A few years ago a Canadian Bishop went public, rather humbly, about his chronic depression and that it had gotten to the point where he was taking a leave of absence to get some serious treatment.
It remains, for me and many who find themselves, even if only rarely burdened with the darkness of falling seemingly with no end, into the pit of such emotional, and at times, spiritual darkness, an example of humble acceptance of suffering.
http://blog.catholiclove.com/ is the link to John and Lucille Everett’s Blog where they write likewise with humble openness about the pit of grief with the unexpected death, that is crossing of the threshold from life on earth to life in heaven, of their fourth child, their little son Dominic.
What strikes me both about their witness and that of the Bishop is the absence of self-pity.
I will be honest and admit, for myself, whenever the devil of the pit, for the evil one like the hyena he is attacks when we are wounded and vulnerable, tries to succeed as he almost has done today, in tricking me away from striving to surrender to oneness with Jesus, when I know Jesus Himself, in the Garden and on the Cross, entered the pit before and for us, and I give into bending towards myself and feeling sorry for myself, then really the falling is into even deeper darkness.
So I needed, by grace if I was to not waste time on self, to re-visit in particular what John and Lucille have written, which I have done and that in turn reminded me of words from Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, in his book: THE HOLY SPIRIT in the Life of Jesus, for also of late I have been experiencing a rather ferocious return of the PTSD, itself a tricky thing that satan can attempt to take advantage of so my gaze and focus shifts from Jesus and His beauteous and merciful love, from being hidden and servant of others, to a preoccupation with self.
Fr. Cantalamessa writes: “Being tempted is one aspect of Christ’s sufferings. St. Paul’s words: ‘In my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of His body, which is the Church’ (Col. 1:24) are therefore true also when said about being tempted: In my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the temptations of Christ on behalf of His body, which is the Church! The members ought to share in the struggle of the Head, just as one day they will share in His complete victory and glory. This is a universal law: it holds good for every type of suffering, even for that special suffering, temptation and the struggle against the devil.”
So there quite starkly is the choice: when suffering, tempted choose oneness with Jesus or, bluntly, choose self!
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