Sunday, January 15, 2012

Remaining, Abiding: The Progression Is Painful

Tucked into the spiritual life is the cost of progression.  It seems one never quite expects certain things to happen or not happen.  The great saints and mystics all mention this fact of individualized "instruction" with only general precepts laid out, fine though they be.  The spiritual journey is rugged. The consolations are given, but as St. Teresa of Avila reminds, the mountains and valleys become increasingly high and low with more extremes and intensity of occurrences.

I mentioned details that seem nastily impossible to occur among Christians, the Body of Christ, the Church.  But they indeed occur as much today as when St. John of the Cross was abducted, held in a small cell, tortured and nearly starved by his own religious brothers.  Today the left shoulder is in the sling; tomorrow I will know if I must contact the orthopedic surgeon.  Last night the very thoughts of which the confessor yesterday warned, erupted angrily.  Shooing them aside was no easy task especially trying to sleep with a painful back that is best if body is on one side or the other.  Now, with both shoulders in pain, weariness won out in upset, or so it seemed, until morning Mass.

The priest had encouraged very much, saying that the devil, of course, is riled with me--and for me not to give up but to continue the praying, spiritual reading, being at Mass even under such upsetting circumstances.  He also reminded that God knows every detail of what others are doing, although He is allowing the abuse for strengthening my faith and endurance.  Plus, it is experience in learning to deal with the devil.  While he said there will be a reward and to keep that in mind, when the onslaughts creep into the emotions and memory, it seems...who cares about any reward?

So today I went to two Masses and will soon be at the third.  Not always would I do this, but the need is great.  Some dear souls are praying for the left shoulder to be healed, but thus far His Real Presence is willing otherwise in that matter.  At Mass the soul is utilized to bathe one priest in particular, with love, healing, peace and forgiveness; I am relentless in desire that the obstacles be removed and beauty and goodness and truth reign freely.

After reading yet another St. John of Avila sermon on the Holy Spirit, the soul is uplifted along with the graces of Mass, prayer, and praising.  There are so many negatives to be healed, but reading the saints and mystics and Scripture intones hope even if the soul is not registering so much the content.  However, the content of the Holy Spirit is resonating, and the desire renews for His Real Presence to take abode increasingly in my soul with prayers for this for everyone.

I'm arming myself with another book to read, and that is one that bespeaks the reality: knowledge is power.  This book is simply titled Satan.  It is time for me to renew knowledge of just what I am up against, rather than being tripped more than what might be necessary.

This is another horrific period in which to navigate the trials, suffering, injustices and provocations.  Ultimately, the grace of God saves us from ourselves and others...for those who believe, love, seek and pray.

But as to love being suffering and suffering being love, others see it as truth, as well.  That is why I return to Mass when some friends and family members are so upset that I would remain in such conditions, they no longer speak to me.  These things happen in the spiritual journey, also.  It is quite painful and makes it all seem the more lonely.  Perhaps that is yet another reason for frequenting the sacraments and participating in His Real Presence often in Mass.

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