It may seem strange to some that a person, let alone a consecrated Catholic Hermit could wake up in the morning and feel a deep "ugh."
Can any of you readers grasp the degree of pain to cause such a reaction to being bodily alive? Perhaps some of you share the type of pain, or at least at times in your life. It is not pain that has one writhing with acute trauma, although that may happen from time to time. This pain is deep, intractable, relentless, heavy, potent. The mind and emotions do all to cope, even combat the thoughts and feelings.
There is plenty of self-blaming. The mind can go to the past and consider situations involved or instrumental in the causes of such life-altering pain. The mind can remand images to the fore, and to alter the images into what-ifs of other scenarios, false but appealing.
There is plenty of forgiving those who helped exacerbate the pain. There is resentment yet gratitude for the pain medications one relies upon at this later phase of life when the brain is stripped of its pain-coping, natural chemicals, the nerve synapses worn from years of over-use. There is prayer, now more simple, wordless conversation. Or if words, something basic like, "Lord, let the pain be prayer." Or, "Lord, let this desire to be out of this body in this temporal life, be prayer."
One thing for certain, the Lord knows more than we do, the degree of pain and suffering within our bodies. He understands. He has mercy. He's been there, done that, in His time on earth. And let us not kid ourselves that he is not in touch every present moment with great suffering, now and all these years since and prior to his approximately 33 years in an earthly body. He knows pain through and through. He lives suffering because He has His Abode in us.
And we know His yoke because we are in Him...at least those of us Christians, the baptized, the espoused, the followers of Jesus, the sinners trying to do our best yet falling short.
Today's Gospel reading in the daily Mass comforts all of us and perhaps especially gives support to the ones with great physical pain as well as those with emotional and mental pain. At times, they all touch, weave, intersect in some small or large way.
Jesus tells us to take His yoke upon us. His yoke is easy, His burden is light. We can each figure it out, although many have written eloquently and some at length, about what Jesus means with these Living Words. Take His yoke upon us. His yoke is easy, His burden light.
Perhaps it is enough to not think on it much. Just do what He says with simple, humble, weary and pain-tired faith.
There, I've done it right now. Yesterday the thoughts were in battle until afternoon, conflicting with my thought and His thoughts on pain and life here or life on the other side, shedding the body, molting style. This morning my thoughts are now His thoughts, for taking His yoke insures that all will be His, not mine.
I may have to repeat His adjuring Words: Take My yoke upon you. Sometimes we need repetition in order to learn, in order to make habitual an act or thought. It is simple enough. And with faith, all things are possible. Why make it complicated and hard?
If Jesus says His yoke is easy, then it surely is easy enough to mentally put it on in image, word, thought. if Jesus says His burden is light, then it surely is simply based upon His saying so. We can find out as we go along.