I have been struggling with tremendously dark thoughts and too little hope, but the trees and flowers force me up despite much physical pain. They need me. They give unconditional love. When I smile at them and greet them warmly, they smile back and greet me with purity and love in full reflection of His Real Presence and Heaven.
As for pain at all levels, there is nothing to be done but endure it. Even with dark thoughts and grave disappointments in myself and others, especially those of us who lay claim to the Eucharist and the "true church", we must persevere and try to be better Christians, better human beings, better reflections of His Real Presence: God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
I suppose if nothing else from these blogs in which I reveal the actualities of my lived experience as a type of case study, and do so with as much authenticity as my research-trained intellect can, I pray that others have some sense of scandal and shame that we all should bear, and that we uplift our ways and strive to at least fake living more as if we truly believe we have His Real Presence in us.
If He really is in us, then why the coldness and scrutinizing, the judging, the lack of giving back peace when proffered? Well, perhaps I need to persevere more and just keep going in where I am not welcomed or accepted. Perhaps change will come through the silent shunning and persecution of that which they do not bother to discover the myriad other facets of a human being's capacity to love and to give and to laugh.
In this current pain siege, I have also felt the pain and union with those in the Middle East who are being brutally murdered on top of all manner and types of religious persecution. I also grieve and suffer with the Muslims who are peaceful and trying to live the good aspects of their religion--just as there are good Protestants, Evangelicals, Catholics, and other forms of religious followers who are simply good people and who love God even if they are not followers of Jesus Christ.
However, I can attest for any out there who suffer in daily life with whatever form of suffering, that feeling guilty that one struggles to manage the suffering when others elsewhere are being killed physically for their faith, does not lessen one's suffering nor the reality of the critical aspects of it. Pain is pain, and we cannot make ours go away or diminish it by any particular knowledge that ours is not as horrific politically or physically, or that we are not being physically martyred.
What we can do is to unite our sufferings and pray with our fellow sufferers. Sometimes I think that those who suffer at the words, neglect or physical abuse by a spouse suffer mightily, for that is a personal assault against love, often in the twisted name of marital or cohabitation love. God is love, and such warped, contradictory love is a direct assault upon His Real Presence.
I wonder if we could suffer a martyrdom of death for our love of Christ, in some way more heroically, knowing it was going to be over, once and for all? Does it help to know that we are dying for a huge and public cause, that of the way saints of all centuries suffered and died, or that of Jesus' own way of death?
One can begin to feel guilty and ashamed for not being able to suffer out the long haul when compared to those martyrs unto blood.
Being unkind within our own parishes is perhaps the greatest shame. Trying to discount it or hide it away, or excuse it away, does not bring about change. Perhaps my staying away from Mass when I am not welcome is not helping bring about eventual change for the better, or in others learning that there is a human being, a human soul, a good person, a loving, genuine, and devout Christian and Catholic Christian within the one they fear or judge.
I consider Jim Foley, the journalist who was beheaded last week in Syria. He had been kidnapped once and escaped, only to return to Syria against the wishes of family and friends due to the dangers there. But he had a passion and a mission to expose to the world the terrible plight of the non-Muslim Syrians against tyranny and terrorism by radical Muslims. Jim Foley was not welcome according to his terrorist captors and executioner. He witnessed, all the same, and others got a message, not the least of which is to love love, to love God, and to love one another.
God bless His Real Presence in us! Little children, let us love one another for love is of God.