Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Offer it up for them because it is for them that you suffer"

A certain Deeper Truth writer gave me that advice yesterday. Wow. What a spiritual grenade that was. That is why this particular writer is such a valued member of our team.

What an astounding spiritual insight! She likes to refer to these kinds of things as "God's 2x4's" and the analogy is so apropos.

It is the ones we love that we make suffer most and because we make them suffer most, we suffer the most for having made them suffer and then they suffer because they see you suffering over having made them suffer and it builds and builds and builds......

Quick note: See "Jesus and Mary at Calvary"

This is the kind of stuff that the easy-religion non-catholics just don't get. Though the physical, emotional and spiritual bumps and bruises we sustain through life, are tough enough, they are as nothing compared to the guilt of the sin of scandal.

Quick note: The sin of scandal is that sin by which your actions cause another to sin.

Matthew 18
5 "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Contemplating every monumentally stupid decision you made in trying to raise your kids and be a spouse, really brings these verses home. I can think of at least a hundred decisions and actions that I would gladly don the millstone necklace, for a midnight swim, if I could but undo them. I'm sure some of you feel the same.

But we can't, can we? We can only go on, each day, grinding ourselves into the dirt, wondering how much their shattered faith is the result of our past arrogance or moral cowardice.

True, not all of our families sufferings are our fault but that is little comfort knowing that part of it certainly was. Did we have the best of intentions? For the most part (excepting when we were nearly psychotic from stress and anxiety).

It is just amazing how strongly your bad day at work can reverberate through most of your child's life. Foolish words, foolish actions do damage. The bell cannot be un-rung.

So, we see our families with their shattered faith and we struggle to find the magic words that will fix it all. They swirl around in our heads like so many wasps but they never break out. The cold silence locks them in and paralyzes you. Occasionally, you find the strength to mutter out something like "Hey, you want to go to church with me?" but it is quickly rebuffed and you slink back to your corner, clueless to what the next step may be.

"Is it enough that you must carry this cross, must you let the enemy beat you with it?"

Apparently, the first 2x4 to the head wasn't enough? She countered with that one. This is the stuff that makes us Catholics know that we have it right,if only we can contort our will and our actions to our knowledge.

Colossians 1
24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.

Non Catholics look at the concept of rejoicing in our sufferings as folly. How many times have you said "I'd do anything for them"?

Well...now is your chance. Bear a little suffering now, and offer it up, that both you and they may get to heaven, and suffer no more. Two lumps on the head are a small price to pay for this course correction. Thanks, Christie.

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