This nothing consecrated Catholic hermit does this often: seeks forgiveness. And the Lord forgives as do countless humans along the way. And we have to learn to forgive our own short-comings, also, and to seek forgiveness within our hearts and minds for others.
But in the tremendous God-pivot on-going, to be in tune more with my hermit vocation and yet more so with my life in Christ Jesus as a soul, I have come to face some realities of self. Ironically, they have also jolted some others, for we do not strip ourselves in isolation. And our God-pivots often affect those we encounter or with whom we have contact, such as in correspondence.
I have realized that I was fed up with my bad "marriage" to pain and suffering. Pain is a marvelous experience in life; pain is a solid companion in this life. However, I was allowing pain to imprison me in ways not positive. Even in this morning's Gospel reading for Mass, Jesus is firm with his followers that He will be handed over to be killed. He was forewarning them of the reality of His crucifixion. They did not want to believe it; they could not accept it as reality.
In my pathetic bad bondages, my own imprisonments to some faults and habits, I now seek forgiveness even of you readers who log on to see what a consecrated Catholic hermit writes of its spiritual journey, often enough over the years and various blog site titles, to read some complaint or description of the physical pain. Or else read about the little details of temporal life gone awry, or various other obstacles in temporal issues, relationships, and so forth.
And this is indeed part of this hermit's spiritual progression and journey, the attempt to climb the stairway to heaven; but also it is an imprisonment when I have not risen, not taken the next step or two or three, up the stairway. When I remain at a low level of repetitive relationship such as to physical pain or the details of temporal renovation ills and obstacles--what good is that doing readers or anyone else in my life who keeps in email or phone contact?
So it is that I seek and beg forgiveness for my difficult and slowness in grasping more of the personal guidance and loving good marriage with Jesus. See how long in life in just this aspect of pain and the distraction of such as hindrances with the temporal daily details--see how long it has taken me to move up the stairway, to refuse to stay on the same step or to go back down.
And to think I have wasted God's time and others' time in repetitive complaining, to think I've allowed dark thoughts upon waking with high-level pain. For pity's sake, it is only pain and nothing other. Just pain. So why let pain imprison me like I have? Well, I do not know for sure why, but I have; and that is but one example of bad "marriages" I have made with temporal details. It must stop.
The God-pivot is causing the progress now, of becoming unstuck. And this includes some people who have contact with me. It is amazing, that this morning I prayed for one in particular who was upset with what I had written of my being fed up with the stuck-ness I have been in for a long time, and what it means to God-pivot at least in a few instances.
And the God-pivot became my message for this other person as well as yet another who wrote. Yes, we were all stuck, and what good was it for all of us to remain stuck? Yet, also, how loving is it to remain stuck with others, and not suggest we break the imprisonments with which we have jailed ourselves? One person was rather upset. Yes, it can be painful for us to see what we have done to ourselves, what we have allowed. Those aspiring to union with God do not want to remain stuck or to back-track, to slide down the stairway to heaven.
By this morning the person was coming up with inner strength renewed. She started to "get it," and yet the work ahead is not going to be easy. I, also, could see how difficult the next step or two. Doing a God-pivot in one person causes a chain reaction, for one person who needs to pivot to God more, to take a step or two up the stairway, brings about a cause-and-effect. Some respond well and others might not.
Yet do we not take the step upward because we fear others not understanding or being fearful of the changes that result with movement? Did Jesus say, "Just kidding. I won't be going to Jerusalem, after all; no one is going to hand me over to be killed because I will avoid that. I don't want to shake up your lives, either, or make you vulnerable to spiritual growth by means of more persecution for my sake."
He did not say that, nor did he shrink back from taking the next steps. And it did shake up his followers' lives; and they did pay a price for their own God-pivoting next steps. Following Jesus is going to always be one of movement and progression. If not, then we are not following Him, not picking up the crosses, not seeing ourselves as He sees us deep down in, not recognizing the hindrances to our climbing the stairway to heaven.
We have to risk relationships when we are following Jesus, when we take necessary steps for ourselves to break out of our prisons, to climb the stairway to heaven, step by step. The view from the next step or two will change; our perspectives will alter; the relationships we have might shift, as well. It is all good even if painful beyond physical pain. Remember, it is only pain and nothing more.
So I considered this morning how the two persons reacted when I let it be known I needed to do a God-pivot of more major proportions, to break out of my prison, but also to let go of conversations and repetitive plaints of stuck-ness. Should we remain stuck if others are not ready to take the next step? Did Jesus wait for the rich young man to go home and figure out if he could sell his "possessions" (conceivably break off his prisons and bad "marriages" accumulated in the details of temporal life)? No. The young man turned and left, and Jesus obviously walked on in His mission.
So must we. And if those who seek our counsel and friendship need to go off, to go back, and to take more time to make the connections and see the God-pivot, that is fine. We are none of us at the exact same "place" along the path of spiritual life. However, there will be those who do get it, or after some initial upset start to see what one or another is trying to share of what he or she has started to see and grasp for him- or herself.
Is it selfish to not share what we are experiencing and what the Lord has pointed out to us, such as an insight on a much-needed God-pivot? I rather think so. Yet it is risky to share an insight for by doing so, it can sting or even stab at the heart of another's own stuck-ness. A chain reaction occurs; and that is good for either way, at least one person will climb to the next step on the stairway to heaven. And often the others take the step, too, or do in time, when they are ready or the Lord prods them more, or from someone other.
I was asked this morning if it would be a God-pivot to do what another person demanded of a temporal detail, such as to eat what the other person demanded be eaten! Was it a God-pivot to submit to that person's demands to eat food that one does not like to eat, and does not want to eat? Is it a God-pivot to avoid the person who demands such things from getting angry?
So we see, we deal with some serious imprisonments in our lives. To submit to someone who is not kind, not respectful, ill-tempered, and bullying is not doing a God-pivot. It is doing a bully-pivot, of pivoting to a human being who has become a jailer, often due to our letting that occur over time even if we did not know better way back when such imprisonment started. Habits form that way, and it is nothing we ought grieve too much about.
I have had that imprisonment, that bad "marriage", also. I have dwelt too often and too long on my errors of the past, of my poor decisions--naive or not. Or I have grieved too long and much over relationships that the Lord simply was freeing on all fronts and sides for some other relationships to enter in, or for the growth of the persons involved, to relationally also, take the next step. That, too, is doing a God-pivot, for the purpose and point is for improved connection and relating.
Now, to God-pivot today, to what the Lord shows of Himself, of His Living Word, of the power and strength He gives us when we take necessary steps to leave the prisons of our temporal lives for the climb up the stairway to heaven, making sure we do not dally on one step far longer than what is beneficial to our own souls and in that, always, what will assist others in their own soul progression.
Simply with the one person God-pivoting from upset and insular thinking that I no longer wanted to know the repeated details of being bullied, to realizing the truth and that there is hard work ahead but progress, at least, in communicating feelings to the bully--that is a God-pivot. The step has moved from fearing I would not remain a friend, to seeing that God gives strength to rise beyond and above stuck-ness.
I am feeling that tremendous love and strength from His Real Presence, as well. This morning was the fourth morning of waking up in horrible pain, per usual, but in refusing the negative thoughts, the despair, the sense of being stuck in this temporal prison of pain and also on-going manual labor trials. I just stopped it. Broke out of prison, and I thank my angel for helping to open the cell door and showing me the way out: God-pivoting!
Some relationships will go the way of the rich young man who walked away because he could not yet give up the possessions of what imprisoned him. Yet, we tried to help those to take the next steps. Just as some have tried to help us take next steps before we were ready to see our own imprisonments and that we allowed the situation, the thoughts, the stuck-ness.
We should never resent it or hold anyone back from stepping onto the next step, from rising up the stairway to heaven. If we are wise, we will do all we can to rise up or at least take the time we need to ponder and to pray for courage to step up when ready. There is nothing unkind about the process but only good to be shared even if the fruit takes awhile to ripen.