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 desire...you 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.


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