Without His Living Word today--the reminder to lean on God and bring Him the sacrifice and thanksgiving of praise--life here would be markedly pathetic.
Even though one can intellectualize and discern--both--that the devil is having a fine time of it infil- trating the thoughts, dealing with it is like combat zone. The devil knows when one is tired, depleted and struggling with physical pain, and yet having to do some manual labor. He knows when the weather is muggy or whatever causes more bodily ills.
If there is a crevice or loophole, the devil will be right there to engage in trickery. Any chance to take the body, heart, mind and soul away from God Is Love, is the devil's raison d'etre.
Today the thoughts drooped to the theme of rejection. The mind went way back to the day my husband came in at supper time, after work, and announced he did not want to be married anymore. It was less than a month after the drunk teen hit our car. I had the lasting injuries; he had none. It is not worth going into the details, but the mind easily went to that day, hour, location, details of events, words said, and facial expressions as well as how my body and emotions felt, and the thoughts in my mind. I remember our three little children distinctly. We had just moved to a totally new area, and I knew but a handful of people, barely.
Then the thoughts snapped to a year ago, and my son's becoming angry over something he did not understand and would not listen to explanation. He cut off our relationship totally. Thinking about this sorrow, on-going and rather fresh, the thoughts turned to some regret at having sacrificed so much financially to put him through a Catholic university which was so off-the-mark, as I found out later, that he become confused and left Catholicism and has nothing to do with God now.
The thoughts then turned to rejections within the Church-- odd ones and harsh ones. On and on, like hop-scotch, the thoughts jumped, following the little thought-stones the devil tossed.
And amidst it all, my bodily pain at the weepy point already, I knew I was being toyed with by the devil. Yet it was hard to thrust the memories and painful thoughts far away and out. I'm not sure one can truly get memories out for good, because some seem very ingrained in our minds due to the traumatic nature of certain occurrences. But surely they can be transformed.
Between the memories of horrible events and sorrows, I would praise God repeatedly and try to think of something current that is positive. Now, when the bodily pain is very high, that is most challenging. But I tried, and even though it did not seem as if I was winning the conflict, I was steadfast in word-praising God within my mind and sometimes aloud in the solitude of watering and laying out cardboard around planting beds.
(I am going to put mulch over the cardboard as I've read that makes for good weed prevention and soil builder. Yes, maybe it is like what we need to do to prevent the devil and build our souls. Kill what we can of the weed memories, and then cover over with heavy cardboard insulation, screening out all that is not good, and build up soil that will be better.)
Thoughts also turned to some of the spiritual uplifts and consolations the Lord has so generously given, including my beloved children, whether all of them like me or love me or speak to me or not. The thought did come that the devil can work on others, too...sowing discord, confusion, and ugliness. And they may not be used to the tricks of the devil or to know to praise God and otherwise try to combat with love and present moment faith.
While I'd like to remain in bed right now, and knock out for the night to rest the pained body, there are yet some responsibilities needing my attention. However, God did send quite the consolation when my daughter called to say they would be out again this Saturday to help get the rest of the cabinets installed. At the same time, I had another onslaught of droopiness that just about threatened the consolation with desolation--by my simply mentioning the day's struggles against past memories. Don't do that!
But no, the human soul can learn to flex and call upon His Real Presence for strength in battle against the painful memories.
Reasoning helps, but it probably most likely comes down to faith and knowing that if such as His Living Word resonates (like bringing God our thanksgiving), we will be tested in that lesson of praise. And when tested, even if we falter, we come right back with what we know to be the antidote to the darkness and tricks of the devil.
Go inside to the abode of His Real Presence, and sip deeply of His Cup of Suffering and also of His Sacrifice which is the praise of glory for each of our souls. We are saved due to Christ's death and resurrection; and with Him, daily, no matter the onslaughts such as painful memories or painful bodies, we can rise because we remain in His Love, and He has made His abode in us and us in Him.
We carry forth and are saved by His Love. Jesus never rejects our imperfect love.
God bless His Real Presence in us!