Monday, March 10, 2014

March 9, 2014- In Time of Suffering

            You know I really am supposed to be doing some kind of cross-training on my Sundays.  Just can’t seem to get the job done though.  I need my extra rest because this next week is going to be the second worst in the eighteen week training schedule.  On the hit parade I have: Monday- five miles/core work, Tuesday- nine, Wednesday- cross-training swim/core work, Thursday- five hard, Friday- rest, and Saturday- eighteen.  Eighteen.  Just the thought of it makes me want to barf. 
            Settle down Teresa.  It’s not like I haven’t done this before!  Maybe that’s why I want to barf, I know what to expect.  Pain.  Pain for about three hours.  She lets out a beleaguered, “Hooray!” 
            And on top of that, I am getting some good work going with my tree appraisal business, I have to go out and inspect trees and work on reports and such too, then I’ve got the laundry, and cleaning toilets, and making food.  You know there was a day when I was the queen of multi-tasking.  I was at one with my inner (and outie) energy self.  There was nothing that got passed me, no mountain I couldn’t climb, no set of car keys I couldn’t find.  It was all in a day’s work. 
            Now?  Well, I just don’t have that git in my gitty up anymore.  Stuff is rusted and I get side-tracked in worrying about it falling off.  No matter how hard I try I can’t seem to motivate like I used to.   
            Okay God.  It’s not like I am saying no to anything here, but I don’t want to live my life in stress.  So, if You could come on board and help me, it would be greatly appreciated. 
I’m thinking of the powerful prayer by St. Faustina: In Time of Suffering.  Now it’s not that I’m some downcast heroine, like Scarlet O’Hara, gazing off into the middle distance at sunset, a bit of dirt on her cheek, disheveled hair around her broken countenance.  And she raises her fist to heaven and exclaims, “As God as my witness, I shall never go hungry again!”  It’s not that kind of drama, not that kind of suffering.  It is that day to day grind that can really stack up and be hard.  Just hard.     
It reminds me of my mother, the words of this prayer are so intense, and they exemplified the last ten years of her life.  There was a time when I wouldn’t say this prayer.  It scared me too much.  But there are more times than not now where I am astonished that I can kneel before the Blessed Sacrament and truly mean these words:

…beyond all abandonment I trust, and in spite of my own feeling I trust, and I am being completely transformed into trust- often in spite of what I feel.  Do not lessen any of my sufferings, only give me strength to bear them.  Do with me as You please, Lord, only give me the grace to be able to love You in every event and circumstance.  Lord, do not lessen my cup of bitterness, only give me strength that I may be able to drink it all.

I used to think (and I guess sometimes when I am hormonal I still do) that to say these words out loud would bring down the apocalypse on me.  Someone would die, or I would get in a terrible car accident, or the house would burn down.  But I am not as scared about those things- those are only the devil talking, to keep me from surrendering totally and trusting that God will take care of me no matter what.  And by no thanks to me I can say that there are times now when my heart bursts to say them to my God.  Wow.  That is amazing. 
There is a thought quoted from St. Faustina that fuels my fire (even if that fire is sometimes just a little ember):

Oh, if only the suffering soul knew how much God loves it, it would die of joy and excess of happiness!  Some day, we will know the value of suffering, but then we will no longer be able to suffer.  The present moment is ours. 

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