Sunday, July 6, 2014

Catholic Hermit Shares Dichotomies and Truths

In spiritual reading and research of  facts about well-known and lesser-known mystics, I find  two thoughts, two quotes worth sharing.  I deviate from my personal, current effort to appreciate what nameless others say, do and write, in that with these, I will "name names". 

I do so partly to emphasize they are real people with names, despite that unknown persons have no doubt thought, said, done and written similar.  It seems important for us to keep this in mind, that these people who are given special notice by others, would not care or desire to be noted as special or with having any more credence than the "least of these."  I also mention their names because we can find, no matter those who decry such as victim soul offerings, the very actions by people who the Church has approved as canonized saints.

One person, Therese Martin, is typically referred to in the Catholic Church as St. Therese of the Child Jesus.  She offered herself as a victim soul on the Solemnity of the Holy
Trinity (first Sunday after Pentecost in the liturgical calendar).  Her offering included this prayer:

"O my God!  Blessed Trinity, in order to live in an act of perfect love, I offer myself as a victim of holocaust to Thy Merciful Love...."

Another is the offering of the lesser known Medieval English hermit, St. Godric of Finchale.  He went to the river near his forest-hermitage near Durham, and he offered himself to God as a victim soul.


From reading John of the Cross' Spiritual Canticle, of which the theme repeats the indwelling of God, comes yet another view of the classic, theological doctrine of Divine Presence. 

(This has been instilled within my soul when the Lord began uniting my soul and explaining His Real Presence in all Sacraments, during Mass.   The phrase utilized, told, instilled to me was: His Real Presence--Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  To others the phrase or label is slightly different.  But the essence is the same, yet with additional insights.  His Real Presence always provides infinite facets.)

From a book I am reading:

"God is substantially present in all beings by His contact with them as their Creator; to this presence, which is common to all, is added a special presence in the souls of the just and in the blessed, as the object of their knowledge and love in the supernatural order."

I find these thoughts, words, and actions yet more input of reality.  The first two mentioned above, St. Therese and St. Godric, specify real people of whom holiness and sanctification has been bequeathed publicly and historically.  Yet there today remain those who eschew the theology and practice of victim soul offering.  
The third thought shared, by John of the Cross, is that of what many known holy persons, at least two of which are given the honorable titles of "Doctor of the Church."  The thought represents, however, a reality to the people who write of it and label and describe it with varying words.  What stands out as the common thread as well as the holy point, is that the people actually and truly experienced the reality of God's life and presence within their souls--and their souls' life and presence within God.

It is a life-altering experience to have this reality of His Real Presence, the Indwelling Trinity, to remain in His Love, or however the actuality is stated.  The point remains for us to know that this is a true possibility for us to come to grasp and deeply experience, and for the reality to be lived experience every moment, day and night.  

At first the reality may be very conscious in and to us; we may do little else but think of it and speak of it to anyone who will listen.  We may not fathom how others do not share the excitement or that they question or turn away, shaking their heads. Or, they may say they already know it, but there is not the excitement and extreme of one whose being has been touched.

This touch of God, the dart of flame, the fire of having one's heart transfigured, is for each of us.  It can happen.  It will happen.  We must seek Him with all our bodies, minds, hearts and spirits.  We must fall out of love with the world, be willing to suffer any affliction, assault or ridicule, and fall in love with His Real Presence. 

We must simply wait and remain vigilant while waiting, going about our daily lives with faith, hope and love.  Practice the virtues, but wait with great anticipation and expectation for the Divine Presence, the Indwelling of the Holy Trinity. His Real Presence will become an exceptional, supernatural reality as well as a lived, actual experience that changes our interior right here and now while we are alive on this earth. This phenomenon occurs both in practical and supernal ways.

Yesterday while being with my grandson for a day, fully engaged in fun-loving participation, His Real Presence within let me know that I must continue sharing the spiritual experiences and also to write more about His Real Presence.  I am yet further from the temporal in some ways.  I've been through much suffering from those whose mindsets are formed by years of an oppressive, critical, doubting approach to the spiritual and toward those who are in the process of being touched or who have been touched by God's Indwelling.

We must free ourselves from such oppression--either coming from others or that which comes from ourselves.  Humility is not fear.  Fear is the flip side of faith.  There is nothing to fear, for God will keep His beloved souls upon the narrow path.  Even if we slip or misstep, He pulls us back either gently or if necessary, with a snatching!  

Those who are oppressed by fear or thoughts that only some in the past were blessed to experience His Real Presence in vital ways, heap weights upon themselves and view and judge others according to the made up, imposed weights.  To travel on the paths that lead to yet more oppressive laws of which there are really no means in place by which they can be enforced, wastes the soul's invitation that Jesus offers:

 "‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’" (found in Gospel of Matthew 11)

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