Caught in the Louisiana Flood

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My grandson, Michael, middle; my son, Andre,  on the right.

 

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My daughter-

i n-law,   Ann.

 

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The New Orleans firemen who rescued us from our flooded neighborhood.

This is the email which I sent to my Covenant Community [also posted on facebook] on Saturday night, August 13, the night before we were evacuated:

“Dear ones,  Although by a small chance we may escape without the flood waters coming into our home, the flooding is quite severe in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas–nearly 1/4 of the state, I would guess.  The street in front of my house is full of water; the side street is full with about 4 feet entering my driveway.  The five adults in my house have packed our bags, because we may have to call 911 for emergency evacuation in the morning. If it rains tomorrow morning, the water will probably come into the house.

I have put all in His hands:  to suffer all with Him, no longer two but one.

Whatever happens, we will return home and do the best we can to make it habitable again, if we have to leave.  I do not have flood insurance.  I pray that His beloved Will be done.  My family has suffered through illness, evictions, unemployment, etc; so I especially regret this additional hardship.  But we will stay together and work this out together.  Pray for us.

I’m not sure when you will hear from me again because I just don’t know what will happen.

One Heart, One Mind, One Will,

Kathy

P.S.You will love the quotation from my little Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity for today–what a confirmation!

O Good Master, what a trial You put me through, what a sword thrust into my heart, never will I be consoled! And despite all that, I give You thanks. I bless You. You have used this horrible trial to detach me from the things here-below and attach me more totally to You, to You alone, my Love, my Life, my Spouse.   Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity (1880–1906)

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The Living Faith Christian Center at 6375 Winbourne Avenue suffers severe flooding in East Baton Rouge Parish on Sunday August 14, 2016. This is where the church service for BRPD Cpl. Montrell Jackson was held.

The Living Faith Christian Center at 6375 Winbourne Avenue suffers severe flooding in East Baton Rouge Parish on Sunday August 14, 2016. This is where the church service for BRPD Cpl. Montrell Jackson was held.

Living Faith Christian  Center on Winbourne Ave, very close to my home,  was flooded by the same canal that flooded my home.

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NARRATIVE OF THE FLOOD:  I slept about an hour on Saturday night, August 13, spent much time trying to figure out how to elevate at least some of the furniture—the sofas and all upholstered pieces.  At 3:00 in the morning, my grandson was still awake, so together we elevated the two big recliners in the family room.  About 4:30 am, Andre, my son, and daughter-in-law helped me elevate other pieces, balancing sofas on small tables, etc.   After closing the drain, we placed the little dinette set, table and 4 chairs,  all the sofa cushions and bedding, into our huge acrylic tub in the bathroom, knowing that the water would have to top three feet to reach inside.

I had had a powwow with the family the night before, as we watched the water advancing up our street.  I advised all of them to pack a bag for a few days because we might have to ask for evacuation the next morning.  Then I blessed all three entrances with Lourdes water, praying:  “Lord, don’t let anything enter this house which is not Your Will.”  During the night my son and I kept going to the back door by the carport to watch the progress of the water.  By six a.m. about 3 inches of water had come into the back of the house:  family room, my bedroom, and office, but had not yet entered the kitchen and oldest part of the house.  Ready to leave at 6am, I locked the house, leaving on the carport light and we sat on the big storage unit on the carport.   Airboats called in from Plaquemines Parish had been traveling up and down Winbourne Ave.—now badly flooded [some cars completely submerged].  Now one passed us, we called out that we were ready to evacuate, and he told us he had to go the back of our subdivision which was badly flooded, but that he would back soon.  We waited 2 hours.  Finally a schoolbus came to the corner from the interior of our subdivision, and the five of us boarded with other neighbors and our two dogs, and were ferried to high ground at the corner of another flooded street to wait for one of three boats to carry us out of the subdivision.  The bus continued to go back into the neighborhood for more evacuees; and as the line grew, we waited for another 2 hours to get into our little boat with the help of the New Orleans Fire Department.

I must tell you that throughout these most stressful hours, I heard no cursing, but only prayer, acceptance, praise and thanksgiving expressed by so many people.  As we waited for the boat, at least a hundred people standing in line, one of our neighbors who live on that corner, with whom I have talked many times as I walked my dog, hugged me, talked with me then, insisting that “God is cleansing Louisiana”; we recognized this vital element of the real Storm.  She then called out to all the people waiting, so many of our neighbors: “Will you pray with me?  Let’s thank and praise God for his protection. “  And many joined her.  The others stood silently, respectful.  At the shelter, one woman told me that at least 4 feet of water had entered her home, she had no flood insurance, but she was utterly serene, trusting that God would make a way for her.  This was evidenced EVERYWHERE! 

At 11:00 am on Sunday morning, August 14, we were deposited on dry ground, were given bottled water, and walked to a Texaco station/store to purchase snacks, and where we tried to get information about getting to a shelter.   The sun was brutal by then, but we sat on the curb in the shade at the store.  Finally, I decided to call 911 again, was referred to another dispatcher who placed an order for our extraction to a shelter.  We got on another school bus, and by 3:00 pm or so arrived to Celtic Studios.   The large Stage buildings were being quickly fitted into shelters.  [I heard on the news that 2500 people are there now.]  We registered for Stage 4, the one set up for pets.  Hot jambalaya was waiting for us—the last hot food we would see till we reached my cousin Billy’s house—and we found a place to settle, selecting varied pillows and blankets from the table so supplied.  Abundant pet supplies were available as well, tons of water, snacks, etc, all supplied by Costco next door.

Unfortunately, the air was not working, but supplementary blowers were brought in that evening.  We were severely dehydrated by that time and drank continuously.  This building was so noisy with huge fans running, constant barking, and helicopters—staged next door—taking off and landing constantly.

One failure which had a major negative impact on so many stranded people— was that a substation of ATT&T, a major phone server in our area, had flooded, and for several days [through Tuesday and maybe longer], the only calls that ATT&T put through were 911 calls.  We could not call for help from relatives or friends, but were forced to go to shelters.

By Monday, August 15 in the shelter, with heat and humidity in the shelter were so oppressive, my cousin, Gigi, transferred to the medical shelter next door because she was having trouble breathing and was overheating.  By then she had managed to reach our cousin, Billy Hebert, who offered all five of us, with our dogs, to stay at his homane.  He came to pick us up around noon on Monday.  At Billy’s, I was able to register for FEMA assistance.  At that time I had no idea how extensive the damage to my home would be, and like so many others, I had no flood insurance.  It was scary.  We kept hearing that the water was still rising, it was raining still, and we could only imagine how high the water might be in the house with the entire neighborhood flooded out.

On Tuesday afternoon, August 16, Billy drove my son Andre and another friend [also flooded out] to our homes to see if we could gain entrance.  We were delighted to learn that the water had drained from our home and street, and that it had risen only a couple more inches after we left.  Billy’s friend, Daniel, found that the water had reached midway his front door, but they did not enter the houses because they didn’t have the house keys with them.  Coming back tell us the good and bad news, they hydrated, we ate lunch, and we prepared to come home to clean up.

We returned to the house, taking many pictures for FEMA, discovered that much of the front of the house:  bathroom, Gigi’s bedroom and the bedroom, were DRY!  The living room and dining room with hardwood floors, had a little water which had quickly receded.  Kitchen floor was buckling, the plywood swollen—the entire floor including substrata will have to be replaced.  My walk in closet with carpet, was soaked, of course.  But all the furniture seems fine!  Even the wooden pieces will probably be fine because the water did not stand too long.  We were able to remove the soaked carpet, sweep, mop, get the furniture in place and make the place habitable.  All appliances were fine, running; and great news—all three automobiles were great—no water entered, and all started without a hitch.  How grateful we were!  How we thanked God for saving us from so much heartache and hardship.

Today we have to continue the cleanup, remove the  kitchen floor, especially, and maybe the family room.  How blessed we are to have a home to return to, to be able to live normally again in so short a time—others will face such difficulties and decisions for weeks and months to come.

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It’s been one week since I have had the opportunity to go to Adoration or Mass; all has been so chaotic, noisy, and busy, that I have had to keep to the simplest prayers, having a hard time even to pray the rosary.  But I know that my spirit will soon settle down–it’s just that so much remains to be done, paperwork, repair work, etc.  I and my family are so very blessed to be back into our home so quickly.  The Storm is truly upon all of us, and only God knows what it will bring.   What we must do is TRUST, TRUST, TRUST.

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“No Need to Hide” – Flying Duck

Today a spiritual friend shared with me “No Need to Hide”—Flying-duck-swe shall call her FLYING DUCK because she said,  “When I share, just consider it one of a number of flying ducks;  you can shoot down any one that you like!”  From time to time, I may shoot down one of her ducks to share with you!

FLYING DUCK’s reflection on what so many of us face daily–given our woundedness, the daily struggle to be authentic, to be transparent:

Image:
If I am made in the image and likeness of God, then
when , how , and why did I ever develop such a
poor self-image?

Why are the things I say to myself in my head more negative than positive?

Why did I not learn when I was a child to love and accept my body or my personality? Why did even my talents became a source of separation and anxiety for me?

What led me into a false image of myself? What nurtured that false image?

Was it a conscious or subconscious decision to portray a certain image or was it that I honestly believed I was and am the image I have, for years, portrayed?

Did I live a life based on morals and principles that I  really believed? Or did I believe so much in those morals that I fell under the heavy burden of expecting that I live up to each one perfectly, judging myself harshly and inwardly judging others based on my high standards?

Was my faith ever really about Jesus or was it more about me?
Even now, am I motivated by love of Him or an emotional need and yearning for self knowledge to be free of such self deception?

If I wanted to live and be a good girl, what did that mean?

Who was it for?

What benefit did I receive from being known, as a “good girl?”

How was a good girl , good mother, good wife, good daughter, good friend, good Christian supposed to act, feel, speak?

What was a good girl to avoid, and if she didn’t avoid these attitudes or actions was she not good anymore?

Again, who did the good girl really want to please?

How could  a good girl be so outgoing on the outside and yet feel so painfully alone on the inside?

How could she be so nice to others and yet  couldn’t  be a good friend to herself, stand up for herself?

Why was she afraid of showing anger, sadness, fear, disappointment or at times unable to even recognize much less admit those emotions to herself?

When did she first begin to do this? Why did she have emotions that were buried alive within her?

How was she able to live this double life of happy on the outside, giving of herself to others, putting others first, forgive numerous grievances against her all in the name of love of God while
all the while putting herself down for everything especially for not living up to her own expectations?

Why was she so insecure and so indecisive?

Why was she so afraid of disappointing God whom she knew loved her no matter what?

And now, 1/2 a century later as she begins to realize the reality of this painful existence she has lived for so long, a life so lacking in real joy and mercy, what does she do with this knowledge?

Her blessings have been numerous, so much that so that any complaint at all seems to her sacrilegious.

And still she felt so different from others? Why did she care or even compare?

How detrimental was this “act of comparing”!

How insatiable her desire to be liked and to be “the good and faithful servant” she tried so hard to be! How impossible was it to actually be that good and faithful servant at all times , on all levels, and in every relationship.

So what really did move her?
Pride of perfectionism?
Deep need for affirmation?
Misguided expectations?
Subconscious wounds that had never been addressed?

And if finally God got her attention by sledgehammering her pitifully distracted life – how and where does she begin this PATH to rediscovering herself and allowing God  to transform her or invite her to come out of her self-inflicted cocoon.

If it took so long to get here, it may also take a while to remove the layers of self denial and self rebuke.

The time has come for her to “accept” that she is imperfectly delightful and has much to share.

First she must begin to stop writing in 3rd person and own up to her life (all of it).

And so….. Here it goesthe_mask

I wore a mask to hide the pain
it hid my life ,
it hid my shame

My head held high, no one could see the real me
not really me

I wore a crown that drew disdain
And like a clown I played their game
Until I couldn’t breathe at all
The mask came off and I ………began to fall

Under the weight of all the lies
that had disfigured my whole life
I fell to the ground,
I fell to my knees
I started to question all I believed

I lived in a perfect little world,
I lived as a perfect little girl

the wounds were so deep
Alive but asleep
I moved through each chapter of my life

I was suddenly awakened
by the one I had mistaken
as the one who could have saved me from  my very hidden pain

As I faced myself there face to face
And embraced myself in my disgrace
I was entering a sacred place I had not known before

For the mask had hid me from myself
Had turned me into someone else
incapable of loving me as God does….tenderly

As this violent sorrow pierced my soul
I knew the old self had to die
A new life in me now unfolds
The pain embraced, the fears subside

I discover a new world within
as I move towards those without
I’ve realized the greatest sin
Is not knowing what life’s all about

And so comes off the mask
As so come off the gloves
No need to hide or to defend
A Victim of God’s Love

 

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The “YES” of Faith–the Darkness of Faith

For several years now I have beencandle burning trying to understand faith much better and praying for an increase of faith.  You see, along with hope and love, faith is one of the theological virtues.  This means that the object of faith is God Himself. According to the Catechism [1812], the theological virtues which are infused into the souls of the faithful, “adapt man’s faculties for participation in the divine nature.”

A few years ago I wrote a post “The Obscurity of Faith” which distinguishes between belief and faith:  “Belief is an intellectual matter” whereas “the object of faith is not a proposition but a person….We believe not just ideas about God but God.”  God Himself.  Peter Kreeft explains it anecdotally in several beautiful ways:  “Faith is a fundamental Yes to God with the center of our being.  Faith takes a stand like an army.  Faith leaps into God’s arms, answering his proposal of spiritual marriage.”

I see how faith is a wonderful YES to God.  In Book I of the Ascent of Mt. Carmel, I loved St. John’s wonderful line on his illustration of Mt. Carmel regarding the denial of all voluntary imperfections:  “Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing on the way; and nothing on the mountain.”  As I reflected on this line for several days, I kept saying,  “Nothing but You.  Nothing but You.  Every other light must be extinguished.” This morning at Mass, after reading my earlier post, I prayed,  “Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes on the way; and Yes on the mountain!”

Last night I read and prayed deeply in Book II of the Ascent.  And the epistle at Mass today was the powerful reading about the faith of Abraham.  God told him to take his only beloved son, Isaac, and to sacrifice him on the mountain.  This YES to God which he willingly gave was full of darkness, for it completely superceded his understanding. It was not rational for him to kill the child of the promise—how then could he be the father of many?  God’s request made no sense—it contradicted events as Abraham saw them—in the natural order.  Yet he assented. In darkness he assented. His Yes was complete though he understood nothing about it at all except that he had to give his complete Yes.  St. John’s “dark night of faith” became so much clearer.

St. John agrees with many other theologians who explain that faith is a “habit of the soul, certain and obscure”–that is, it’s a Yes of the soul, and it’s dark.  “It makes us believe truths revealed by God Himself, which transcend all natural light, and exceed all human understanding, beyond all proportion….for the soul, this excessive light of faith which is given to it is thick darkness.”  Here, plainly stated, is the wonderful paradox of the mystics:  faith which gives access to the light of God is sheer darkness to the human understanding—“beyond all proportion.”

St. John explains that faith “tells us of things which we have never seen or understood, nor have we seen or understood aught that resembles them, since there is naught that resembles them at all. And thus we have no light of natural knowledge concerning them, since that which we are told of them bears no relation to any sense of ours; we know it by the ear alone, believing that which we are taught, bringing our natural light into subjection and treating it as if it were not.”

What does this mean?  Through faith we access God Himself who is totally outside of the human understanding.  St. Paul says faith comes from hearing the truth—with the consequence that faith TAKES THE PLACE of our natural understanding—brings our natural light into subjection and treats it as if it were not light at all.  This line explains much:  “Wherefore Isaiah said: …If ye believe not, ye shall not understand.”  It is only if you believe that you will understand.  Without faith, the understanding is merely natural.  Without faith, there is no chance of understanding spiritual realities or God.

St. John of the Cross tells us:  …” faith is dark night for the soul, and it is in this way that it gives it light; and the more the soul is darkened, the greater is the light that comes to it….”  Another sentence which explains it in a similar manner:  “faith, which is a black and dark cloud to the soul (and likewise is night, since in the presence of faith the soul is deprived of its natural light and is blinded), can with its darkness give light and illumination to the darkness of the soul.”

St. John of the Cross makes it clear that on the path to Union with God “the night of faith shall be my guide” and “….the soul must be in darkness in order to have light for this road.”

In this journey to Union with the Indwelling Trinity, “It [the soul] must be like to a blind man, leaning upon dark faith, taking it for guide and light, and leaning upon none of the things that he understands, experiences, feels, and imagines.  For all these are [true] darkness, which will cause him to stray; and faith is above all that he understands and experiences and feels and imagines.”

St. John makes clear in the night of sense that the soul must “deny himself” the pleasures of the senses, “and void his senses of such pleasure, as though they were in darkness.”  In the darkness of faith, the darkness is of a spiritual nature, “the spiritual part” as St. John puts it.  Denying oneself is even more critical here.  To be more specific, St. John lists the spiritual aspects of the soul that are here affected:  “And thus a soul is greatly impeded from reaching this high estate of union with God when it clings to any understanding or feeling or imagination or appearance or will or manner of its own, or to any other act or to anything of its own, and cannot detach and strip itself of all these. For, as we say, the goal which it seeks lies beyond all this, yea, beyond even the highest thing that can be known or experienced; and thus a soul must pass beyond everything to unknowing.”

When I read this I immediately thought of another beloved book, THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING [15th century].  I will cite my favorite passage here since it is in such fine conjunction with St. John’s teaching [1541-1592–contemporary of St. Teresa of Avila].  Also, I think you will find it so comforting and helpful if you find yourself in this great darkness of faith:

“ This is what you are to do: lift your heart up to the Lord, with a gentle stirring of love desiring him for his own sake and not for his gifts. Center all your attention and desire on him…Do all in your power to forget everything else….and so diligently persevere until you feel joy in it. For in the beginning it is usual to feel nothing but a kind of darkness about your mind, or as it were, a cloud of unknowing. You will seem to know nothing and to feel nothing except a naked intent toward God in the depths of your being. For if, in this life, you to hope to feel and see God as he is in himself it must be within this darkness and this cloud…. For the intellect of both men and angels is too small to comprehend God as he is in himself.” [48-49,50]

“Thought cannot comprehend God. Though we cannot know him, we can love him. By love he may be touched and embraced, never by thought. Let your loving desire, gracious and devout, step bravely and joyfully beyond [the cloud] and reach out to pierce the darkness above. Yes, beat upon that thick cloud of unknowing with the dart of your loving desire and do not cease come what may.” [54-55] “Learn to be continually occupied in the blind, reverent, joyful longing of contemplative love….” [110]

How closely St. John’s thought follows that of the author of the Cloud [an anonymous priest]: “…passing beyond all that can be known and understood, both spiritually and naturally, the soul will desire with all desire to come to that which in this life cannot be known, neither can enter into its heart. And, leaving behind all that it experiences and feels, both temporally and spiritually, and all that it is able to experience and feel in this life, it will desire with all desire to come to that which surpasses all feeling and experience.”

In summary, and in promise of what is to come, St. John tells us:  “the three theological virtues—faith, hope, and charity—produce the same emptiness and darkness, each one in its own faculty.  Faith, in the understanding; hope, in the memory; and charity in the will…. Afterwards we will go on to describe how the understanding is perfected in the darkness of faith; and the memory in the emptiness of hope; and likewise how the will must be buried by withdrawing and detaching every affection so that the soul may journey to God. This done, it will be clearly seen how necessary it is for the soul, if it is to walk securely on this spiritual road, to travel through this dark night, leaning upon these three virtues, which empty it of all things and make it dark with respect to them. For, as we have said, the soul is not united with God in this life through understanding, nor through enjoyment, nor through the imagination, nor through any sense whatsoever; but only through faith, according to the understanding; and through hope, according to the memory; and through love, according to the will.”

Sources:  THE OBSCURITY OF FAITHTHE ASCENT OF MOUNT CARMEL,        THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING.

 

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“Threads of Attachments”

Today at Adoration I meditated onDARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL Chapter 1 of THE ASCENT OF MT. CARMEL, St. John of the Cross.  I am understanding quite well the night of the senses—the quelling of the natural desires.  As I reflected, I remembered this favorite Psalm verse which I ran across in 2013:

PSALM  74:25-26

“Whom have I in the heavens but You?

None besides You delights me on earth.

Though my flesh and my heart fail,

God is the rock of my heart, my portion forever.”

This thought has pierced my heart for several years already.  As I thought about George and our life together, I had a sudden revelation:  with George’s death in 2012, God suddenly snapped many attachments.  My whole life of natural desires, all the innocent employments of my married life, have dried up almost entirely.  I have no desire for social engagements, entertainment of every kind—except for a little television—those activities which I do take on are mostly in the nature of ministry; and I have taken care not to undertake anything which will interfere with my life of prayer and adoration.

Such life events offer tremendous opportunities to reassess our spiritual lives and practices.  What seems at first to present a panorama of loneliness and emptiness, a feeling of being left out of the normal sweep of life, actually gives us remarkable openings to deeper and more substantial spiritual development–if we can see it for what it is and take advantage of it.  The early church saw widowhood, for example, as one of the earliest  opportunities for consecration.  Remember Anna, who attended the presentation of the child Jesus in the Temple?  She was a widow of many years who spent her time praying in the Temple:  “Contemplative widows are foreshadowed by Anna, early widowed, praying in the Temple for decades for the coming of the Messiah”  [SPIRITUALITY FOR WIDOWS.  See also:  http://www.rondachervin.com/ocw.htm]

In Nov. 2014, I was reading Owens’ book NEW & DIVINE about the eternal mode of prayer.   “Only souls who abandon themselves to the Will of the Father through the Holy Spirit can fully participate in His interior life made present in the Eucharist.” P. 34   Also,   “He [Jesus] told Blessed Dina that by abandoning herself to the Father’s Will through the Holy Spirit, she would allow Him to operate freely in her and with her, in eternity   “Even one soul given completely over to Me can radiate on all the other souls.  …My rays reach out into the distance, far into the distance.” P. 36

Jesus told her that, through souls who abandoned themselves completely to Him, his rays reach all souls, past, present, and future:              ‘In consecrated souls in whom my hands are bound by threads, in whom consequently my Heart is wounded, my rays reach only some souls living in the world at the same time.  In consecrated souls who refuse Me only small things, you can see that my rays reach many other souls in the world and extend further.  In consecrated souls that have abandoned themselves totally to me, in whom I can act freely, see how my rays reach all souls, even to the end of time.’” P. 49

I was immediately taken by the vision of how attachments, however slight, hinder Jesus’ effectiveness, “binding His hands.”  It grieved my heart to permit any attachment of my soul to natural desires, but I could not see how they could be entirely eliminated. My greatest desire is to live in the eternal mode of prayer, entirely abandoned to the will of the Father through the Holy Spirit—to sever the least thread which would hinder Jesus hands.

Then today I read in St. John of the Cross:  “…it is true that all the desires are not equally hurtful, nor do they all equally embarrass the soul. I am speaking of those that are voluntary, for the natural desires hinder the soul little, if at all, from attaining to union, when they are not consented to nor pass beyond the first movements (I mean,[177] all those wherein the rational will has had no part, whether at first or afterward); and to take away these — that is, to mortify them wholly in this life — is impossible.”

             What hinders Christ, hinders the soul, are not natural desires, if they are involuntary and not consented to by the rational mind and will.  He explains:  “But all the other voluntary desires, …whether they be only of imperfections, …must be driven away every one, and the soul must be free from them all, howsoever slight they be, if it is to come to this complete union; and the reason is that the state of this Divine union consists in the soul’s total transformation, according to the will, in the will of God, so that, there may be naught in the soul that is contrary to the will of God, but that, in all and through all, its movement may be that of the will of God alone.”

Later he laments:   “…when God has granted them strength to break other and stouter cords[182] — namely, affections for sins and vanities — they should fail to attain to such blessing because they have not shaken off some childish thing which God had bidden them conquer for love of Him, and which is nothing more than a thread or a hair.”

That little thread, that little hair reminds me of my beloved Conchita and what struck me so forcibly on Oct. 4, 2014—Conchita’s HOLY HOUR:              “Why do those tiny things stop you?  And why do you not see these open arms that are waiting for you?…you are stopped by little straws, by silly things…,who will not walk if I do not drag you, because it is hard for you to sacrifice yourself.”

WHAT WILL IT TAKE?

“And you still tell Me that you love Me, that you love Me?  O, no!  Love is not like that!  Here, here in this Heart is where fire burns!  How ungrateful you are!”

Here I prayed in the spirit of and with some of Conchita’s very words:  “Help me, my Life, to destroy within my heart every trace of self-will, self-love, self-indulgence, burning myself like incense—in all my roughness—before your Sacred Heart.”

Threads, hairs, straws, silly things, childish things that we refuse to give up—voluntary desires—voluntary attachments, especially habitual ones, hinder union.  St. John gives specific example of these habitual imperfections:  “These habitual imperfections are, for example, a common custom of much speaking, or some slight attachment which we never quite wish to conquer — such as that to a person, a garment, a book, a cell, a particular kind of food, tittle-tattle, fancies for tasting, knowing or hearing certain things, and suchlike…any one of these imperfections, if the soul has become attached and habituated to it…”

I persist with my little sister, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, to deepen my interior silence, to live in my sanctuary of the heart, my inner cloister of fiat, to enter within myself the abode of the Indwelling Trinity,  “this silent gaze of the Beloved Three, wordless and imageless, which floods the heart with the unfathomable richness of Mystery. “ [Journal July 24, 2016]

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