Entering God’s Kingdom Through The Portal Of Pain

Theresa
Hermits of St. Giles

What is Conscious Suffering? Might it be my actual portal into the Mystery that is Christ? To me, Conscious Suffering is not to suffer as a victim, but to suffer purely, without connecting that suffering to my own personal, small-self experience, which still clings to its egocentric notions of pain and pleasure as its guides, one being good the other evil. Our Lord has said, “Do not judge, lest ye be judged”. If I continue to judge the experience of pain as “my” pain, I will also continue to connect with the pain on too superficial a level. And, if I am to repent for my sins at this stage of the journey, those sins might just be stemming from an overall lack of humility, in that I question God at all, as if “my” pain was separating me from Him and not my own ignorance and darkness in judging it. But, as Scripture says, “Nothing can separate us from the Love of God”. So, If I allow myself to feel singled-out and separate from God or others because of pain, those feelings come more from my equating God’s presence with pleasure and His absence with pain. I surmise that is why it is taught that we should offer our pain and suffering up to God, so as to get the attention off of our “selves” and into a deeper communion with our suffering brothers and sisters in God’s Holy Universe. Compassion cannot arise in a body that sees itself as separate from God and neighbor. Compassion comes rather from getting outside of me and mine and into God and neighbor. Not intellectually, but actually. Not in concepts, but in the heart. And to be a true disciple of Christ and a Light for others, whether I ever actually meet them or not, I must ask in all humility to be awakened from this sleep of ignorance and remain present and attentive to God at each moment. Conscious Suffering must never be permitted to become self-pity again, though in my weakness, I am further humbled by the awareness that only through God’s grace will this prayer become a reality.
So, the Lesson for me Today is to pray for the Lord to continue to prune His vine, cutting off even its flowers, if need be, that I might produce worthy fruits of penance within me, more in accord with His perfect Will than my own limited ideas of Spirituality have ever been or could ever be. I ask this In Jesus Name…Amen!
Theresa
Hermits of St. Giles

A Hermit Rides the Bus

A Hermit Rides the Bus
by Charles
Hermits of St. Giles

I recently got approved for Ct Para-transit. The service has longer hours and runs seven days a week unlike the service I was using. The best part…I get to go to Mass!!
That was my very first trip and it was a wonderful blessing! Fr. Joe said Mass that day…a truly amazing man with The Dick Clark gene, he looks exactly the same as the first day I met him years ago. It had been over a year since I went to daily Mass, there were some wonderful old friends and a few new faces. I lingered afterwards at the Tabernacle, just allowing myself to be there in His presence. There is a statue of our Blessed Mother on the left side of the altar, I remembered it from RCIA , it’s from the 18th century and absolutely stunning. There in that moment, in that breath there is grace. Being present, being mindful, forgetting my yesterday and not thinking of my tomorrow. If we could only stay right here, in this moment, in this breath. We just can’t seem to hold that moment long? There is a bus to catch, there are tests to take, doctor appointments to keep. How quickly I tend to forget this precious moment. When the doctor gives me that look, when the test results are not good, the rainy pain day.

In this moment…..In this breath……..

I had scheduled a bus ride to Church today. It’s Friday, October 2nd -The Feast of the Guardian Angels. Mass is suppose to start at 9am. The bus was early, picking me up at 8am. The driver seemed not to know the area well. She had an accent that I was not familiar with. I did manage to get she was from Peru and new to the United States. While driving me she got lost, so she decided to work on picking up the next rider. She told me she would drop me off next. She proceeded to drive to Plainville, then Southington ending up in New Britain. She dropped off another passenger and then drove to the next stop to let off someone else. Now, it’s just her and I on the bus. It was now past 9:00am. Mass has already started and we are at the far end of Farmington. I asked her to just take me home and had some trouble in explaining why. Sitting here afterwards, I chuckled at the whole matter. It seemed wrong for me to get upset….

In this moment…..In this breath…..

I thought back when the driver unloaded a young girl in a wheelchair. The young girl was unable to speak, other than random shouts, nor was she able to control her movements. She had a constant smile though and was thrilled every time I waved to her and said “Hi”. The young girl kept trying to tap me on the shoulder. Her companion told me she wanted to play “patty cake”. She would hold up her hand and I would tap it and say “hi”. She had a huge smile and burst into laughter.

In this moment…In this breath…

At the machine shop, I worked with a fellow from Peru. He told me what it was like there. When I remembered , I could not bring myself to get angry with the driver. Each of us has a journey, a story.

In this moment…In this breath…

I got home just before it rained. I made a pot of pumpkin spice coffee and said a Rosary of gratitude for my bus ride and the companions that shared it with me.

In this moment…In this breath…

May Our Lord Bless You Abundantly!
Charles
Hermit’s of St. Giles

Do not fear, for I am with you. do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10