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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

All Peace on Earth

All peace on earth!  All PEACE on EARTH!

So much has occurred, but the bulk is not to be shared--not that it is wrong to share, but that it would take long to write and many might not find it helpful.  But much has also been accomplished in a freeing nature, of releasing the soul from that which was hindering at a temporal level.

For one thing, finally an abbey phone call brought consultation by its recent abbot, who said the direction I was receiving was wrong.  The reason for the phone call was total upheaval in the spiritual life: chaos, upset, despair and darkness.  If anyone experiences such, and one's spiritual director does not respond or help, St. Ignatius writes well on the topic of discernment of spirits in his Exercises.  Otherwise, or additionally, confer with someone on equal or better experiential status as one's spiritual director if the director is not available or responding, and if the condition continues.  Well, this is what happened, and the remedy for this soul, at least.  And what a blessing!

Back to Mass, and also there was additional information gathering on the state, the ecstasies, during Mass.  This research resulted in better assurance that it has nothing to do with trance states.  The retired abbot had said as much, as well as a noted doctor familiar with the paranormal, but even though some said they were not bothered by it, they still could not grasp, understand, or be at peace with the occurrence.  Naturally, this causes the person experiencing such, unnecessary stress.

So all peace on earth; all PEACE on EARTH!  All peace in the soul!  His Real Presence chose what He wills during Mass.  Then a book stood out in the mind, one attained a few months ago, edited by Fr. Gabriel and Fr. Thomas, Discalced Carmelite priests.  This book contains essays written by various experts on the writings of St. Teresa of Avila and cover the spiritual life as she illuminated the phases and experiences.  This is most helpful as a reminder; we always benefit by the spiritual wisdom of great mystics and by re-reading in different formats and books in different phases of our lives.  Yes, we might have read the works earlier, but to read again, filtered through others' writings, can be of great benefit, cyclically, on the journey.

The hermit life is discerned as definite.  The suffering is discerned, but it is not necessary to focus on being a victim soul or not.  It is best to love, to learn to love, and to learn to love to suffer, for while on earth we shall know earthly pain.

All peace on earth!  All PEACE on EARTH!  God bless His Real Presence in all souls!  His Real Presence, the Most Holy Trinity, creates all souls!  What a beautiful essay in the above mentioned book, expresses friendship with and in the Holy Trinity!  This is life and love in His Real Presence.  Enjoy.

Thomas, Fr. and Fr. Gabriel, O.D.C. 1963. St. Teresa of Avila: Studies in her life, doctrine and times. Westminster: The Newman Press.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Little Thought About Misery

I have been pondering many things, among them the novel by Stephen King, titled Misery.  In it, the fiction writer Paul Sheldon is held captive by a possessive Annie Wilkes, a deranged fan of Sheldon's fiction.  In the end, Sheldon realizes in order to live, he must make one final attempt; Annie comes to a height of rage, and he fights her for his life.

Sheldon succeeds.  Later, maimed by the ordeal, his literary agent asks him if he would be willing to write a non-fiction, detailing the horror he endured some two years prior.  His agent knew it would be a best-seller; the public wants to know such details of misery.

Sometimes it seems I should write of that which would be nearly unbelievable.  Those close to me say it is unbelievable if they were not here, seeing it occur, unfold, in the sheer horror of that it truly is.  At times I think I should struggle out.  But I am out, in actuality, in reality other than the attachment that is mine alone, deep within.  That deep within is what must be severed, for all else has been taken away.  Someday perhaps I will write about what actually has occurred, from start to finish, the persecution: misery.

Later: I have noticed, often truly, that persons or groups of persons who are persecuted often end up persecuting others.  Sometimes it is the very groups of persons who they feel persecuted.  This came up when I noticed someone belonging to a group who has been persecuted by Christians--some of them--put up an image of a sacrilegious nativity.  It is a good reminder, a great lesson.

To have the heart so wounded, one would think or hope that all the anger and bitterness would have been bled out.  Blessed are they who are persecuted.  Did Jesus say so they could turn around and persecute others?  It would also seem that for anyone who has suffered in the heart, deeply enough, that there would never be a desire to ever persecute others, no matter what.

The types of persecution of which I am thinking and write, are not the niggling little things, such as people disagreeing in minor ways over details, thoughts, opinions.  The persecution in mind, is that which wounds the heart (emotions and mind) and comes from deep exclusions, judgments, and swathing assumptions--even physical injury--that literally affect the daily lives of those persecuted.

Questions on the Most Holy Trinity

A reader has asked some very good questions.  They may seem basic to some, but the more I pondered and began to suggest some reference materials to read for more precise answers, the more I realized the questioner and questions are a gift from the Divine Persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) encouraging me to study once again and more in depth.  The spiritual life is like a spiraling double helix, and we grow intertwined and spiraling in a direction with increased awareness and understanding.  This comes from graces at a spiritual level which can in practical means include outstanding writings to read and ponder.

The questions from the reader are as follows: Are you saying that you can approach the Trinity without Jesus? Is not Jesus our portal to the Trinity? How do you conceive of the Trinity? When you pray, who/what are you with?

The initial answer: Perhaps I will write more in depth on this topic, although my other readers understand the Trinity, so it might be redundant for them. If you have a Catechism of the Catholic Church or could borrow one from a parish, please read about the Trinity in sections 232-256 (approx.). You will find that Jesus is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity; the Father is the First Person, and the Holy Spirit is the Third Person. However, they are Three in One. All three Persons would be considered portals of prayer and interaction, yet each have more distinct functions. I can't say that any of the Persons are portals "to the Trinity," for they ARE the Trinity. 

Another good resource that is fairly complete and detailed is Msgr. Adolphe Tanquerey's The Spiritual Life: A Treatise on Ascetical and Mystical Theology. Tan publishes a paperbound copy, but online you may be able to purchase a used hardbound. The Blessed Trinity (Three Divine Persons) is detailed in sections 90-101. Specifically, when we pray, we are within the Trinity, which by grace draws us in by varying degrees dependent upon the state of our souls in any given moment. We are in prayer within the Three Divine Persons of the One Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. While brief, I hope this helps. I highly recommend the other reading, though. Every now and then I re-read from books I have here, as I feel it helps me always to keep learning. I really like Garrigou-Lagrange's writings. He has a couple volumes just on the Holy Trinity. There's much out there to read by proven theologians and makes learning more about the Faith a joy for us. 

Then, considering that yes, most of the readers with whom I am in contact privately do understand the Most Holy Trinity, some may not.  Indeed, suddenly I realized that His Real Presence is graciously offering me an opportunity here, to pick up again in another level and phase of life a renewed study of the Trinity.  Recently I've been reading the homilies of St. John of Avila, recently proclaimed Doctor of the Church, on the topic of the Holy Ghost.  But this morning I turn to the hermitage library room and pluck off the shelves, Pere Garrigou-Lagrange's The Trinity and God the Creator:  A Commentary on St. Thomas' Theological Summa, Ia, q. 27-119.

I will continue ancillary reading in books on the Holy Spirit, since personally in my own Protestant faith earlier years provided mostly learning about Jesus and God the Father.  I thank the questioner, for this is providing me with the next foci of personal learning and growth as well as perhaps some assistance to readers who may not have easy access to some of the books or time for studying the topicI will share, hopefully, simply and warmly, as between personable seekers of God, rather than in a scholarly tone.  I personally prefer personable!

These few words from The Catechism of the Catholic Church (while there is much more others may read on their own), are what I will ponder this morning while doing some hermitage tasks:

"The Faith of all Christians rests on the Trinity;" and, "The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men 'and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin.'"  [232; 234]


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Go Gently

The second week of passing unnoticed commenced with thoughts of a Dylan Thomas poem.  While the line go gently into this dark night passed through the mind, in fact the first and repeated line in the poem is Do not go gently into this good night.  Thomas wrote the poem at his dying father's bedside.  He wanted his father to fight death.

But this death to self--one greater than any prior--despite its moments of resentment, confusion and anger, for the main has been filled with great peace if not gentle passing.  With the one good arm thrown into the air, the heart can say in the frustrating moments to God:  You alone know what it all is.  You alone can make it so that what seems unthinkable that has happened, could all change.

Only one arm thrown up in the air?  The other is still mending from shoulder surgery.  But it is mending, mercifully and gratefully yet very, very slowly.  The surgeon says to be more cognizant of pain level and stop using it when the pain increases; do not let the pain get out of control.  There are some things we ought to notice.

Dreams continue.  One was nightmarish and had to do with the question of if one is ridding and being rid of desire to be noticed, would one write to be read?  Is anonymity in the authorship enough?  One would think not, since assuming there are readers of what one writes, there is a sense or degree of being noticed, at least anticipated.  Another dream was instructive in remaining away from a place of notice.  Even at night, my heart counsels me (Ps. 16).

The Carthusians publish with the simple A Carthusian.  But the writer knows his writings are likely read and read by many. Does this prove the writer has a desire to be noticed?  Only God and the writer would know; and it is most likely that only God would truly know--that Seeker and Knower of hearts.

Yes, a few fingers of people have reacted to what I've shared in emails--good friends--who display their own lurking desires to be noticed.  Yes, it is so, that the only real way to know if one has a desire to be noticed, is to be able to cease going places where one is noticed.  An additional step is to cease doing that which would bring notice, even if the ones noticing do not know the noticed.  Effects of the person can be noticed.  A parent, particularly involved mothers, can feed an imperceived desire to be noticed by living through the note and notice of her children.  Some people justify--rationalize--their activities as using their gifts, assuming no one else could do what they are doing and thus taking spots that otherwise other people could participate and fill just as well, better, or less well.  It is mostly a need for notice that goes unrecognized unless even for a day, the positions are relinquished.

For a couple hours, a week ago, thoughts turned to how it would be if those who suggested the desire to be noticed would actually stop their own desire to be noticed.  Well, what indeed would that be, and could they even see to do it?  But of course, it is not their crucifixion, is it?  No, it is mine.  It is my call to uproot and expose any lurking taproot and ancillary roots desiring to be noticed.  Not everyone has the full opportunity to do this, to have already had much pulled up and tossed away.

The spot on the handicap pew is already replaced, no doubt, by some person either greatly overweight--unable to kneel or stand at "appropriate" times--or handicapped by some other means.

It is true that sooner than later, we shall all pass unnoticed, never more to be noticed on the face of this earth.  The effort continues here, silently, softly, sensibly, to go gently into this dark night.  As long as there is not the resentment or doubt, the death is filled with trust and faith and peace.

His Real Presence took me to Mass the other night in the quiet darkness of anonymity in some other realm more real than this reality.  There I received His Real Presence in the Sacrament of Eucharist and yet the ecstasy within the ecstasy of the real dream dimension.  God bless His Real Presence in all souls!  Go gently into this dark night.  His Real Presence in the present moment silently beckons.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

To Go Unnoticed

Recently, in a confession regarding meekness (or lack therein), the subject of the "desire to be noticed" surfaced.  Surely, yes, it was an inspiration from God in the confessor, and one to be pondered and prayed. Whether or not there is a desire to be noticed in any of us, we could hardly rightly discern.  It is one of those subtle, even subconscious, vices (human enough, it was said) that we can only assume to be there, within us, to some degree even if in imagining some situation in which we might be noticed.

The only admission to make, for any person, is yes, there is a desire to be noticed.  How could anyone rightly say no, especially when there is no way of really knowing until one does whatever necessary to halt the desire?  And what is the only sure way to halt a desire to be noticed--or at least to prove one way or another if it is there or not?

The antidote to desire to be noticed is to simply not be noticed.

Of course, we must explain with some discussion.  The greatest circumstance for being noticed is by those who recognize us from our presence physically among them, with some aspect of knowing--such as a name, a face, a position, activity, or more.  Yet, it is among our most intimate family members (with exception of children who vie for attention among siblings and parents) and friends of longest duration that the desire to be noticed seems immune.  We just are as we are with these...barring those mentally ill who crave attention and notice even within the inner circle.

Another immunity from being noticed is that of large, public places in which people are intent upon a goal other than noticing strangers. A grocery store, mall, airport, walkway, or driving a car amidst traffic are places and situations in which there is not repetition of recognition and/or the purpose for being there is so goal-oriented (looking for a product on store shelf).  Thus one can go veritably unnoticed in such situations and places; if noticed, the circumstance is beyond ones control--unless the desire to be noticed creates an effect, to note.

Wearing garb that stands out--colors and fashion so very unique, individual, or ritualistic as to be eye-catching and identifiable--cannot qualify in the passing unnoticed test.  Being exceptional in negative ways--of crime or acting out against the norms in ways noticeable--is sure to be noticed.
Excesses in eating, too much or too little, bring notice in body size.  The same occurs in speech: too much, too loud, too little, too soft.  So it goes in any number of situations in which we could be noticed beyond simply being repetitively recognized.

Again, some situations of being noticed may not be within our control.  These are few, however, once a person determines decisively to snuff any suspect desire to be noticed by simple removal of all that causes notice, including locations in which one is recognized--especially if that notice is deemed a problem or flaw.  Yet, very few actually have the opportunity to limit or eradicate or even test the desire to be noticed.  But most if not everyone can test it at least for a brief experiment.

A hermit has the luxury of time and opportunity.  Being hidden from the eyes of men is one basic premise of the eremitic life.  This is a tremendous grace--to be able to test out, to practice, to live one's life increasingly unnoticed.  Unless one must work in a set place, repetitively so in which others will recognize and know over time, the hermit otherwise is quite free to begin the test and to live it henceforth.  There really are few places one must frequent, frequently.  Other than worship, the chance of repeated recognition or knowing is amazingly limited in the daily necessities.

In worship, one can be unnoticed for the most part, by changing location, and within location by change of seating area, or worship times, and frequency.  If by some odd chance something befalls to create notice beyond one's control, then there may be removal, beyond one's control.  If one is yet charged to delete any lurking desire to be noticed and all other means to remain unnoticed have been utilized (appearance and behavior), then one can eliminate other possible situations of recognition, of being noticed.  It may seem extreme, but rooting out desire to be noticed is rather an extreme process.

What are signs of proof, after one has done all to pass unnoticed and God has removed even by atypical means the possibility of being noticed, that one does not desire to be noticed? It seems that one sign is that willingness of the person to be unnoticed, to accept the circumstances of removal.  Another indication could be that of heightened focus in prayer, spiritual reading, absorption in His
Real Presence in the Word and all Sacraments, thanksgiving, as well as in daily, temporal tasks.  A true spirit of holy indifference and spiritual detachment from self occurs; and with it comes a sense of freedom in the Trinity that brings a peace to the soul.

Another proof is that one thoroughly loves not being noticed and realizes it even loathed notice.

Others may discourage such action, even if they were the ones to suggest there is a desire to be noticed.  Suddenly they may interject that one does not really need to rid out the desire by taking actual action, embracing the only sure antidote to such a desire by determining to simply, profoundly, decisively avoid being noticed.  Yes, it takes some courage and forethought, much self-examination and figuring out the lay of the land and ones own habits both outer and inner, in time and space.  But it is a worthwhile effort--not just to imagine what it would be like, but to actually effect the reality of not being noticed.  It is possible if but even for a day or week, or in small eclipses of notice, bit by bit.

Having the opportunity to stop being noticed brings with it a freedom not experienced in the temporal realm, not even in the visible church.  The freedom brings the soul to the immolation of self required for mystical union, even if for short embraces now and then with the Divine.

Note:  To cease writing and sharing writing is one point of being noticed, even if the writer is anonymous.  The sharing of thoughts if read by others repetitively, or the same readers to a point of recognizing the sequence and style of prose, could be a type of notice.  Does the subconscious or conscious have a desire that the writings are noticed?  What is the test--to cease writing? Or, cease comment availability and thus not know if the writing is being read; be as in a supermarket venue in which if noticed, it is beyond one's control? Or, if negative comments, do they assist in the self-annihilation, the death to any lurking desire to be noticed?  There may be other aspects of being noticed that one does not notice in the realm of note but to pray for fool-proofs.

Friday, November 18, 2011

His Real Presence in the Present Moment

Am praying the way through pain, per usual; this time it is the shoulder that is not healing well or properly, from rotator cuff surgery two months ago.  But there is another pain, and that is of being directed that I am not to go to Mass.

It is all of the present moment, and the spiritual director outstanding, a gift from His Real Presence, the Holy Trinity, to my soul.  This one is the peak of what any soul could desire and came per his own volition, desiring, as he said, to be the "earthly guardian" of my soul.  For anyone reading, God does provide sooner or later, who and what we need according to His Knowing.

There has been anger at times, my having to wait across the street in a parking lot for a friend after Mass, who brings His Real Presence in the Eucharist to me to receive, sometimes under the cover of darkness.  Last Saturday evening while waiting, the amazing question of how God would allow this rather bizarre situation to continue--as I stood watching the inner-lit Cathedral and hundreds of people within.  And there was I, on the outside, not allowed to be at Mass, not having done anything other than experienced for over three years a mystical state that came unbidden, each and every Mass.

Yes, it is amazing, how His Real Presence can become jealous of our love being out of balance, perhaps--too much love for the temporal reflections of His Real Presence, of His Church, as it were.  How could I have ever realized the imbalance other than His removing me? As a daughter remarked (and we did laugh in that same amazement of awe in how God allows what humans would consider the unthinkable) that this surely is the first time this prelate had to direct someone to not go to Mass.

There is much more to this situation, however.  It is that of learning to venerate and love His Real Presence in Itself--or Himself--or however His Real Presence, the Trinity, is given in proper pronoun.  The practice of training the soul, the mind, the thoughts, the words and images and full awareness to living in His Real Presence in the present moments, is profoundly challenging.

So much emphasis and devotion came previously from this soul for the Eucharist, to now as it sees, was the diminution in comparison, of His Real Presence in all the Sacraments, very much so His Living Word that comes from the very Mouth of God.  To even "see" the Trinity--His Real Presence--when in thought and adoration before the Tabernacle or when was allowed to be in Mass and prior to the mystical state occurring, takes a training of perspective and admittance of a truth that lay hidden from this soul's conscious recognition.

Now it is to sign notes and emails to family and friends:  God bless His Real Presence in you.  At the conclusion of receiving His Real Presence in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, to speak to the confessor, my director:  God bless His Real Presence in you!  To kiss his ring and speak the words, to receive His Real Presence in the Eucharist which he brings after confession, and to know with the newness of some great revelation to this soul, finally, now in these present moments, that this is His Real Presence now, the Holy Trinity, as they are One, as the Second Person describes in various descriptions in the Gospel of John chapters 13-17.

The practice of remaining in His Real Presence's Love, as remaining in His Real Presence which is the Three Persons of the Trinity, continues daily and nightly.  No longer must there be fragmentation of Jesus, separating Him out and separating out His Real Presence in one Sacrament, but to know and recognize always, now, His Real Presence in fullness and unity, as One is not without the Other of the Three Persons, the Holy Trinity, in all the Sacraments--not any intended to be less beloved than any others, and to present one's soul always, now and forever, in greatest reverence and love to each Sacrament and to each soul filled with His Real Presence.

Consider a spouse approaching the other spouse with the reverence with which one approaches His Real Presence in the Eucharist.  Consider a soul approaching in person or thought, His Real Presence--the Trinity--in any of the Sacraments, listening to and pondering His Living Word, with the same devotion, respect, attention and love with which one approaches reception of His Real Presence in the Eucharist.

The world of souls in the Church would then be elevating the love and devotion and recognition of the Trinity, His Real Presence interlocking One with the One with the One.  The love and devotion to His Real Presence in the Eucharist would not be diminished but also heightened; and most noticeably the love and devotion of His Real Presence would be elevated in kind, in the Sacraments of the Word, Penance, Healing, Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage and Holy Orders, as lived in the totality of Mass.

Consider then, learning to live in His Real Presence in the present moment.  The title of the blog will not change, at least not for now. But the accuracy would be:  His Real Presence: the Trinity--in the Present Moment.

Being removed from attending Mass, under obedience to my spiritual director, has taught me much, as God would have it!  For one thing, His Real Presence is coming to the level of understanding that allows a participative love and devotion without fragmenting or diminishing any Person of the Trinity or Sacraments or souls but rather of elevating all as whole and fully Divine.

One morning, upon awakening, the soul was told:  You are in the Mass and the Mass is in you.  This consolation was repeated several times, and it is true enough, and will be when all mortals at temporal death will not be going to our parishes for Mass and we see, if not now or beforehand, that in His Real Presence is in the Holy Trinity, mystically intertwined as the Vine to the branches and the branches to the Vine.  We will live His Real Presence in the present moment for all eternity, the interlocking of what in our temporal lives was the temporal and mystical melding in the Mass as becoming the interlocking in our mystical lives, an eternal Mass in which His Real Presence is present in each moment in souls.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Great Things for God

Many in the Catholic world know about St. Therese of Lisieux's "Little Way of Love."  She was the baby of the family, a girl of 15 entering the Carmelites, with elder sisters as her "mothers" since their mother died quite young.  Also known as "the Little Flower", Therese's autobiography The Story of a Soul inspired and caught the imaginations of thousands after her death at age 24 in 1897.  How fascinating to consider that one could please God by doing little things.

Somehow, over the ensuing century, in our times, it seems that the idea of doing little, or even very little, has taken root in people...not having to do much at all regarding spiritual matters, or pleasing God.  The idea of being known, famous, and great is the rage through insta-fame via internet videos, dressing and acting in ways to garner attention, and doing the illegal for attention. People want to make it BIG in this day and age--even Christians trying to break into the book market, Christian radio and television talk programs.

When Pope John Paul II was yet alive, people declared him "JPII the Great."  How many have been inspired and wanted to follow suit in some Mother Teresa-type, documentary quality outreach--start and hope for a big, great, well-known project, even their own religious order or movement?  So, is the Little Flower's little way little?  Look how big and great it became. 

As a child, I recall sitting in the back of a high school auditorium watching a play performed by my mother's high school drama class.  I was young enough not to be left home alone at night.  During the performance, at a certain point, for whatever reason, I thought about God.  I sensed Him; and I promised deep in my soul that I would do great things for God some day.  I really, really meant it.

The promise and thoughts of it never left, although over the years my life was nipped and tucked whenever I'd begin to rise in the world, even the world of the temporal church--first Protestant and then Catholic.  A couple weeks ago the intensity of the promise to do great things for God arose once more.  Another memory surfaced--that of an elder sister who taunted me when I was a teen and again said that I was going to do something great for God.  She challenged, "What are you going to do?  You're just a kid."  I responded, tearfully yet determined, "I don't know what, but I will do it when I am grown up!"

Over the years, it seems there is more curtailing of worldly interactions and activity whenever I renew the promise to do great things for God.  This has been true in the secular or church world. Currently, I am directed that I must not go to Mass.  It has to do with a rare situation in Mass, such that my director has determined it for the best that I not attend due to issues some have had, injury sustained, and a priest's being uncomfortable with it.  Amazing it is, how God truncates in ways unanticipated!

Once more I ponder a childhood promise to do great things for God.  I begin to understand just how great is this promise and how greatly can everyone do great things for God!  The Little Flower never really fooled me with her Little Way.  Maybe it worked well in that time period to motivate people to offer their little thoughts and actions.  But Therese, other than being a little girl (relatively so in personality and age when she died), did great things for God through her suffering, teaching novices, and praying for missionaries.  None of what she did was little at all.

Yet I've noted some adult Little Flower enthusiasts, in child-like voices, say they can only do little things because they are so little, like the Little Flower.  Has the charm of the Little Way, over time, become an excuse and means for relegating ourselves to very little, and thinking it is quite humble to do so, all the while restricting ourselves from all the great things that a soul can do for God?

Of course, many of us comprehend the idea behind the Little Way--to encourage those who feel they cannot do anything at all for God, to at least help them think they can do something very little.   But there is also another way, a way of doing great things for God.  It is a matter of changing perspective and attitude to that of God's greatness. Thus,  I am going to do--have done all my life--great things for God.  I can do great and greater in each present moment of my life:  great writing for God, great reading for God, great cleaning the garage for God, great suffering for God, great praying for God, great living, loving, laughing and crying for God...and great realizing God's greatness, all for God!

How can this be? Does it go against humility?  Is this not outrageous to think or speak or write that one can do great things for God? But what would be at all wrong with doing great things for God?  Why relegate and limit ourselves to doing little or even less for God?

Humility, according to Msgr. Adolphe Tanquerey in his classic on the spiritual life, involves truth and justice.  We must know ourselves as we are and act upon that knowledge.  He writes of St. Thomas who says that in man two things may be considered: what there is of God, and what there is of man.  Of man there is whatever points to defect; but of God, all that makes for salvation and perfection.

Tanquerey adds that justice, then, absolutely demands that we render to God, and to Him alone, all the honor and glory.  Yes, there is some good in us, our good nature and our supernatural privileges.  Humility lets us see this good but that it is contemplating the gifts and graces of God in us, not ourselves that we admire.  God is great and expects great things from us, for He is great who made us and all things.

I recall the Irish Da, a priest of many years, having chastised me. "Why is it that you think you have to do something big?"  Well, what is wrong with doing something big for God if our great God has given us great graces?  Isn't it all right to do great things for God?  What's so terrible about that? 

As I was telling my dear spiritual director about doing great things for God, he--not immediately grasping this--mentioned the Little Flower and humility.  I persevered despite his saying I'm resistant, which is true.  After confession I exclaimed, "This sacrament is a great thing for God!"  Then I mentioned a young mother who understood what I was saying about doing great things for God.  She got it!  She realized changing diapers is a great thing for God--perhaps even greater if a greater mess.

Everything can be a great thing for God because God is great.  The Little Flower did not really do little things; all that she did were actually great things for God.  Yes, when I asked the spiritual director, "Is it not true that St. Therese did great things?" he admitted it is so.  Why think and do little when everything we think and do is great for Him due to His greatness?  In fact, we do anything at all because it is God's greatness that is doing it, for His Real Presence is great in our souls, as God greatly created all souls.  What a great thing for God is a soul who recognizes God's greatness in creating souls!  Thus every soul is a great soul, simply in being greatly created by our great God who is all greatness. 

This is all very great--just thinking of it is a great thing for God.  Remaining in His Love is a great thing for God, and all we do are great things for God once we realize that it is the great God Who in His greatness--the greatness of His Real Presence, the great Trinity that is great Love--is doing it all, gives us all these great graces, to do all these great things for God.  We are filled with His greatness and give back what is given, all great things for God.

Tears, struggles, thoughts, praises, despairs, virtues--no matter how rudimentary in our delivery--all are great things for God.  So perhaps the Little Flower really meant that all the little things she did for God, of course, are actually great things for God.  How else or other can they be when He is so great and it is all from His greatness?  Doing great things for God is possible only in humility for it is humility that dictates the reality that all greatness is God, not us, and even the little is great: for, through and in God.  How joyous to know that God gives us all graces to do great things for Him!

When a soul recognizes its Great Creator, God, all that flows from the Great God through that soul into thought and action is a great thing for God.  Now to put a painful arm and shoulder back into the sling: a great thing to do for God.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Christ in the present moment...the stairway to heaven...the Mass filled with all sacraments, filled with His Real Presence:  His Real Presence fills the soul.

Some of the thoughts have been written in private correspondence to one or two souls.  All thoughts and realities come from, return to, in intimate communion of thought, essence, being: His Real Presence.

His Real Presence Is the Trinity of Three Persons as Oneness of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  To remain in His love is to remain in His Real Presence which is union in His Real Presence Love.

The daily details remain daily details of mortal life lived in temporal settings.  From reading Mauriac's The Woman of the Pharisees one can discover him- or herself in the protagonist: a self-righteous, deceived soul who yet sincerely desires holiness.

It is not the duty of a true nothing to correct others, to make even critical judgment or attempt instruction.  A nothing must let others be.  If one in authority finds one to have a rare, spiritual life...if a professional suggests perhaps one in 50 if that...then there are still 49 who are beyond yet do not criticize, correct or instruct the one and lets that one be.  A nothing is where it is, not able to see beyond even if can see behind and has developed a misconceived duty of correcting and instructing.

Just let others be where they are and understand that is where they are and from there they see not beyond and thus all is accepted, forgiven, understood.  The upsets and strains, the persecutions that result from others not necessarily being able to see where a nothing is, are all released from the grip of being misunderstood and for good reason.  Even a nothing cannot see beyond and often enough not even within, other than to know now to let others be where they are without temptation to correct, instruct, or criticize...even if one sees so clearly and loves so deeply as to desire others to grasp.

For a nothing grasps only what a nothing can grasp, which is to understand that there is less and less to grasp other than His Real Presence.  And one cannot grasp His Real Presence until the fullness, the wholeness of comprehension of His Real Presence filters into the soul in ways that one cannot describe or grasp in any tangible way.

St. John of Avila mentions in one of his sermons on the Holy Ghost, some of this ascent, or the letting go of loving the Second Person to the exclusion of the fullness of His Real Presence which includes very much the Father and the Holy Spirit as well as the Son.  It is fascinating, what John of Avila writes because he expresses a reality that one can only grasp by grace.

Then to comprehend, to understand, to live the reality that union in His Real Presence takes a nothing--each nothing--into circumstances that unfold uniquely and defy what others may find acceptable.  There is a sloughing of that attachment to that which is necessary in the foundation and training of a soul in certain respects, and to respect that foundation, yet to detach from loving that foundation, the reflections all so good and beautiful in truth, more than loving His Real Presence in purity of the unknowable.

It would scandalize some to be specific in the way His Real Presence brings about union in the degrees and levels of union, for all is by progression, step by step--if that metaphor is even a valid expression of the process.  It is all risk--the soul's process into union of His Real Presence.  No one nothing's actual circumstance of the detachment from the temporal foundation can replicate another nothing's; nor can any nothing's subsuming into His Real Presence replicate any other nothings' subsuming in the union with His Real Presence, in the process of the union.

Yet the union itself, the soul being subsumed in His Real Presence, His Real Presence Love, the Trinity, Trinity Love, is wholly, truly one.

The shoulder is not healing properly.  It is Christ's shoulder bearing the pain of the cross.  There is no compensation help, no inquiry of concern from those one would have thought might step forth to bring temporal justice.  Even the spiritual director who wants to ask admits he will not be successful in results.  All this is by design and the will of His Real Presence, His Real Presence in all moments.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Identity in His Real Presence

Am at a point now of being asked to have my identity in His Real Presence (the Trinity, the Three Persons as One).  This means identity in the Trinity--in All God--and not in anything else, such as my identity in the church.

By this, one means the temporal aspects of church in which it is far too easy to develop our identity within the activities, even in attendance in Mass and participation in confession.  The acts, the place, the people involved, the words we and they speak, the picture we develop of the temporal aspects of church can become what we identify with and can become our identity in that which is not God but rather a reflection or a temporal facet of God.

Specifically, events unfold without our understanding, in which one may be no longer physically or otherwise able to participate in what had become one's identity.  This is a death of huge proportions dependent upon how strongly one has developed one's identity with the church in temporal aspects and thoughts and images and actions, as opposed to the total stripping that occurs when one is caused to no longer have that identity but rather to develop identity in God alone.

Hard to fathom this unless one finds oneself in the actual situation of no church identity, no aspect remaining of identity with the temporal aspects of church--all sacraments thus received spiritually and not tangibly until perhaps viaticum if the end is predictable.  But to actually be in such situation, with all identity with church stripped, one turns to God and pleads for a new identity, identity in God, in the Holy Trinity.

The details of what has transpired are left out.  It continues to be so bizarre that the closest friends agree that it may not be worth the financial and physical risk to subject body and mind to more injuries and dehumanization that now are becoming too costly in even a pragmatic reality.  What is left but to recognize that identity so easily becomes diluted to other than God alone but rather entwined in temporal catholic world issues, people, vocations, committees, activities, place, structures and rites.

Union in His Real Presence purely evolves to unequivocal, undiluted, undiminished identity in God alone.  When identity is tainted by other, even the reflections, God desires sole identity in His One.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Progressing in His Real Presence

Garden visitors this morning listened to part of the insights on His Real Presence.  Amidst touring this season's acquisitions of some Japanese Maples (Osakasuki, left) and various Ginkgo Biloba (dwarf and miniature cultivars) plus some unusual dwarf Fagus (beech) and Quercus Robur (English Truffle Oak), we covered a lot of territory.

Am not quite ready to write in depth, the insights during Mass regarding the immensity of His Real Presence--that His Real Presence is not only Jesus but also the Father and the Holy Spirit:  the Trinity.  All are One.  We have not His Real Presence in one Person without the other Persons: the Trinity.

But one way to expand the understanding and train the body, mind, heart and spirit to consider the beautiful facets of His Real Presence and with what various ways His Real Presence is made known to us, is to ponder all the Sacraments.  And the Living Word from the Mouth of God is a Sacrament, also.

Lately, nothing impresses within and without, the ever-present reality of His Real Presence by telling others, "God bless His Real Presence in you," when finishing a conversation, visit, email and even while leaving the confessional.  Causing pause to reflect, in some situations, this reminder can also create conversation on the topic of His Real Presence.  That can lead to discussion of His Real Presence fully in Mass, as all the Sacraments are in the Mass, and angels and saints present reflect the pure light of His Real Presence in all aspects of Mass--His Real Presence being in actuality each Person: the Holy Trinity.

There is more, but this is enough for now.  This is the kernel of the insights.  Discussion detailing some aspects in our daily lives, in the Mass, in how we may be fragmenting Christ, is for another time.

Today there is progress not only in fermentation of realities but also in using the right shoulder, pruning and watering after the garden guests departed with a Japanese Anemone start in a pot, a Fragrant Cloud rose, and a bottle of Herbal Vinegar--gifts from sweet Agnus Dei's garden.

In less than two days nothing meets with the spiritual director.  He continues to focus on wanting to get the priests to give nothing Holy Communion (the tangible form).  Since he is retired, it is not so easy for him to order them in obedience, such as to give me Communion after Mass, after am roused from the state.  The situation is complicated due to the issues surrounding their thoughts and feelings regarding what happens.  These are just some of the harsh realities of having some unexpected mystical experience enter into one's temporal existence, publicly.  The painful aspects defy decorum.

Pray that God help the spiritual director grasp that Holy Communion is being received, very much so, within the Mass, within the profound yet critically misunderstood, mystical state.  Only the spiritual director and Dr. H., adult children and a few long-time friends, know in certainty that this is not something this nothing could possibly bring on.  If anything, the fall in the chapel and ensuing painful rotator cuff surgery convinced the spiritual director who has been discerning for some time.  Of course, family and friends knew that nothing's deepest psyche would never allow a fall considering falling has been the greatest fear since the rods and fusion in the back, years ago.  Now such pain!

To have the spiritual director grasp the insights during Mass about His Real Presence and the fullness of Mass, of not fragmenting Christ, of the very point of nothing not being able to receive the tangible Host during Mass for the point, the sign, the reminder of the fullness of Mass and His Real Presence--to be elevated in reverence in all the Sacraments.  Again--too much now to delve.

Pray that he understand, but if he can get the priests to give me the Host after Mass, then fine.  But truly, he misses the point.  May God lay it out clearly, somehow, in some way only God knows.  What is more critical to nothing is to personally and deeply revere and elevate His Real Presence in all the other Sacraments to the devotion and reverence and focus as has been for His Real Presence in the Eucharist.

See the subtle progression of deeper coloration in Acer Japonicum 'Osakasuki'?  Ever so slightly, moment by moment, the leaves darken and will become brilliant incarnadine with time.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Baggage

A friend dropped off a bag a week ago.  She is way into taking supplements.  This seems to be her passion, and most conversations return, sooner or later, to the passion of various means to improve bodily health via ingesting and hours of exercise.  There was nothing in the bag that is necessary or helpful.  Am blessed with the few vitamins and minerals that subtly help this body endure.  Eat properly and walk and work.

What about Jesus?  Why is not He enough?  Mentioned to my friend various saints who did not even eat properly, did not exercise, yet were healthy enough and lived to advanced years.  Padre Pio is one such example.  He sat in the confessional for hours daily.  My friend said he probably had a bad back.  No, or at least it is not mentioned in biographies.

We all have baggage.  After several conversations disclosing the passion for bodily health, it was easy to pinpoint the baggage and even photograph its temporal image.  But why dally in other people's baggage?  Why not discern one's own?  So it is that my baggage surfaces readily, and it is negativity.

Nothing cannot have baggage.  Thus, nothing returns to "I".  I have baggage, and it is negativity.  Negativity has developed like the lime ring in a toilet that collects bacteria and mold.  Negativity has hindered my spiritual reading and spiritual writing.  Negativity has filtered through my senses and subconscious from too many negative onslaughts and judgments, causing the psyche to withdraw, causing the mind and body to retreat from the negativity, all the while the negativity seeping in, foments and begins to taint the thoughts and emotions and threatens a loving spirit.


The trials have continued at Mass and surrounding parish and parishioners.  As a result of the spiritual direction that surely I could cooperate more and get this state, this ecstasy that occurs during Mass, to cease--by standing in the back during Mass--I fell.  The right shoulder was injured.  Being a rather calm type and bearing constant pain in other areas of the body, I hoped the shoulder would improve with time.  In the meantime, a parishioner assaulted me after a Mass, when I was yet in the state and unable to defend myself, open the eyes, move or speak.  The arm was shaken violently and lifted up above the head, shaking, shaking, shaking.  Someone made the person stop; suddenly the arm was let go and dropped full force, hitting the pew edge.

I'm now about three weeks on the other side of rotator cuff surgery.  To top it off, have been uninsurable for years due to other pain and major surgery, loss of career.  The diocese liability insurance is low at $5000.  A cold shoulder was turned when the costs obviously and quickly rose above that figure, not to mention no inquiry as to my well-being after the very painful surgery and long recovery process.


The spiritual director said he will see what he can do.  He said I am under a tremendous trial.  This whole ordeal seems unnecessary, for I had described what happens during Mass and that I'd tried everything other than what led to a painful injury.  But yet, perhaps it takes even more suffering, somehow, in the spiritual realm, to test one to the outer limits of faith and of commitment to the church...and to allow a spiritual director an inkling as to the reality of the mystical.  (Who knows if this director will grasp the impact and want to proceed?)

There is more. I could no longer carry in the wood folding chair which is necessary for the painful back, ever since the pews were padded.  I have not been able to sit on padding over a hard surface for years and years without ferocious spinal headache within hours, leveling me for a couple days.  It took an act of God before the rector would allow me to lug in and out the chair; he would not allow it to be stored in the chapel or to remain.  Said it "didn't look right."  But the shoulder could not carry it; I had to lay the body on the chapel floor, tucked behind a pew, on non-injured shoulder side.  My attorney had insisted, after the assault after Mass, that I get professional looking signs that read:  Do Not Disturb:  Meditating.  He said where to place them on the pews, and if anyone henceforth harmed me, a police report and/or arrest would be the appropriate action.  My attorney is a devout Catholic.  A sign also was placed on the chapel floor, by my head, as protection during weekday Chapel Masses.

The tremendous trial continues in all this.  The baggage of negativity became so heavy to bear, that family and friends--and some are Catholic--questioned my ever returning under such duress.  Admittedly, the pain and loneliness of the surgery and on-going recovery, not to mention the pain of the expense, had convinced me that it was time to remove myself permanently from the temporal Catholic world and allow the Lord to teach and lead me spiritually and fully in the mystical realm.  That may be His will.

The negative baggage must be rid out for good.  God is working on this as I've prayed for help and inner healing of damaged emotions.  The Catholic who is for the most part in charge of teaching RCIA had a heart-to-heart, telling me that I really needed to leave Catholicism due to how horribly I've been treated.  I said it may be that God wills me more out of the temporal, but I'll always be a Catholic at least that of the spiritual, of the mystical Catholic world.  And perhaps more so, it is of the mystical Christian realm.


Yet one night this past week, amidst an increasing amount of beautiful, spiritual, and healing dreams, I dreamed of speaking with someone, and the topic was the Mass.  In the dream I found tears coming to the eyes and then weeping, expressing deeply how much I love Mass.  I love Mass.  I love Mass.  I LOVE Mass.  Upon waking, I pondered that the only good baggage to have is love of God, and the Mass is the stairway to heaven, the union with God on earth, and that means a fullness of all sacraments of actual mystical reality expressed in the temporal in the Mass.

One can become one with God in the Mass.  It can veritably seem and become a reality that the Mass is in one and one is in the Mass.  But not with baggage.  Baggage gets in the way.  How can I humanly return under the trials and dehumanization that exists--unless the negative baggage is gone?

How to be rid of it?  My friend's bag is on the front porch needing to be removed by her.  I had considered trashing it--help her rid her baggage.  But no, one must rid self-identified baggage by one's own volition, through courage and strength and determined desire.  But I don't want other people's baggage inside my house where I see, stumble upon, and am distracted by it.  I have enough to deal with in my own bag.

When it is gone I may be able to return to Mass free and filled with God, impervious to any baggage even as insidious as negativity. Ridding this negativity will require a spiritual conversion of more God-is-Love, more steeped and united within His Love, remaining in His Love without notice or absorption of temporal and emotional negativity--this horrendous baggage. 

At this point am helpless but pray and ask God to remove it for me--and to try to return to Mass, to the chapel floor, arm in sling and sign posted.  I have tried in prayer for those who persecute, to love.  Yet after build up of too much pain and negativity, I had not intended to ever return...until the dream.  Yes, I do love Mass.  And what one loves--the union with God in Love, the fullness of His Real Presence in Mass, the stairway to heaven, the portal from the temporal to the mystical--one cannot depart from until the temporal body is no more.

I will know when the armor of God becomes impenetrable to negativity.  God is the only One Who can make all things new, rid out the baggage that I so desire to be removed.  Then I will be nothing again, blessed nothingness, without the temporal and spiritual hindrance of negative baggage.


There will be a test embedded within the very posting of this sharing.  Will I be I or nothing?  Has God answered my plea to rid out the baggage of negativity?  We shall find out soon enough.  Negativity abounds, and to be nothing requires no baggage within and the strength to lovingly carry a cross in union with Mystical Love. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Still Breathing

Have not written in quite awhile.  Working through soul matters and making life changes, from within.  Plus, the heat and drought have kept the body busy with hooking up soaker hoses, switching rotations so that the gardens can be kept alive as best as possible.  

Some Eastern European conifers could not cope with the above ground heat, so there have been losses.  However, the heat has not been like the past four years, ever before, and who would know that the climate would shift in summer here?

We take what we get.  Some interests and passions have great risks while others do not.  Even the spiritual life, the passion for God, has its risks in temporal effects, that is for sure.  St. Paul says something about that in his epistles.  But the main change within to without is that of removing myself from negativity, as much as is possible.  Removing from unnecessary abuse and rudeness is possible in many regards.

Someone wrote he or she did not comprehend the spiritual state during Mass, and that is not unusual, as my spiritual director has asked me, at least six out of the twelve months we've met, to describe it.  So it has been described, explained, and insights shared from it.  Dr. H. probably got it the closest: in our time, people, especially maybe Catholics in many ways, are less spiritual than 100 years ago.  He reminded me that many if not most are there on Sunday out of obligation, glancing at their watches and minds far away on other matters.


Have faced self, directly, firmly, and admit why I've made time-cost expenditures: when, for what, and mostly for naught.  It has to do with the rudeness, rejections, the disallowing, the ill treatment.  Then would relieve the pain by purchasing "beauty" to plant, or buy another book, or be in bed ill with pain and upset. 'Twas the reaction and effect of negativity, purveying for the past 16 years.  

Even though the devil is behind it--behind the people and situations--the devil is also behind my reactions.  No more purchases as reaction to abuse and negativity.  Am removing myself from negativity other than weekly obligation, and living more and more the hermit life of historic tradition.  Closeness to God is for the asking, and the remaining in His Love.  

Have had amazing and deep insights regarding why the ecstasies happen from Mass beginning through postlude music, and yet have shared little.  One priest was not interested in even listening a few minutes; another did not respond when sent insights via email.  A couple friends listened.  Another who runs RCIA and many other parish tasks said her life is fulfilled with Mass weekly and confession yearly, and this did not affect her being a leader in spiritual matters of the parish.  Okay.

Then another priest did grasp, and yet is working on the mind being opened, the spirit encompassing the fullness of the insights and the entirety of His Real Presence, not His Real Presence being fragmented.  Well, there is much that I've written on these matters, but not here, and will not.  For I am removing myself from rudeness and negativity, and even the ones who read what is written seem to troll for writing material in which to then have subject matter to detract.

Am praying, pondering, reflecting, listening, waiting, writing but not yet sharing, and making necessary changes in my mind, heart and spirit--and all that does affect the body.  Might share the insights with the spiritual director, or not.  Will see what he wants to discuss.  Perhaps he will ask of matters, and yes, nothing has in some ways embraced less than nothing.



God bless His Real Presence in you, through His Living Word and all His Sacraments!






Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Lord Sustains

Am still here, and have much to share and write regarding the Mass and other aspects of living in Christ, remaining in His Love.  However, have had to deal with some earthly tasks: garden efforts, watering in drought conditions, physical suffering, injury from someone who evidently thought I was rude during Mass, causing bodily harm, and a judge giving an emergency protective order for the ongoing issues with the neighbors who also now did property damage (not that the daily verbal abuse and threats were not enough).

Have been thinking of St. Seraphim the Sarov who was beaten badly by robbers when he was out in his hut in the woods.  That was the end of his being able to live a hermit life of solitude and was recalled to the monastery where he lived in isolation in his cell, as best he could until people demanded his presence and discussion.

That is not "nothing's" plight, of course.  Am here, and must take the situation as it is.  The hand is not broken but injured, healing slowly.  Attorney stepped in and advised, and now nothing has two signs worded as instructed, so hopefully at Mass no one will do an assault as was done two weeks ago when nothing could not defend itself.  Two parishioners did step in and with effort made the person stop hurting nothing.  Strange what some people do when they think someone is not doing as one ought during Mass.  Even those who have been concerned, thinking nothing has had a stroke or is dead, do bizarre things that one ought not do to someone who might be dead or seriously ill! Pinching to the bone?  Shoving?  Grabbing the hair at nape of neck and flopping the head back and forth? Shaking the tarnation out of the person.  Raising the arm up high, then just letting it drop to hit the pew full force?  Yanking the arm?  Wrenching a shoulder as a person comes back from Communion, thinking nothing is being rude, appearing to be asleep and motionless?  Banging the kneeler hard, shaking the pew, tickling nothing?  So it goes.

Thankfully the deputy and his sergeant are intent on making the neighbors stop the incessant harassment and threats.  A plainclothes detective and a uniformed commander served them with the protective order.  Other than one incident of the adult son intimidating and spitting, last Sunday, they have been on good behavior.  Praise God!  Pray for all souls and all peoples on earth!

We live in bizarre times of crude behaviors and people not thinking anything of stalking and threatening others.  We live in times of relatively low spiritual awareness, considering people in worship, in a place of worship, would just minutes after receiving the Body and Blood of Christ, then assault a person in the handicap pew.  Yes, the attorney said this is assault, but they will not be arrested unless the same person does it twice.  And the diocese is paying for medical treatment of any injuries now and in future.  The signs now posted, will help, however.

In all these matters and more, the spiritual insights are plentiful and beautiful, and at some point when the manual labor is managed, the gardens watered and we have some rain, nothing hopes to write about the insights given regarding the Mass.

God bless anyone reading this, and thanks for prayers for our world.  All peace on earth!  All PEACE on EARTH!  Pray for those who persecute, and pray with Jesus:  Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.  And for ourselves:  Father, forgive us for often enough we know not what we do, and help us to know what we do and to do what is right and true, always.

Nothing has been amazed how God teaches us much about the world, and uses the means of the world at times to bring about good.  Never realized how a protective order and legalities could be so very effective in helping others stop their negative behavior.  Hopefully, their lives will improve since they cannot keep up the ugliness without some temporal arrests and jail time, plus fines.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

More Prayer, and Remain in His Love!

The s.d. said that nothing must endure the state during Mass as long as it lasts, as there is nothing to do about it but pray and endure.  Of course, it is quite secondary to the call for all of us:  Remain in His Love!

Jesus loves us.  He wants us to be close to Him, to unite with Him.  That is the simple truth and basic instruction and goal.  To do this, we must love Jesus more than anything else, especially our own selves.

But I hope any readers of these recent posts understand that mystical phenomenon carry with them many crosses not just brought on by others but also within the recipient, for there are many doubts and senses of unworthiness, plus questions and wondering if one is not getting the message, or is not doing something more or other that the Lord desires.

It estranges some people for various reasons, and in others it makes no difference as to helping inspire, and that is painful. 

So it is best to remain focused on loving Christ and on remaining in His love, and in enduring whatever numinous events or none, with equanimity of spirit and praying for humility which comes along with mystical phenomenon.  It is all quite humbling--those crosses.

I don't feel as if there is anything more that can be written about such matters at this point.  Just know that they are not "fun" and carry with them (if they happen in public) lots of trials and upsets.  Think of Jesus, how it really was for Him, dragging that cross through the crowds jeering and cheering and a very few weeping.  He was marked, and nothing was going to change people's views other than his death and resurrection.

For us imperfect humans, nothing will change people's views other than our deaths and any ways in which the Holy Spirit might change their hearts to Him, never to the person who is simply a temporal medium of whatever spiritual message.

Just know that there is a painful reality to such things.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Present Moments Not Including Writing!

Well, spiritual correspondence has been taking time lately.  People have ideas, questions, and issues to write about that deserve responses.  Plus, there is e-alogue that occurs on specific spiritual topics.

However, between the heat wave, then two little ones visiting for a weekend, then mega-garden workout--nothing has been very busy.

But there is a prayer request that has been asked of some friends--just two or three including family.  If the ecstasy during every Mass, going on for nearly three years, is to be a sign and message of the power of the Living Word of Christ Present in His Word, and the Sacrifice also very powerful, and His mystical presence to be more recognized by us souls who go to Mass (and I suppose by anyone who believes in Jesus Christ), then it seems the message or sign is not getting through. 

Of course, only God knows if it is getting through in some subconscious or supernatural way.  But the outer reactions over time, particularly with some including some clerics, makes one wonder!  So have been praying to God that if I am in the wrong location, let me know where He wills me to go; if this is a gift for me--so refreshing and profound, Mass after Mass--then thanks, but shouldn't it be for others more than me?

I am to pray for whatever God wills, and that He use it for souls, for priests and for the Church.  I do pray that, but I will need great faith to accept that somehow it is having effect even though it seems more the opposite.  This is nothing to do with the person but is simply a message, a reminder, a sign.

Anyway, that is what I'm pondering and praying.  Little bits of reading at night, usually worn out from manual labor and other responsibilities of maintenance, a holy hour, prayers, and present moment encounters--picking up with Elisabeth of Schonau once again.  Have been reading it in pieces for a couple months.  This week read about her ecstasies/trances/altered states; the author, a prof from U of Vermont, utilizes three terms for them.  Says they occurred in the Mass setting and on rare occasion during community reading of Divine Office prayers.  Regardless, Elisabeth of Schonau is most helpful, and I'm thankful for these people who endured and lived lives that caused them much suffering and persecution.

A friend today said that "they" always tell people who have different encounters of a mystical nature to not ever talk about them nor to write, other than if told to and in a personal journal.  The friend's husband asked, "Who is 'they'?"  A good question, that.  But I interjected that yes, often these people would be sequestered off in a dank cell, and subjected to all kinds of scrutiny.  The husband also pointed out that if none of them were supposed to talk or write, then how is it we have books to read today that describe what they endured and for what purposes for the good of souls?

So, we do have their encounters in writing, often from others who observed, or directors who wrote, or several friends and often the persons themselves.  It does seem that the issue over not being able to receive Communion during Mass due to the ecstasy is a huge stumbling block to clerics and even hard for the s.d. to grasp.  It came to me when reading of Elisabeth's having these during Mass, also, that it has only been since Pope Pius the Tenth that we have had frequent Communion.  In Elisabeth's time it was once a year usually--the Easter duty.  No doubt that is why now it seems so very hard for others to comprehend that Communion can be in another form, of a deep and profoundly spiritual reality, all the same.

Nothing is being rather open.  The friend asked, "Don't you want to be a saint?"  Nothing admitted only wanting to love God and do His will.  No, I don't care to be a saint--at least the kind that we have so many of already, at great cost and effort, from every century and continent and culture and status.  The old ones are fine with me; don't need current ones to keep me Catholic or striving to love God and others.

My thought now is that some perhaps are dotted about who need to study and learn about such matters as other people may have numinous events and no one seems to be able to grasp or deal with such.  It is bound to happen in one form or another in a soul's journey in this life, striving to remain in His love and live in Christ in the present moments.

Teresa of Avila's states ceased after her soul was purified.  Then she says that she lived in that state but could move her limbs and function--all the while in the peace and bliss and love of union.  Yes, she was then in Christ yet doing her work on earth.  Nothing has wondered if and when this thing will stop.  Have prayed for it to stop many times over for the past nearly three years, on my own and also as directed in the past year.  But to be purified--this is a hard nut God would have to crack--my soul.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ridding Out Phenomena and Obedience

Another rather personal post, but nothing desires to help others who may encounter similar situations, or not.  For those who do not, but who may wonder or desire such things, perhaps it will help them realize it is not cracked up to what their imaginations envision.  (Maybe it is not proper to write of such matters, but then, it seems helpful in some ways, to others out there or later on.  If not, God will let nothing know, and this post will go into draft mode.)

A phenomena has occurred at each Mass for nearly three years.  Won't go into the details, but it is beautiful in a surreal and profound sense, yet cloaked with much persecution, suspicion, and awkward reactions from others including envy, anger, misunderstanding, mild adulation and/or avoidance.  For the person experiencing such a thing, the inner profundity sustains and supersedes the outer.  However, the outer can experience anguish, including self-doubts and scrutinies.

The spiritual director recently suggested, more pointedly, that we get rid of this thing.  Of course, nothing had tried various ways to have it stop.  The state persists.  Tried other parishes, self-inflicted pain, forcing alertness, putting the mind to other than Mass, staying away awhile.  Beseech the Lord; tell Him the priests and the spiritual director and nothing all want this to be lifted.  Prayer has been tried many times, over and over, before Mass, during the night, by others and by nothing. 

This time he gave stronger directive.  Ask Jesus to lift this so that you can participate normally in Mass and receive Communion under normal circumstances.  This is my direction.  Reminding the spiritual director of on-going prayer for this same end has resulted in nothing changed other than sometimes deeper states.  Remember when this was prayed last summer, even telling Jesus that the director orders this?  The Lord simply said, "This is how I am loving you!"--and the situation continued at every Mass in varying degrees of profundity and depth.

So now the spiritual director suggested nothing try standing in the back of the church.  Walk around if you must.  Nothing tried to explain again what happens to the heart, what happened when a priest had said, "Fight it! Fight it!  Force yourself to stand at least during the Gospel!"  Well, nothing could not.  The force was too powerful, and the heart not able to sustain the body in that state.

Dr. H. was consulted.  He told nothing that no matter what is asked, no matter what happens to the body, God will take care of nothing.  If a heart attack and death, what better place to die than in church and with the soul in that beautiful state?

But after the director insisting that surely nothing could stop this thing from within, to pray and to cooperate with God...surely it would lift,  nothing prayed for courage to do simply what the dear spiritual director requested and suggested.  Nothing somehow found itself praying for the intercessions of St. Joseph of Cupertino.  Not sure why, but he came to mind.  Courage!  Obedience!

The next morning, nothing remained in the back, standing.  Per usual, into the first reading of the Word, the force overpowered and nothing was felled to the floor.  There was not even a chance to try to take a step toward a pew, let alone "walk around a little."  Sprawled across the center aisle, in the back by the doors, nothing remained lifeless until after Mass.  Enough; it does not matter now.

It is not fun to be misunderstood, maligned, helpless to alter or control what happens to the body.  To think, also, that the director did not believe or trust--but that was not the case.  He apologized deeply, and said we will not try anything else other than to pray for God's will.  But yes, he said it is difficult to understand this thing.

These things have nothing to do with the person.  Nothing is wretched, a sinner, nothing special, not exemplary in most aspects.  These things God determines for His own uses and designs.  It is rather random, from the human standpoint; luck of the draw, perhaps--although we can see now that these matters are not fun-and-games. 

At least we know that for one who has feared falling to an extreme, it is not something that can be simply altered from within, or from without.  This is a force beyond mortal control.  Others, not understanding, have previously tried to rouse, move, lift or revive nothing.  The breathing and heart rate are next to nil, they say.

However, there is a point, a message, that nothing has heard deep within, told in some dimension of bliss and love.  It is that the mystery of God, the mystical realm, the spiritual realities, are all around us, among us, now.  And the temporal is always passing away.  The mystical realm is our home for all eternity, and it exists in Christ among us in the present moments of life.  This thing  during Mass is but a reminder, a sign of the supernatural reality of Christ in our midst, the power of the Word of God, and the glory of the Sacrifice of the Mass.

And one must always be obedient, even unto death.