Monday, November 15, 2010

Darkness and Light

Christ be my light.

 I have to admit that I have had difficulty posting for a while. I even know the reason why.

I am confused. Baffled by a series of events that took place last spring around the time of my physical healing. Some before the healing, some after. I guess when God decides to intervene in a person's life in an extraordinary way he doesn't half step it. The healing of my physical body isn't what left me confused, it's the spiritual happenings that went along with it. The most I dared to write about this was a post last month called, "What if things are worse than we think?"

While I was being healed physically I "saw" an amazing interconnection among God's creation. I didn't just "see" it, I experienced it.  Not in a New Age pantheistic sense. I was still very much aware of my individuality as a human being but I also became aware of a spiritual reality that exists along side of us. Maybe along side of us isn't the right phrase. With us would express it better. I was alternately amazed and horrified by what I saw. Amazed - because we receive a lot more help and support from the spiritual realm than we realize. Horrified - because I have a glimmer of an understanding why Jesus would say, "Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do."

God is very merciful. If we could see the ripple effect of our sins we would sin a lot less. I would like to say that we wouldn't sin at all, but this would not be true since we would still have our fallen natures to contend with. We would also realize our utter dependence on God's mercy. Not partial dependence - total dependence. And this loving gift of mercy is given to all. We cannot stop the ripple effect of our sins but God can and does. Thanks to the Cross of Jesus. We owe Him everything.

Love has a bigger effect. The love of God washes over humanity. If sin has a ripple effect, love is like a tidal wave. It is far more powerful because it is from God. Evil is never from Him.

Can something be both the best and the worst thing you've ever experienced in your life? Can one's life be both "tipped upside down" and "set aright" at the same time. Because this is the way I think about it. My life was tipped upside down and yet, at the same time, set aright. Because God is kind, He allowed me to experience his love in a special way before showing me some "not so pleasant things about myself and this world" to put it bluntly. I cried so hard. "Lord, how can you love us so much?" He does, though. Very, very much. 

What I experienced has had both positive and negative aspects to it.

On the positive side...I have very few illusions left about myself. This isn't a bad thing. I also received spiritual healing along with the physical. That's a blessing, too. Plus, I have a better understanding of the mercy and support of God.

The negative side was temporary, thankfully. Being human, my first thought was to question my sanity. This didn't make sense, however. After all, why would God heal me physically just to throw something worse on me. Plus, as much as I would have liked to chalk it up to a lapse in sanity, I felt very sane. My second thought was to wonder how much Satan may have muddied up the waters. The second is probably likely, to a degree, which is why I am careful in what I write about. I say "to a degree"  because I have no doubt that I received tremendous healing and grace during this period of time and I am very thankful to God for it.

 When I spoke to a priest about the difficulties I was having making sense of things that had happened he gave me very good advice. He asked me to focus on my daily duties and tasks and to forget about the rest for a while. So I did. This helped me adjust back to "normal life".  I was blessed that he didn't bat an eyelash when I explained about the physical and spiritual healing, some priests have difficulty dealing with stuff like that. He took it all with equanimity and gave me practical, down to earth advice. This is also one of the reasons that I took most of the summer off, though part of it was lack of time.

The good outweighs the negative of course. God doesn't allow something to happen unless it's for our greater good.

17 comments:

  1. Mary, I am so glad you shared this with us. It is so hard, and yet so easy (it's a mystery!) to discern with something like this. I am thankful that you are not letting Satan put doubts in your heart about the wonderful grace God has given you. His Love is more powerful than all, and He will lead you on the right path. I think you were smart to just step back a bit and concentrate on your vocation. Praise God for His priest giving you this sound direction. We cannot go wrong when we focus on the duties and call of our vocation as wives and mothers. When He is ready for us to go beyond that, yet still within (it's a mystery!!), He will let us know. God bless you and I am so thankful that we have made a connection through blogging!

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  2. Thanks for sharing what happened. I'm sure that when we love as Christ loved us to the best of our ability, it does counteract sin. One thing I think is really important is not to be conned by the media that only reports evil. God has His little soldiers everywhere doing their daily duty and making a difference in the world. True, evil is terrible and produces many bad effects. We should be motivated to make ever greater sacrifices to counteract it. I think that is why God gives some people a great sense of sin. If I think too hard about the evil I get discouraged. Satan at work. God bless you.

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  3. Focusing on daily tasks is always good advice, isn't it? It's what we are called to do for our families and we serve God best in serving our family. Sounds like your priest is very smart and you are blessed!

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  4. Mom,
    Thanks for commenting :) This priest helped me understand that God did not expect me to comprehend all that happened and wouldn't want me to worry about it. He said that spiritual and physical healings often go hand in hand. I started feeling a lot better once I followed his direction. He also told me to go before the Blessed Sacrament regularly and talk to Jesus about these things :) He was very practical and that was just what I needed.

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  5. Oh, and Mom? I am thankful, too : )May God bless you, also!

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  6. Hi Barb!
    Good point! That's another thing I wanted to mention - love covers a multitude of sins. I think we will be very surprised when we die at who is in heaven.
    I'm not saying sin is okay, just that surface appearances cannot be trusted.
    I agree about not thinking too hard about evil. It's prudent to be aware of what is going on around you without focussing (focusing?) all one's attention on it. I ask God every day to give me the grace to see the truth and I understand that everything is in his gracious hands. God bless you, too!

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  7. Anne,
    I should have read your comment first and I would have known focusing only had 1 s - I was too lazy to look it up ;)
    Yes, his advice was very helpful to me. This was not my parish priest (he was having serious health issues and I didn't want to burden him unnecessarily at the time) but another priest at a nearby Church where I often go to Confession. The pastor at my parish is aware of my healing but has not mentioned it to me.

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  8. Hi Mary,

    Jesus often said "Your Faith has saved you ... your Faith has healed you ..." before He healed the sick who came to Him.

    For reasons known to Him alone, He chose to heal you. Both physically and spiritually. We should all Praise Him for that. Obviously He saw your great Faith ... an example to us all ... and chose to reward it in His mercifull, loving, caring way.

    Well ... this has obviously upset the devil. He will work harder now to put doubts and confusion in your mind. After all, he tempted Jesus did he not? So taking you on would seem to him to be easy.

    But you're better than that, and with Christ by your side you can clear all doubts and confusion from your mind. You're a living example of miracles happening today, here and now. Your healing brings hope to many. Thank you for telling people about it.

    God bless.

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  9. Victor,
    Yes, I think I was "easy pickings" for the devil but God protected me from harm. As time has gone on I feel stronger but I felt very vulnerable spiritually at first. One thing I have learned from all this is that we are totally dependent on God's love and kindness. I knew this already but now I'm SURE of it. It was easy to praise Him for the healing but many of the other things that were going on made no sense to me and I could only trust that all would be well. My mother would keep telling me, "Just keep praising and thanking the Lord no matter what happens." That's why your last couple of posts and videos have really hit home with me. We are all too human and cannot comprehend the ways of the Lord but we must believe that He has everything in hand even if we can't make sense out of it.
    God bless you, Victor :)

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  10. Love is a tidal wave...I really like that for many reasons. Water is so powerful, I know that first hand because my daughter and I were knocked out of a raft one time while white water rafting.

    The ripple (water) of sin is powerful as well because it continues to expand...roughing up whatever (whomever) is in its path.

    The Lord has truly blessed you with insight and awareness Mary, a blessing many others will never experience. Victor picked a great quote from our Lord, “Your faith has saved you..." and you have shared His Good News with us, expressing your love for Him and your gratitude.

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  11. DG,
    My mother was knocked off a raft while white water rafting once, too. You wouldn't believe the horror story she told us when she came back! Hopefully the two of you had an easier time of it.
    I am keeping you and your family in my prayers. I know it's been a difficult time for all of you.
    God has been good to me. The funny thing is that as I learn more about Him I am realizing how little I really know. I guess there are many things that we will have to wait until heaven to understand.

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  12. What a very wise priest you have to direct you!
    I have DEFINITELY experienced being turned upside down and set aright in life more than once! One can face the most immense trial and deepest suffering and yet find peace and unfathomable joy amidst the test...spinning, tossing, twirling all the while and feeling never-so-serene-and-stable at the same time.
    I am thankful to God for your healing Mary.
    I pray that He will gently lift the burden of your confusion and allow you to rest in the peace of knowing that you have been given a unique glimpse of His eternal love.
    Thank you for sharing it with us.

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  13. What good advice from the priest. Live in the present moment. Do the everyday things. That is where we find God. And peace too I think. God bless and hugs!

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  14. Judy,
    Thank you for your comment and your prayers. I liked the way you worded your comment - like finding the eye in a storm :) I know that the confusion will pass.
    Me thinks I thinketh too much;)

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  15. Colleen,
    Good thing I take part in the Sabbath Moments meme to remind myself to do this, isn't it? The good thing about trials is that they pass sooner or later. If you lived near me I'd try to talk you into giving me spiritual direction - so you better thank your lucky stars you live so far! I know that you do this or used to at one time.
    Hugs to you, too :)

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  16. I still do!! Love doing it so I figure it must be grace! Wish I could be your director. What a joy! Do you have any near you?

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  17. Not anymore. There used to be an Oblate House with some very helpful priests but the property was sold and they moved. We have an extreme shortage of priests here. I used to be able to make appointments at the Oblate House but now if I need to talk to anyone I have to drive to Massachusetts. I don't know of any spiritual directors at all among the laity. It's unfortunate because I hit a lot of pitfalls over the years that could have been avoided if I had more knowledge. Plus, I probably wouldn't be as confused right now had I been able to obtain regular spiritual direction over the years. I thought of asking the nun who teaches my Bible Study but she just became Mother Superior of her order and her responsibilities have doubled. She would likely say yes but I don't want to overburden her right now. She knows about my healing but not about the spiritual difficulties I am having right now.

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