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

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About hermitsoftheholycross

The Hermits of the Holy Cross is a Contemplative Association for those who are permanently physically disabled and have become “home bound” to their local Church and are in need of continuous medical care. The Association of the Hermits of the Holy Cross is set-up in such a way that those who are ill and physically disabled can live out their monastic spirituality from their own home. We assist the Church and the world through our life of prayer and freely offering up our sufferings that stem from our disabilities. For the Hermits, our hermitage is within our heart and the Cross of Christ is life for us and for our world.
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