A Vocation to Embrace Suffering

A Vocation to Embrace Suffering – How can such a Calling possibly be Realized, Fully Accepted, and Lived Out by Anyone who is of Sound Mind and is in a state of basic Psychological wholeness and Emotional wellness? This is the astounding if not even somewhat mystical revelation of the Mystery of the Cross for the Hermits of the Holy Cross that I hope to be able to address in this Post.

Are we delusional?   Are we simply making the best of our crummy lot in life, hoping to find an excuse, however poor, for meaning, relevance or purpose in this world? Is it some irrational imagining to escape the reality of our chronic pain and sickness?

Some might wonder.   We, ourselves, at times, might even wonder. But, to linger in such thoughts would be, for us who experience this Genuine Calling, a definite Temptation against our Vocation. How do we know? We Know because the Grace to Understand what it is we “Know” in our deepest center to be True is part of our Vocation.

We do not need to imagine.   We do not need to escape. Nor do we need to romanticize what is the True Nature of our Calling in order to make it more palatable. On the contrary. What every Hermit of The Holy Cross Knows to be True is already contained in this mysterious Grace that is given to us, in order that we may embrace the Responsibility of the Call; to hold our place quietly, humbly, and in a hidden manner, according to God’s Plan and Purpose. We can thus share the burdens of humankind in silence, in union with our Lord, Jesus Christ, as we offer our sufferings for the Salvation of All the suffering souls in this World, both living and deceased, in Faith that God will bless and accept these offerings through Christ, our Lord, AMEN.

Blessings and Peace,

+ Theresa (HHC)

Suffering as Prayer

One must not think that a person who is suffering is not praying. He is offering up his sufferings to God, and many a time he is praying much more truly than one who goes away by himself and meditates his head off, and, if he has squeezed out a few tears, thinks that is prayer.
-St. Teresa of Avila

For people like us who live with physical and health challenges, saying prayers using the Church’s indulgenced Sacramentals – like the Rosary Beads – or The Psalter, isn’t always something we can do.  It may be a day of excessive pain or a night that passed without sleep that prevents it, however much we desired to.  And so, instead or in addition to these more formal methods of Prayer, we offer our very sufferings themselves to God as Prayer.  Apparently, this was a Practice known to be acceptable in the Church even back in St. Teresa’s time, as the Quote above shows.  But, just what is it that makes our suffering something that can help anyone?

Well, I can’t speak to that as a Theologian might, but in my opinion and from what I have observed, every Conscious Act offered to God for the sake of another’s well-being sends out a vibration of Love into the universe that carries with it an energy of pure spirit  Pure Spirit not because of our own purity, but because we have offered it to God, who then shows “acceptance”, if you will, by uniting that small offering of ours to His own Holy Spirit, purifying it of all that is less-than and unworthy of His own perfection.  If we make these offerings faithfully, daily, or even several times in the same day, how much Love would our Lord shower down upon us all?! 

Now I DID say, “every Conscious Act”. So what is a Conscious Act, then?  A Conscious Act is one done with Intention and Attention.  So many of our daily actions are done by habit or conditioning.  To make a truly Conscious Act, I try to focus however much of my attention my pain allows upon Jesus, knowing that all my desires are known to Him.  And then I will that this humble desire may be of use to relieve the sufferings of others, according to God’s Will, believing in Faith that such IS also God’s Will. Lastly, I let go and Trust in God to supply all the rest, so that this simple act may be brought to fruition in Him.