Also, my Bl. Charles de Foucald Christmas yesterday was only that, to a point. Thus, why I titled the post including the two words: of sorts..... I had written of the upset within me, the turmoil, the memories that had been triggered, the current persecution and my responding to it with strong words--yes, true enough, but not what people who are wary and making judgments want to hear for they do not see they are persecuting or they probably would stop.
Fr. V. was right when he simply responded that we must focus on the Nativity of Christ. But it was not helpful, that, at the time, even if I knew it was the correct answer, the truth, the spiritual high road. In my base humanness, in the solitude of silence without the strength of soul to combat the memories and rejections and the self-blame as well, for having continued on, and what affect it all would have had on my children during those years. Rather, I wanted to hear that what the current situation of exclusion is not right, that my feelings were understandable, but--but also that I must pivot and focus on the Nativity.
God provided what my base human needs lacked with the phone call from the Catholic friend who said those things of consolation and also truth, but also pointed out that what I love of Catholicism is not the same as the temporal Catholic system and structure of all us humans with years of ways of reacting in certain situations to such as mystics, or to the system of not fraternally correcting clerics, but of remaining silent. And that mention of the temporal reminded me of what it is that just a few days prior I'd resolved to do and be: focus on the spiritual, focus on Jesus and on the love of God.
[And as most times when I am impatient, I now received an email from Fr. V. saying he would have counseled more but his internet service was bad there in Nigeria, and thus was only able to send the brief reminder and Christmas wishes. However, had he been able, perhaps I'd not have come to the crux of the great lesson this way, seeing how base I had become, how needy, and a reminder of my impatience. Jesus works it all out for those who love Him, and that I truly do, very much love Him even if in flawed ways.]
Today I will try-, try-, trying again. I will strive to focus on the Nativity of Christ. I will also take measurements for some studs I can cut to begin framing closets upstairs or at least have the wood ready for framing if I need the extra set of hands of Daniel the Nazarene. He plans to come later in the week, but I will not expect what is to be for I am reminded to remain in the present moment, yet again.
As for the Charles de Foucald Christmas, it was that, of sorts--up to the point of where the externals ended in the metaphor and the mystical began. Or so I think. I don't know for sure what Charles de Foucald went through in the first couple of Christmas in the desert, alone, not speaking the language of the Muslims in the village nearby, not able to celebrate Mass. Perhaps he went through a most dark episode on Christmas.
But I like to think that he was focused on the Nativity and not on any painful episodes of the past, other than to forgive and beg for healing from the Infant Jesus. I consider how the Infant Christ has more power and might to heal than any human physician.
The Infant Jesus also had the power to bring out the greatest envy and evil in such as King Herod, as well as the power to draw three wise men to travel for months and months to find the Christ Child, following a star in the heavens as their map. (Ah, would it be as easy to find Jesus in our life's journeys by using a GSP tracking system, an automated voice telling us where to turn, and when--right or left!)
This morning I read in Acts the final moments of St. Stephen. These stand out to me:
"But he, filled with the Holy Spirit,
looked up intently to heaven
and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
and he said,
'Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man
standing at the right hand of God.'"
Yesterday this now less than nothing, this reduced and peevish consecrated Catholic hermit did not have the power of soul to focus on the Nativity of Christ. Today I pray to have the strength and faith to, filled with the Holy Spirit, be able to look intently to heaven to see the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
I've sent Fr. V. an apology email, for my snapping and writing that his response had not helped, for I had in the trials and upset of emotions and psyche over the realization of what I am experiencing that is so very painful--I'd not been able to focus on the Nativity of Christ right then. I begged for consolation. But his answer was the correct one, was the high road, the spiritual right action.
My cousin called and explained her lapse in our campaign slogan: Make [Us] Nice Again. She had been triggered yet again by her elderly mother. I shared how I had been so wretchedly triggered on Christmas Day, as well, and what is the correct and high-road answer, but that I doubt I'd have taken that road if I'd been her, either. We are so human, and the campaign has just begun anew, yet again. She was going to correct her aging mother who kept saying her age was 92 when she is nearly 94.
No, her mother does not have dementia, but is peevish, yes. Peevish as we can be peevish. Someone had incorrectly stated her mother's age because her mother had lowered it for a newspaper article. Her mother on Christmas was unabashedly adopting that as her age now, for she wants to be younger so very much, and outer beauty has always been quite important to her.
Just let it drop. Do not correct her. I told my cousin of Fr. V.'s right advice to me that I was not able to take yesterday but am doing so today--and assured my cousin that had I been there yesterday and heard my aunt self-deceiving with a lower age, I probably would have bluntly said, "No, you are nearly 94."
We laughed. My cousin said she will not try to correct her mother, and I said I will not, either. We resolved to strive to live out our campaign slogan and once more, set forth in this to-day, to be nice again.
While I don't know exactly what Bl. Charles de Foucald was feeling on Christmas Day in the Sahara, and maybe he had traumas of the past or recent days that took over and pressed in, and of which he needed to vent to rid out the poison--I do know from his writings in journals and letters that he at least later on wrote of Christ, of love of God, of the Holy Spirit, the glory of God, and so forth.
Yesterday is past, and while I can still strive to focus on the Nativity today, I will also pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit, to look intently to see God and Jesus standing at his right hand. May the heavens be opened to me and to you, also, dear readers, this present moment day we are given, no matter our circumstances and locations.