The Courage To Believe. : LUSENET : Experience into Words : One Thread

Anne Marie Lee 13th May '02

Most days one or other of the readings at Mass leave me with a message to reflect on in the light of my own life. "Do you really believe? An hour is coming - has indeed already come when you will be scattered and each will go his way, leaving me quite alone. (Yet I can never be alone the Father is with me.) I tell you all this that in me you may find peace. You will suffer in the world. But take courage! I have overcome the world." John 16:32-33.

I am being severely tested at the present moment and in the fight to breath, to keep my head above water, I am in danger of losing sight of the ultimate goal. I know I have said this before - whenever I take a deliberate step further along the path towards Salvation I get hammered. Sometimes these episodes are very short and I have quick insights into what is happening. At other times they are months long and I become submerged in the human aspect of the struggle in its immediacy. I have difficulty finding the right questions to ask in order to get the long-term spiritual goal into focus. The anger, disillusionment and disappointment I feel colours my perception of others. I will have to work and live alongside others who are not willing to meet me half way. The Buddhists say that I am only responsible for my own Karma and if I forgive but am not accepted, I have cleaned up my Karma and can move on.

So, at one level I struggle with what is present for me and at another I put things on hold and wait because I know in hindsight I may see things more clearly and perceive with greater charity. The suffering is always a kind of dying to oneself and there are always blossoms and fruits at the other side. I don't believe suffering is something to be sought. It is something that visits us from time to time and while we may strongly prefer to turn away from it, we are better off to turn and face it knowing that ultimately in Him we will find peace.

To go through some kinds of suffering might be seen as an initiation process, even if you, yourself, are the only one who sees it like that. And only you may know what it is you are being initiated into. Sometimes you may see no immediate reason for it. Having successfully coped with the suffering you are more confident, more mature, to move forward on your chosen path.

For me life is very fulfilling, very exciting and maybe I needed to be stopped in my tracks, pulled down from the cloud. Just as we can become distracted and embittered by suffering we can become enamoured and self-reliant when life is too good.

Entering into the struggle is what human life is all about. Knowing that Jesus is in us and we are in Him in all that we do encourages us to take the necessary risks to live life to the full for His sake. My sense at this stage of my life is that a lot of time has slipped away on me. I must make best use of what I have left. While I have the energy, strength and enthusiasm, (all God's gifts), I must make myself as available to Him as possible.

This group has been a resting place for me. A place of exploration, encouragement and companionship for part of the journey. Now we move on, enriched. Hopefully we will continue to support each other on the net as we explore our own theology and share the results with each other.

I thank each of you for being just who your are, for me.

Anne Marie

-- Anonymous, May 13, 2002

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