Thanks be to God for many temporal details, lately. My computer hard drive crashed. That was a blessing because my pain was out of control, and the head pain was becoming unbearable. If I'd had the laptop, I would have written and written from a point of pain beyond coping, no doubt. The darkness would have been too dark and incomprehensible, probably misunderstood, and fodder for misjudgments.
Only those out there who have experienced heavy suffering of the sort that takes the mind to another dimension and that of deep despair, would have grasped. One of the last aspects of spiritual distress that I recall, is that of making it to Mass on Monday morning. After what was typical for this parish, parishioners and priest--of which the state of such tends to be reflected or sensed within, throughout the Mass, any Mass--the woman of the very first day's conversation asked to speak to me. Then another woman joined her.
It was The Inquisition. I tried to remain very kind and patient, and I did my best to answer their questions which were put in accusatory manner. The one woman repeated her current judgment, despite my explanation. I finally tried to sweetly and firmly point out that perhaps she was beyond her capacity to grasp and experiential level, and that it seemed a bishop, a priest of many years, as well as a psychologist gifted with the paranormal have more ground upon which to stand in assessing what the week before I had suggested she just stop trying to analyze and let it be.
The other woman got into that it could be the devil, and yes, it could, but no, it is not. That has all been dealt with, although I have no doubt at all that the devil continues to attack in various ways. It seems he was busy using others to try to figure out and have their theories rather than their paying attention to His Real Presence in Mass. The devil may have been quite successful, also, in having these women think it was their duty to give me a hard time of it, and to scrutinize and judge.
I never minded when a bishop did so. That seems more the task of a bishop or even a parish priest. This particular parish priest avoids any contact. But he is part of the mix there, and why so little going on, the spiritual ebb flow low.
I did commend the women on their at least speaking to me. Others do not--not a smile, not a "hello", not a glance as we are all leaving or outside. I suggested to the two Inquisitors, that we try to just let the analysis drop, leave it for those others, if any, whose business it might be, and get to know one another as Christians. I said there remains still an itty bit of sense of humor remaining, and I laughingly pointed at my shoes and that my feet are on the ground, and I'd love for them to visit me in my fixer upper, or to ask me to join them for a cup of coffee, and to talk of other than what is difficult to grasp and does not really matter, or should not.
But the encounter was deeply foul, as well as the situation spiritually there. I called the spiritual father and reported to him, but also by then the physical suffering was so great, that my returning to this particular parish was not feasible. When I called after I realized my having been taking the wrong medication for the head pain and not realizing it sooner, I could better explain about the Mass at that parish, the priest, and the encounter with two of the handful there.
Is this parish and this priest some kind of assignment for me? My spiritual father does not know. He mentioned again how critical is the priest in parishes, for unhealthy ones tend to propitiate dis-ease. As the leader goes, there go the followers. We discussed, from the conversation I had with the women of which there was more than I have commented above, that these people likely are content with their parish and spiritual lives and not wanting other. My silent, immobile presence had irked them, that was obvious. Yes, there was much more to the Inquisition.
At one point, one of the women asked what I sense of their parish. I did not want to say, but she asked again. I put it that there seem to be some issues there. It was not easy to throttle the words so prominent, but I held them in. The best descriptor remains: Creepy. It is so sad and creepy. How I wish I did not sense things so deeply, and even more deeply during Mass. Painful.
It is concluded for now that I will need more direct and obviously discernible instruction from God before I will return. This may be a scenario of people entangled in the heavy nets just beneath the water's surface, and my trying to tread water and cut the ropes and try to help--but not at all what God wishes of me. He may be saying again: Swim on out into the deep. They will be all right. God is taking care of them. Who am I? I am nothing.
My spiritual father reminded me that people and situations aren't going to change over night. But he also does not know if these people desire more. Seems not. I desire more, though, and my own spiritual life is hindered and weakened when I tread water and try to be where presence seems negative. I asked Jesus the other night, "Lord, where is the freedom? Where is the joy?"
The immolation that I am to be may be this tremendous life of physical suffering and hardship, and the deep, spiritual suffering of seeing and experiencing what is and not being able to do anything about it--other than get swimming out into the deep and uncharted (at least by me) waters.
I've admitted to His Real Presence that if I am to not pay any attention to such as these women, or the others, or the priest or the essence of the unhealthiness sensed during Mass, that I need more strength and more graces and more assurance to return. For now I pray for all of us, yet from a distance. There is much work to do both spiritually and physically right here, in the plight of Te Deum House and in my imperfect soul abode.
There are so many other prayer concerns coming into our spheres of consciousness, even in the growing soul awareness, the spheres melding and evolving in one progression in His love, in His Real Presence. Tend these prayer needs of so many other souls and circumstances.
Press on, press on. Thanks be to God, the grace and strength to press on, not quite knowing how or where to press, other than press on.
I give thanks to my* God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, 5for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind— 6just as the testimony of* Christ has been strengthened among you— 7so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Cor 1:4-9)