Saturday, May 6, 2017

Catholic Hermit: So Much Pain

This nothing consecrated Catholic hermit's body is in so much pain!  Had stopped pain meds a few months ago due to the "racket" of medical profession regarding pain meds for those with actual need.  The charges for an appointment, refill--would be ridiculously high.  Probably it is assumed a pain patient will pay anything for the modicum of relief and will jump through any hoops; well, not this pained one.

I also was frustrated by the misinformation, ignorance, and bias regarding pain medications.  I had to always research whatever other medications suggested, and always the other medications had far worse side effects to the body.  Plus, there is a lack of knowledge about pain meds with those who have not had intractable pain for years; there is this notion that anyone who takes pain meds becomes "addicted."  Not so.

Medication goes to the area of illness or pain and is utilized by the body.  Addiction occurs when a person does not have pain or illness; if a person gets a "high" from a pain medication, for example, that person does not need it.

Regardless, the pain medication only took the edge off as was on such a low dose, anyway.  And there was no withdrawal, contrary to what might be presumed.  Of course, my body was utilizing the little bit of pain aid, the nerve receptors being dulled a tad, and that tad I realized was not worth it for all the other hassles, including time and money and physical sitting and energy used in being yanked around in the "racket" system of what pain patients go through with medical professionals these days.

So, this body is in very high pain today and has been for a couple days.  But I've tried to keep going, doing small tasks with lots of rest breaks.  Lifting some boxes of tile and having to stand on concrete floors at a couple of Lowe's, did in the spine this time.  I tried a half a pain med this morning, in desperation to get it toned down as it seemed nearing the unbearable point of suffering.  Yet, the toning down was so minimal, that I realized how glorious is God's grace and my dropping out of the "racket".

Am slowing reading in The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross.  I'd read it before, but the mind has been filled with many things since then.  New vocabulary and skills of construction, plumbing, electrical wiring, tiring, drywalling--the mind a large container of infinite capacity to hold much information and imagery. Yet, the capacity for recall is, as is suggested, about 10% of mind honed with 90% yet available for "tilling" and "germination."

One aspect of the reading, thus far, has made an impression relative to a bit of news I noticed this morning.  A nun in Argentina has been arrested for her role in facilitating deaf children to be raped, sodomized and otherwise sexually abused by several priests.  The nun's role also included physically abusing the children.  Ah, my.  And to also read--'tis true--that a lead abusive priest was passed on from doing the same in Italy--sent to Argentina for a fresh snatch of victims at his disposal and a nun from Japan to help facilitate the abuse.

The news reminded me of something St. Teresa of Avila spoke of and believed to be true.  She was so upset by the state of the Catholic Church--its troubles and issues--in her day and time period, that she considered it akin and united with Christ's sufferings.  She viewed the Church in this way--the unfortunate and dastardly troubles as a continuation of Christ's crucifixion that He suffered and suffers.

This made sense to me.  St. Teresa had determined to provide priests who were holy, inspired, and educated and experienced with guiding her sisters and teaching them in the spiritual life, plus who would be excellent confessors.  She did not want her sisters in the various convents developing in the reform of the Carmelites, to endure what she had endured with inadequate priests.

Thus, when she heard of and met the young John of the Cross, she found in him such holiness and brilliance that she enthused him to grasp her ideal for the reform also of the male contingent of the Carmelite Order.  She developed a vein in the Order by which priests would be formed specifically to help teach and guide in the spiritual life and provide the sacraments for the sisters who would join Teresa's various houses.

It does make sense to me as one whom the Lord called many years ago now to suffer with and for His Church, to unite with Him in suffering thus.  I suppose I had started to question the call to suffer thus.  But once again in my little life, Teresa of Avila has come through with casting aside my doubts; she had come to this realization and call to suffer with Christ and to know that Christ suffers with and for His Church--then, and surely very much if not more so, now.

So my sufferings of intense and nauseating pain today, are linked and offered with Christ for the nun in Argentina, in a jail there, and with and for the various priests who have been in jail for a couple years, and for whoever it was in the Vatican and the one priest's diocese in Italy, who sent the known sexual abuser of deaf children to Argentina to another school for deaf children.

With that, this pained and sickened hermit is going to attempt getting up despite burning of spine and down legs to the feet, horrible headache, nausea from radiating pain--and will see if the body can begin carrying up the ladder to garret gable room, the hardwood flooring pieces so they can acclimate to the room's temperature and humidity level.  The wood needs to rest there for a few days, adapting, prior to installation.

I had to give up and will return the laminate flooring I'd gotten for oh-such-a-good-deal.  The little lip edges were pressed cardboard or such; I'd have several rows laid only to have a plank third row in, pop up.  After spending several hours battling this laminate stuff, I realized yet again there are not short cuts in life and a good deal is not always worth it.  Quality matters, in other words.

And so it is for all of us in the Body of Christ.  There are no short cuts in the spiritual life, and quality matters in and with and regarding all aspects of ours souls, our hearts, our minds, and our bodies.

I'm sure Christ has suffered plenty on behalf of my portion of being in the Body, the Church.  Perhaps some of my call to suffer has been for my own lacking of quality, of my own flaws and not living up to the Christian ideal or even to living out some of the more basic virtues, commandments, Scriptures.

Like planks that snap together, our lacking or missteps or weakness can cause all kinds of problems for all those planks around us, counting on us to not pop up and cause the Body to not function or be functional. When one pops out of place, the rest is not in place, either, and a slightly raised plank can easily cause others to stumble.

I'm impressed that Teresa of Avila did not ignore the troubles of the Church in her day.  She recognized the wrongs and the issues, the weak links (so to speak).  Teresa determined to do what she could by the grace of God, to provide at least for the sisters in her reformed Discalced Carmelite Order, to have the best of ideal training, spiritual guidance. and sacramental life, as possible.  No way did she want her sisters to encounter what she had encountered in religious life and prior.

There is something refreshing about facing reality, painful as it may be, and in striving to begin with ourselves and in whatever way we have with those around us.  Take up the bad, the old, the less-than functioning and replace with quality and goodness, that which is wholly and holy good.

(And with the flooring in the garret gable room, I realize that with the better flooring--the hardwood--the not-level aspects of the floor joists make the slant quite noticeable.  On a day, should another day come for this body, when not in as much pain, I will begin the tedious leveling process.  Not wise to lay lovely, quality flooring over a slanted floor....)

All is connected, from God to us, in Him and with us, and quality does matter as much as bad can distort.

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