Friday, October 3, 2014

More Spiritual Combat Practice

Finally got the call that the laptop was repaired.  So thankful to have purchased the warranty service.  Don't usually do that, but with the laptop it has been useful and practical and finance-saving.

In the past few days, there have been many trials in which to practice lessons learned in The Spiritual Combat book by Dom Lorenzo Scupoli.  Can't say there is great progress in overcoming the surprise attacks, but there is progress in recognizing them.  Being rested and in good, physical health would bring better successes.  But who in battle on the battlefield is rested and has particularly good health?  The soldiers are weary, hungry, aching, and overwhelmed with responsibilities and high stakes of potential failure and defeat.

The reality yet requires one to remain steadfast, remain on the field, remain engaged in tenacity and purpose, remain hopeful and faithful in loving dependency on His Real Presence.

Appliances were delivered.  Unexpected delivery man exhibited resistance to helping place the behemoth things into the openings.  He relented, but the appliances did not fit.  Appeared that the cabinets were not "square", or so he said.  Being worn out but having spent hours and with hired help to level and square the cabinets, it all seemed rather confusing.  What went wrong?

Later, asked the delivery young man if the appliances are level.  "Yes," he replied.  He suggested shaving off the cabinet edges to make the stove fit.  All had turned to confusion with trying to figure out the tangible problem of materials and space, making one item fit into another.  The counter top people were to come the next day.  Three cumbrous, heavy appliances were left sitting in the center of a small kitchen; a microwave in its box was plopped in front of the sliding exterior doors.

After several phone calls, thankfully did not shave the cabinets.  Simply by eying the appliances again, could see they were not level with the floor (which was not level--thus all the hours of shimming cabinets to make all level and square).  More misinformation was given by store employees:  no leveling feet on fridge; yes leveling feet, but only in front; leveling feet on stove, not just on front.  "Your floor is not level."  "What floor even in new construction is level, let alone in old houses?  Do they not deliver appliances to other older, single people who live in older houses?"

No help was forthcoming from the store.  More phone calls to others.  The counter top people were trying their best to figure out what this solo, tired, old woman could do.  The man helping with electrical was called; he described how to make a fulcrum with 2x4 pieces of lumber and jack the heavy refrigerator enough to turn the adjuster wheels.  (Yes, refrigerators do have them in the front.)  But one wheel would not go up or down; the other would.  Faulty adjuster foot-wheel.  Appliance employees said they knew nothing about leveling appliances but deliver people do.  Delivery people were ones giving wrong information from onset.

Delivery head man said store can do nothing to help.  Call the service warranty people as one month remains.  Service warranty people said would be a charge if adjuster wheel not broken but stuck.  Who knows, but God?  Turned focus to stove to at least get it level as it would fit into the spot if level with the level cabinets.  (Thanks be to God the counter top people, so helpful, said do not shave the cabinets to get the stove to fit--back when was wrongly told the stove was level with floor.)

Back foot leveler on stove would not budge.  Call the store again, and appliance man said must just do the best as he did not know anything other to advise.  Could not help.  Frustration rises.  Said maybe counter top man, when he comes, would be kind enough to help me.

Counter top man did help by holding range on side so this one could get down on floor with tools and see why foot would not budge.  Leveling foot is defective; bent in on angle and thus would never have moved.  Call store again.  Appliance man finally says what could have, should have, been said previous day.  "We will send a man out on Tuesday with a new stove foot, and if the one cannot be replaced will replace the stove."

Asked if the man could also take a look at the defective refrigerator leveling foot?  Maybe....

From one young delivery man's arrival and attitude, chaos ensued, involving various others in phone calls and trying to help, amidst some store employees catching the "resistance fever" while others tried to problem solve.  As it turned out, nothing was going to solve the problem with defective parts other than replacing them.  And that was going to take a strong person and a store employee to handle the massive appliances.

Stayed in the battle, remained on the field.  (Where else is there for a hermit to go in a remote area when worn out and stressed by such unnecessary chaos?)  Prayed about why this was unfolding as it was--a first glitch with the store and employees who otherwise have been so helpful to a point of holiness. 

First insight:  the young delivery man needs prayers.  Had noticed previously in the store, his tendency to dark chip on the shoulder.  Not delighted with the job, a bit resistant to helpfulness.  Second insight:  God was testing this Catholic hermit in the art of spiritual combat.

Results:  Battle not won yet but looking more promising for victory, one way or another.  Did not do well in the midst of the fray; frustrations rose to a peak, and tears came like rain on the field, at one point.  But did come to the realization that if need be, would exist with the appliances sitting in the center of kitchen, not finish the kitchen, and go on until illness or death plucked me from the temporal scene, and someone, some day, some how, would be able to level or move the appliances.  Had lived without a kitchen for well over a year, and adapted and survived just fine.

Lessons learned:  Attitude makes all the difference.  Persevere to the goal, and do not be beaten back by others' negative attitudes, resistance, nor misinformation.  Praise God and those who help when it is not even their responsibility to be involved and help.  Praise God in all aspects of the trials.  Keep a perspective that prayer for souls is at the root of all trials, and love of God and others despite the obstacles or if they become the enemy combatants, is key.  Do not consider them enemy but rather fellow seekers and strugglers on the battle fields of life, of which spiritual combat is a daily and nightly reality in any of the miniscule details of our temporal journeys.  Thank all those who helped, and thank those who became resistant when the resistance is snapped like the little rubber bands they were all along.

Praise God.  Pray to not slip in midst of combat next time, for there will be a next time and next time and next time.  Only when there is recognition and loving, spiritual and temporal handling of trials will the combat seem not a combat but merely an opportunity for prayer, love and not-so-stressful victory. 

God bless His Real Presence in us!  Little children, let us love one another for God Is Love!

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