and hold on to your hats!
Well, I can feel a new level of spiritual development about to happen and whenever it does only good things result.
Could it be I am learning when to shut up and when to speak? Is this part of the lesson of the past few months - to know when to hold 'em and know when to hold them so no one but God can see 'em?
If the lesson I am to learn involves uniting my own life with The Passion, then perhaps this part of the journey corresponds with Christ standing before Herod and silently enduring the slings and arrows of that earthly king. Think about it - He who created Herod stood there, for my sake and your sake, and let His creation ridicule Him.
Redemptive suffering can be a difficult concept for non-Catholics to understand. It has been used incorrectly in the past - it has been used as a way to cover up child abuse, rape, incest, financial failings, proper treatment of physical and mental disease - and so it is understood why many people cringe when they hear the phrase. However, as with most concepts, getting away from the abuse of redemptive suffering has meant the throwing out of the proverbial baby with the hypothetical bathwater. Not a good idea. Now we live in a culture that is willing to kill the most vulnerable so that women in their 50's can pretend to be 20 forever. Oh it is cleverly disguised as wanting a cure for devestating illnesses and such but the reality is most medical advancements for cures have been made using ADULT stem cells. The mainstream media will NOT print that - they will lump all stem cell research together.
So, if you say to someone like me (for instance) that the constant physical pain I experience can be managed in a way that will help someone else I will look at you as though you have grown another head (in the words of Roger Clemens), unless I am a Catholic who has been well-formed in the Truth.
Last night, on Dr Phil, he made a profoundly Catholic statement to a couple with a child who is severely disabled and may only live for a few years. He said, "Whether that child is in your care for two years, three years or seven years is none of your business. What is your business is to provide that child with love, peace and care - it is time to step up to the plate and be a MAN".
The man involved looked at Dr Phil as though a light had gone on in his eyes.....and I just pray that he really heard that message.
Now, back to me - have I heard that message?
Well, I have stopped complaining about being beaten up every day by E at work. I think the next stage is learning how I can endure with a purpose. Perhaps when I practice THAT for awhile, it will be revealed to me the WHY of this adventure. I think, and I could be wrong, that the foundation of all my experience is that I will have it to share with anyone else who is suffering something in a similar way....and it is tough sometimes because at the center of me is that selfish and self-centered alcoholic who wants to be thought well of by society without having to do anything to earn that reputation.
I start still another schedule in a week and a half. If I can do this deal, one day at a time, I will be retired in 2 years, 11 months and 26 days.
And my car is getting 47mpg.
And my first 12 step sponsor will be in town on Apr 9!
Life is really pretty good.