Monday, March 21, 2011
Opposition to Remaining in His Love
Never fathomed the strange opposition and high degree of eruptions arising against love--remaining in His love.
Has been a battleground of forces and emotion ever since the peak of loving experience. The mind and emotions come to a point of upset that foments hate or something close to it with tremendous, inexplicable frustrations. Obstacles have been erected in daily life amid people and circumstances. Focus on spiritual reading waxes and wanes.
The temptation to flee the area is encouraged by loved ones in physical sense, and the mind explores any number of possibilities in order to be positively utilized instead of shut down, suffocated. The spiritual director prays with the sometimes roiling soul, seeking God's will if there is any use He desires beyond a life of prayer and contemplation, or why the spiritual gifts?
Rejections roar from the very persons and places and experiences of which the soul offers itself and seeks acceptance. Silly nonsense: food pantry donations are found not-suitable. Offering to donate home-baked muffins for a coffee-donut addition takes five days for approval. No door opens for venturing into any ministry: large, small, or in between.
The neighbors begin afresh the torment and harassment now that spring is nigh. Loved ones suggest simply walking away; let the bank take on the hermitage in a down economic market.
The anger and frustration build to overflow and verbalization of hate, interspersed with apologies to God for such raw, expressed emotion on Thursday night: a virtual agony in the garden. Friday noon Mass brings the unfathomable mystic state, and peace beyond all understanding brings the body, mind, heart and spirit into love. And this is despite the mind's continuing flow of residual upset.
St. Aelred's words in that morning's Office of Readings describes the soul's call to imitation of Christ. He spoke not, he said not a word while led to the slaughter, other than to forgive those who persecuted him. Jesus gave them all the benefit of the doubt. They know not what they do. Jesus taught ultimate patience and understanding when scourged and suffocated by ignorance.
If one is to be Christian, to follow Christ, expect persecution and death of innumerable formats. Even when I know this, read it, reflect and beg to remain in Christ's love through the worst of obstacles and upsets, darkness and temptations to flee, the reminder repeats that Christ prayed for his enemies and asked the Father to forgive them, for they know not what they do.
Are the obstacles the way God is trying to answer the prayers for discernment? More spiritual, not less? Less temporal involvements, not more? It is too soon to determine. Too much tumult; the waters stirred and muddied still. Now 'tis to make muffins to share with the "poor" stuffed among us, inside closed boxes.
Perhaps the greatest poverty to address in our time among Christians is that of ignorance and fear of the spiritual: of the mystical Catholic world. Perhaps ministry to the spiritually poor and fearful is the work God desires of me now.