Today's Gospel reading renders from Luke and Jesus' speaking the Beatitudes.
"'....Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets....'"
Consider our calling in life, and the seeming inconsistencies of what the world views and what God views. To remain in God's will is the utmost endeavor, for all else flows from His will, unfolding our present moments as He wills.
In faith, we hold this assurance that no matter what, He is allowing and providing; and we must endeavor to grasp what lesson or good we can devolve from any given circumstance.
It is cheery and easy to grasp when matters are pleasant and uplifting and go in our favor.
When recently visiting a family member (we are helping with manual labor, one with the other, now and then), we played a game of Monopoly for their "family game night." The little boy did well at first, landing on some board squares that allowed his purchasing some property. This nothing Catholic hermit had no such "luck" from the onset. The parents playing did quite well, and as is said, were "on a roll."
Before long, those who had good luck with the dice, were able to purchase token properties and build up income from the boy and this nothing hermit's landing on their spaces. The boy became discouraged and upset, not wanting to continue. But we did continue, and when the winner became obvious, we discussed chance and winning and losing, and how to react.
Yes, it seems all wind-in-the-sails when aspects of life are going well, and we can be easily uplifted and cheerful. But we also can sail along, deceived by our seeming "good fortune" that we are on the right track and pleasing to God and man, alike.
However, Jesus gives us a different reality of this life and its temporal goods. Those who laugh now, will weep later. Those who are rich now will be poor. "‘Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.....'"
As the Apostle Paul reminds in 1 Corinthians, the present form of this world is passing away.
There is truth in what was told this nothing Catholic hermit by Teresa of Avila, years ago before even being a Catholic: "Pain at other levels and dimensions is sheer joy." Yes, we do receive help and wisdom from those souls on the other side; they are with us and for us, especially when asked but also when God sends them to help us. We do receive communications from Jesus, Mary, angels, the Holy Spirit, and God the Father. Part of the process is to discern the communication; and wisdom and love and peace over time confirm the good.
Envy, discrediting, earthly acclaim in pride and arrogance, confirm the not-so-good. Whenever we think we are something, we have lost our nothingness. Those who do have temporal wealth and success, have not some of the opportunities of those who do not. And by opportunities, we consider that of the spiritual growth that comes from suffering and humility and the effort to not succumb to despair but to endure despite seemingly having one raw deal after another.
In that sense, life on earth can seem as a game, and we must strive to be loving and understanding, good losers. It is in giving of ourselves in love and in keeping faith and hope in God alive in our souls and for the sharing with others, that we play the game well. We become quiet and humble winners of another sort, of another level and phase.
In the last major dream vision in which God showed this nothing is most definitely a Catholic hermit, the message was rich. "Nothing" was shown and deemed by God to be a Catholic hermit, existing on one side of a street, that side being of the other world of the Spirit in which all was lush and fresh and heavenly, as on the most pristine, leafing-green, early spring day.
Then "nothing" was lifted up into the air and taken across the street to a side displaying the temporal world as we sense and experience it. This "nothing" was held, suspended, about 20 feet in the air with face 8-10 inches from the exterior, yellow-tan bricks and mortar of a church building.
While suspended aloft, another view was given, as if seeing through the bricks and mortar of the structure to a bishop dressed in much finery of ecclesiastic garments of which he delighted. Off to the side was a view of a younger woman, kneeling and dressed in a brown habit, and shown to be a hermit approved by the bishop. Between them stood an immense stack of canon law books.
Then God asked this nothing Catholic hermit: "Why would you want that when you can have Me more directly now?"
In that state, there was absolutely no hesitation as to what one would want. There was no doubt, no desire to have anything of the other, for the glory and blessing of the direct and insightful assurance of the question brought a peace and joy that surpasses human understanding.
For two years now, to this week and month, nothing Catholic hermit has pondered this last major dream vision and locution. (Jesus had said previously there would not be many messages for awhile.) That has been so, but this one has held firm and obvious, that there is no desire for anything other in vocational terms. Shared with "nothing's" spiritual father, the response was, "Well, there you have it! The answer--and what could be better?" A closest friend of over 50 years said, "God couldn't make it any more clear."
Yes, and what a relief. Although it is well to note that what God chooses for some is not what is chosen for others. And one is not better than the other, just different. It may make no sense to us, or it may make perfect sense.
By earthly example, it is difficult to grasp why the work here in this fixer-upper seems to bring one calamity and cost upon another, and fair and decent workers hard to come by. The finances are dwindling all the more, and it seems all will be lost of what could have been a more comfortable existence temporally. The faith and hope it takes to have courage to forge ahead with plumbing and other skills totally new, seems on par with what some may struggle with in faith that God is Who He Is.
What a blessing for those of us who know His Real Presence in a very real, tangible, and yet also spiritual way. It becomes easier to have faith and hope and love in His Real Presence than in our temporal lives of which so much can seem like a game of chance. We know it is not, however.
God chooses all for those of us who desire to exist within His will. What initially may have seemed topsy-turvy meanings of Jesus' Living Word in the Beatitudes, take on a right-side-up reality in both the temporal and spiritual views.
God bless His Real Presence in us! Little children, let us love one another, for God Is Love!