Sunday, April 22, 2012
I was preparing to pray my rosary last night, and happened upon my parish's website where our priest keeps a weekly (sometimes daily) spiritual reflection. He was expounding upon 'embracing the cross' on layman's terms. He didn't just say accept what God sends you, good and bad, but in studying Catherine of Siena he said "to be in love with suffering and chose it as your inheritance on earth." And I sat there, pondering the "folly of the cross (1 Cor. 1 18-23)," and the anguish, suffering, and despondency I have gone through lately. I didn't see my cross as a stumbling block or as sheer folly, but I was greatly perplexed by this 'hair-shirt philosophy." I couldn't be more confused than any other heathen about why there was suffering and pain and we were to embrace it gladly. I was trying to reconcile the theological fact that God wanted us to be happy and Lamentations 3:33: "It is no pleasure to God to afflict men. He takes no delight in our pain and misery." But to continue that quote, God uses suffering to bring about the best good, hence the mystery of redemption: the Cross. We should be happy because God wants us to be happy - happy in Him. To endure trials and suffering willingly, we join in the mystery of Christ and the ministry of reconciliation (as our holy Father Pope Benedict XVI said in a recent homily). My confusion had stemmed from the fact that I was merely trying to survive my misery and not let myself be 'pulled under the water and drowned by deeper currents." It occurred to me that I hadn't job searched since last Thursday or Friday (still not employed) and I felt very guilty about that; in fact, the devil was trying to use that to bring me to despair. But I soon realized that I was not just suffering - I had been ill. I had been too emotionally overwhelmed, trying to climb out of the pit of despair I was in, I hadn't been neglectful in my duties of not trying to job search because I was trying to make good with what I had. I was trying to live as God willed. Suffering will never be a palatable thing because it is averse to the flesh. Therefore, to live and thrive, we must live in God. I'm not even going to try and reconcile my past hurts to this fact - what is in the past must remain there for now, for I am not strong enough to contemplate why things happened the way they did. I am going to focus on living the moment in God. Every second, every breath. Now I understand the Jesus prayer of the Orthodox monks.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Despite the rough year I've had so far, I must admit that God has been with me every step of the way. Besides financial assistance, I've received some extraordinary help as well. Over two months I suffered from intense pruritis, with an occasional rash, and saw 3 specialists who determined they could do nothing to help me. Past being desperate, I began a novena to St. Jude and Our Lady, and the results were miraculous. Six days into the novena, angel whispers in my ear advised me to stop taking the oil of oregano caps that I used to treat my sinus issues. On the seventh day I stopped taking them, and became itch-free immediately! I have had a few sensitivity issues linger, like itching on contact with wool, my face flushing when I have the slightest amount of alcohol - but nothing, NOTHING as severe as what I was suffering from a week earlier. Of course the membranes of the sinuses and those of the uterus being of the same make-up, I will and do have flares once or twice a month, but I hope that is temporary until I can get the remaining chemicals flushed out of my system. My doctor discovered at this time from all the blood work that I was pre-diabetic. Major changes in exercise and nutrition coming my way tomorrow (if only I could keep my hands off the chocolate...). But I am not fully diabetic, so that is a relief...of sorts. Time to seriously buckle down on job hunting, even if I start college again in June. Trish, it turns out after all that time, doesn't need me down at her house to help her with the new baby and two boys.