Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Visiting with Christ

Visited the Da the other day, with Christ. Took notes that I'd taken on Schnackenburg's study of Jesus in the Gospels. Am particularly excited about Jesus--what He teaches, what He says, what He really teaches and says.

So we heard about the Da's having another incident with his heart; was hospitalized. But it is low potassium and thyroid gland not functioning. Two more pills to take. He's up and around again, celebrating Mass, preaching, watching football on TV, but also reading both the books. He wonders why the Irish do not have a great devotion to St. Malachy, for he is reading the biography and learning what a tremendous saint and gifted miracle worker is Malachy the Irishman.

The Da brought up the start-up traditional, Franciscan religious order. Then I shared some of the notes about Jesus' demands and high expectations of us, as stated in St. Matthew's Gospel. Will write more about that separately. But is a kind of fraud going on among us, within us, when groups do that which is not consistent with Jesus and His life and moral teachings. Even if some basic principle is lacking, the effort will falter eventually, perhaps only between the souls and God--as if that is not tragic enough.

If someone sees through the flawed effort, yet on earth, what is the reaction and response? Well, the reaction is utter sorrow and sadness for the deception within the persons making the effort, such as attempting to live like a saint of yore, yet leaving out a critical element of that saint's life, such as not truly living in poverty, but expecting others to subsidize and provide for the living expenses, to bring food. And if not enough food, then to call people and tell them, "We are out of meat and milk" or "We are low on toilet paper and need some." 

Well, at least they've told people they do not eat lobster, but take all else in the fish and meat line. How do I get on the dole like them? Well, of course, I'd never belong to a religious order that sponges when capable of work or at least growing veggies.

As for the response to any group or action that has an inherent flaw, the best perhaps is to turn all the more to Jesus within one's own life, and to give oneself yet more fully and completely, and to embrace abject humility in doing so. That is what am trying to do, unless am called to warn others, which I do not think is the case. Yes, if someone brings up in conversation whatever issue and are deceived, I will speak up and explain, or ask questions. Is that truly the way Jesus lived, or the saint lived? Is that in the Scriptures or Tradition? Then when they say no to the questions, more discussion may follow. Or may not. Often we do not want to face our flawed efforts.

However, it is futile to warn, in some ways, for there is always going to be yet another issue that the same people seem not to be able to think through or clearly see the inherent flaws. Thus, the best response seems to be prayer and turning--even throwing oneself--to Christ, and also to His mother. Abundant mercy and humility, truth and grace, needed within one's soul.

And through various present moment aspects, life has changed again. In less than a week will meet with the spiritual director.  His life will have changed, surely, as souls change moment by moment in subtle ways if not profound, to lesser or greater degrees. But my soul has been altered with huge hunks of self dying off in the last week alone. 

And the soul with its inner and outer existence has thrown itself to Jesus, having died to so much temporal, inner and outer, as much as the mind and heart can conceive of dying. None matters, the things of temporal that are too much to describe or explain....except to sicken a bit, weary the mind and body, if brought into focus by some outer mention, imposing.

Considering St. Bruno today. He left the temporal Catholic world in which a Bishop was badgering him to the point that he could not function effectively as a priest. He and six companions had already spoken of their desire to worship Christ more purely, to live the Faith without the temporal illusions and obstacles. So they set off, spending the first winter in a Benedictine monastery, but by spring realizing it was not for them. 

So they set off again, this time to the farthest reaches of the Alps, to the Grand Chartreuse above Grenoble, France.  There they built the first of the charterhouse concept. And they lived a life of prayer and purity in living Christ in the present moment. I'm leaning heavily on St. Bruno today. Somehow wishing I had even the physical means to set off to live a life of prayer and purity. 

But of course, that is what I am to be doing here, now, alone in what is more alone than the Carthusians who have a brother in the adjoining cell, upon cell, upon cell. Yet they do not have e-mail or blogs--only the prior has computer access. Regardless, we are striving for the same love and purity in Christ, praying for the world and the world of the Church, seeking Christ, desiring much to climb the stairway to heaven.

Now to head out to do some garden chores, readying the perennials for winter, continuing the watering due to the extended drought, no rain in forecast. Clean refrigerator. Later, continue Jesus in the Gospel of St. Luke. Praying always, perhaps more if in pain of body, mind, heart and spirit. Pain prays well.

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