Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Catholic Hermit Learns to Embrace, with Love, Disapproval

Time passes; the soul progresses.  Praise be to God!

Not long ago, a year or less or two years or more, many incidents wrought upset when others persecuted through misunder-standing, calumny, doubt, misplaced envy and very much so the rejection of disapproval.

Through each occurrence, be it a friend, stranger, fellow Catholic or even family members, the pain would "ping" the mind and emotions.  The situations would heighten in weighed effect of rejection dependent upon the attachment this soul had with the other.  The Lord knew and knows just what attachments to allow in being the instrument of formation, of learning detachment so as to embrace the life of Jesus in ways He was persecuted.

It seemed that this soul would never come to a point of grasping how it was that other lovers of Jesus could write about loving these types of suffering that go along with rejection and disapproval by others.  (And the suffering is commensurate with the love one has for those who reject and disapprove, as Jesus' life experiences leading to His crucifixion most potently demonstrate.)

Yet the Lord strengthens while teaching the tough lessons.  Beginning two years ago, with major rejection and abandonment seeming so terrible as to shake the roots of faith, the graces increased, providing more spiritual "photos" in the scrapbook of consolations.  With repeated, increasingly painful "pings" of rejection by abandonment and disapproval, the soul begins to rise atop the swirling currents of others judgments and opinions.

Peering down from above the froth and foam, they are seen for what they are: temporal froth and foam.  These are merely molecules of hydrogen and oxygen, stirred to a frenzy by wind and current.  They have little-to-nothing to do with Jesus' view, His judgment, His opinion of us.  Jesus is the One to please, and that requires His love and mercy upon a desirous and believing heart and soul.

In the hermit vocation--as well as any vocation--the desire to please God and to love Him is paramount.  Part of the stricter separation from the world in arduous prayer and silence is to learn that it is not by the worldlings' standards that we breathe, live and have our being.  The calumniators may come from within our ranks--as Psalm 55 so strikingly states the breath-taking shock of discovering it is those with whom we have communed in the temple who try to do us in.  How painful when family members misunderstand, doubt, and disapprove of our interests, passions or way of life even if we share Christ as our Lord and Savior.

The process of stripping has done its fine work, within.  Disapproval becomes a delight.  One realizes in kind with those others who exclaimed their joy in suffering abuse of all types that comes from the hands and mouths of others who in many ways become beloved instruments of penance of God who guides the process.  He knows how to instil within the desirous soul, all that is needed to graduate from trepidation of and devastating sadness when the very personhood is discounted and disapproved.  

The soul graduates to the bliss of embracing all forms of calumny, misunder-standing, doubt and disapproval.  The soul discovers the joy of such insults and slights and prays to become less and less in the eyes of man--even despises any hints of approval by persons of position, even of family and friends, of priests and prelates.

The purpose of the stripping becomes known to the soul who runs toward the crosses, eager to pick them up, kiss and embrace and carry for however long the Lord wills.  The purpose resides in living out all that the Beloved Jesus lived, especially if the soul's crosses are miniscule in comparison to His.  The desire for union becomes stronger than the desire for esteem and acceptance by others.

Thus, this soul recently has turned a major corner in loving being disapproved, doubted and calumniated by any and all.  There is not much more to this hermit's life than to pray and do penance, and to subject the outer and inner to whatever stripping the world can provide.  And it came to the joyful Catholic hermit that the internet is a marvelous instrument of penance the more this hermit presents itself for whatever judgments and opinions may abound, and the more the better!  

This morning, while praying the daily Mass Scriptures, the Gospel of John 16 enlightened and enlivened:

On that day you will ask in my name. I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 

I pray for souls, Lord--those on earth and in process of being purged on the other side of the ethereal veilI pray for more crosses according to Thy will and and knowledge of what is best to destroy the man in me and produce the fruit of salvation and spiritual perfection.  I thank Thee for hearing and answering my prayers.  I praise Thee for making me little and nothing, both, before Thee Who art All. 

God bless His Real Presence in us!

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