, it is not. It is trying to physically improve, to manage the constant, higher level of pain; but it is not going to struggle back out into the TCW, or any other temporal world.

There has been some night work. A murder the other night, and that means more souls to pray for in that realm. But even the praying is shifting, and nothing recalls the angels awakening it a couple months ago, singing in a kind of bell-tone chime: All peace on earth, all PEACE on earth. And that is becoming the prayer: All peace on earth. Not the detailed prayers for this one or that. The mind in the MCW is opening up.

The sensation that used to come now and then at the top of the nose, at the bridge, has moved up to the forehead, and sometimes goes up to the top of the head over to the left a bit. The mind, so connected with the soul, as the intellect and the will are in the soul, are opening up, being stretched, widened, heightened, deepened.

Nothing must not be afraid. At this stage of separation from the TCW (and any world), it wouldn't matter if insanity came. It is about the same as far as the life involvements. Except that without insanity, the person can pretty much manage the temporal aspects required for a body to exist in the temporal conditions, yet be a mystical Catholic.

And the mystical Catholic's world is nothing that can easily be explained, and part of the alienation, the sense of annihilation, is that there isn't anyone, really, who wants it explained or whose temporal time should be taken with listening to it being attempted to be explained. Either the TCW's get confused, or think that the MCW is somehow being described as superior, or they want to defend that the MCW is really in the TCW, or that they are part of the MCW while still being very much TCW. Or that the one in the MCW is crazy or pathetic. Or that it really should not be expressing these thoughts, trying to describe the experience. And that is probably best. Others might feel left out from something that would not be for them or God would have them on their way or in it. (And some He does, but they can't describe it, either, no doubt, for evidently this is something that a person must experience solus Deus.)

The priests stand at the portal between the TCW and the MCW. Some priests aren't aware of this. The ones who comprehend it, if someone tries to explain, do not have the time to spend on it, and really and truly, there is NOTHING they can DO for the person, anyway, as it dies and gets born into the MCW. They can listen within reasonable bounds, and can encourage, but there is no parish life for the MC in temporal terms. Assisting at Mass is about it, for that is really a MCW function; although TCW folks often make it into something more temporal than not, what with the fussing and egos and envies and rushing for positions.

Well, it is all right. All that is part of the TCW, and the MCW meets that world at Mass and in all the Sacraments. Other encounters require the facade, which requires some energy, and that energy comes from the Holy Spirit as the Holy Spirit deems appropriate. It is love that He provides for the energy, and so when a call comes from one who the Holy Spirit desires the MC to have energy to love and to reach into the temporal, the energy love is there immediately.

Nothing found that out when the call came from the eldery couple. But if the TCW or any temporal world encounter is not necessary, not deemed desirable for any reason whatsoever, the Holy Spirit will keep the MC rather deadened, or in pain enough to not have even the slightest desire to reach into the temporal.

As for the harp, Rosa Mystica, nothing is practicing a bit each day, usually right before bedtime at night. And it has started to play Scripture. It does this by plucking strings in a melody spontaneous in the MCW, of the Holy Spirit, and sings the words of the Scripture with the melody. The melody could change each time the Scripture is played. It does not matter.

There are different rules and standards in the MCW than in the TCW. As mentioned, prayer is different (TCW very specific, MCW "All peace on earth"). Music in the MCW does not have to follow any particular guidelines, nor does art, or planting flowers and trees. Food in the MCW is something that must be undertaken as a temporal task in the preparation and eating, but there is no desire for details; it is all in the present moment, with whatever is at hand. And it is appreciated the way one being swept out with the current, once it has been swimming beyond any nets, into the deep--appreciated as one out there would appreciate being offered a boost of energy for a fresh breath of air. That is all, nothing more nor less.

Day and night in the MCW are not as in the TCW, although the MC retires at night, shuts its eyes, prays to be utilized however the Lord wills, just as it would in temporal daylight. And the Lord does utilize the MC at night. It goes places and interacts from the MCW into the realm that is not translatable but yet is temporal, with temporal actions incurred. But the MC is able to float in that world as well as in the temporal daylight world. And with practice and prayer, the MC is melded into day and night, all the same in essence for the MC, from that outside observation post, in the MCW.

There's more, but this is enough for now. The main adaptation continuing on this day and night, is the sense of annhiliation, and that feels sort of like drowning would feel in the temporal, or like being excluded from the TCW--even though the person KNOWS that the MCW is where it belongs, and must learn the ropes of that world. Yes, it is work, and a little unnerving due to the great unknown of it and the sensation of being a dead person embodied in the temporal realm, but love of God and His will, makes the yoke easy and the burden light.

The Holy Spirit is very present in the MCW in a way more so than what is perceived in the TCW--even though He is as present there. So one in the MCW must have its mind stretched to receive the great sensations that feel as pressures within the head, as the Holy Spirit expands in the mind. This will assist in the adaptation to the MCW.

Must have faith and keep going out, out, and in, in, in. Do not fear. One must be very much alone in death and in birth.

[Really love the way these Virgin coneflowers picked up the morning light. The plants do not exist by the rules and standards of the temporal, although the temporal people impose certain rules upon gardening. So it is with the MCW, and one must not create rules for it, but remain as a flower or leaf, reflecting light, or being swept along with the current of God and all that is His.]

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sacrificial Decoys

In posting an infrequent blog, an accidental purpose is to draw off those who are obsessed so that they won't have time to blug (blog thug) other Catholics trying to write online. It is a kind of sacrificial blogging. Then not to write on these for awhile, and the dissenters continue to log in for days, weeks, sometimes months, wondering if I will write again. I do not publish their angry comments, of course.

It is a reality in the Church--the sadness of obsessions and dissent. Jesus often encountered the sick.

Recall a situation at a dangerous high school, in which the yearbook staff remained after school to paint sales posters. Two gang members climbed the gates which were closed and locked after 3:15 dismissal, used long scissors as weapon, and lined the yearbook staff up against the front chalkboard. The teacher was getting supplies outside the room, saw what came down, ran to tell the janitor to call the police. No cell phones then. Had terrible time convincing the janitor, a young man himself, as the teacher was quite young and looked like a student. Teacher returned to join the students, all hostages.

Finally the janitor looked in the room, saw, and had a co-worker call the police. Then this janitor entered the room and drew off the dangerous gang member by talking with him, telling him if he is going to fight someone, kill someone, to come get him. The gang member was drawn off.  The young custodian walked backwards out of the room, talking, gesturing, and the gang member followed, brandishing, threatening, his weapon.

The police did several low-rider cars of more gang members. The police drew guns, apprehended the threatening gang member, and the custodian was spared. All the students and the teacher were escorted to their cars. As the back-up gang members saw the police on the scene,  one flashed a gun from under his jacket as they drove off in their low-riders. The police did not see, but the students saw and realized how close this call.

What a sacrifice the young janitor made, risking his life for a dozen students and a teacher. The next day the teacher was called on the carpet for having been so foolish as to think the students could stay after school behind the locked gates to paint posters. "What do you think this is," the toughened assistant principal barked--"Beverly Hills? When the last bell rings, get off the school grounds!"

A victim soul prays for others, for those with emotional and mental disturbances, those with anger, with too much time on their hands, reading blogs they don't agree with but are drawn to, as in vigilante addiction.  It is an offering to draw them off now and then, for they only spend time turning on others.  Offer various sacrifices, be a decoy; pray for their well-being and deeper conversions, and hope for all souls to love one another.

Jesus obviously has great love and concern for these souls. He drove the evil out of demoniacs. Pray and sacrifice for all types of gang members very much a part of our society, even more so today. The devil works in various souls, places, and cyberspaces.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Berthe Petit: A Heavenly Help in Time of Need

The suffering has been intense, strange, lengthy. Someone asked if I'd gone some where for Christmas? Yes, to hell. Been in hell.

But close friends prayed for deliverance. Had medication for pain, but not enough. Never enough, one thinks. Only a very few knew the extent, even if they could possible fathom. But it was the worst pain episode ever in my life, and I nearly did not survive. Putting it behind, however. Was suffering in all aspects of all levels.

Friend mailed a Christmas package. Inside was a print of Our Lady of Ollignies, also called Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. Some research brought in the name of Berthe Petit, Belgian victim soul. Born 1860; died 1943.

Purchased book of her life as well as the messages from Jesus regarding the devotion He desires to His Mother, with the emphasis on her sorrows and her immaculate heart. The Life of Berthe Petit helped in ways inexpressible. Much is explained, reminded, about the value of suffering, of vows, of God's choosing souls, and of souls offering themselves, and God's accepting their offers.

This is important: If one makes an offering and God does not accept it, then one must accept God's will. If one makes an offering and God does accept, then there will be a process over time. One is drawn into God by means of suffering, and the suffering is done in reparation for sins of self, of others, to appease the suffering of Mary's sorrowful and immaculate heart, wounded in sorrow over the agonies of her Son.

We never know what kind of sufferings or the duration, the beginning, the end. But the book reminds that a victim soul learns what it is to experience what Christ feels and suffers--just in ways ordinary to our own circumstances. Persecutions occur in our milieu, by those around us, even our fellow Catholics and family members, friends, strangers. Unexpected insults, slights, injustices, bodily injuries, maladies, attacks by the devil in always unexpected ways--the sufferings come. Never what one could anticipate, but they are geared to each person by God's own allowance and formation.

One point made in the book about Berthe Petit is that God will even seem to "dispossess" the one He chooses and accepts as a victim soul--victim of love, of justice, of mercy, whatever. There comes a time in which the person feels dispossessed, passed by, passed over, by God. It is in those time periods that the suffering is all the harder to believe, to endure, to keep focus as to the supernatural effects and value of it all.

For the past 16 and more months, something has been happening to me at Mass. It has been very difficult, the whole circumstance, and a suffering of sorts, even if marvelous in other aspects. So this aspect of being dispossessed has happened off and on, and is most painful when am not given Communion, when passed by, disapproved, doubted, ridiculed, hurt, or sometimes pitied. The only way recently to cope, is to think of Christ and all He endured, helpless on the cross, and how He must have felt, what He endured to a very high degree compared to my very small matter--but quite enough.

I've read on these matters that the Lord does such things to souls in order to strengthen the soul and to help the soul conquer fears. Not sure this soul is making much progress, but some, surely, by the grace of God. Some progress, for now if am forgotten for Communion, or belittled in subtle ways, resented for that which I cannot help from happening, doubted, whatever the tension or hostility, or even curiosity--I pray and consider that God desires me to absorb the Eucharist mysteriously as a wild rose is not given tangible fertilizer. God feeds the wild rose by absorption of elements.

Anyway, Berthe Petit has been called upon these days to help me re-focus the suffering, seek more humility, not snap or despair. Rather, to be inspired by this Belgian woman who offered herself to Jesus and suffered all types of agonies in life--in all aspects of human existence. I know she is here now, as I write, and also today while with an adult daughter and her family who came for a belated Christmas since I have been so very ill with suffering previously. Just having a kind of regular day, and those are a gift from God, a cup of cool water and a touch of grace to fade the memory of such pain.

Somehow this bird atop the snow fountain cherry, photo taken early last spring, made me think of Berthe Petit. Seems she might have been like this robin in many ways, and victim souls suffer very much being alone. Even if people about, there is the solitary aspect of suffering that others cannot quite comprehend, one to another. Even if we are very compassionate, we still cannot quite experience what another suffers unless we suffer it ourselves. So it is that in order to be united with Christ, we must experience the types of sufferings He experiences. And the message He had for Berthe Petit to spread as her mission, is that in order to be united with Him, we must experience the sufferings of His Mother, as well, for she will lead us to His Sacred Heart through her sorrowful and immaculate heart.