Friday, 9 January 2009

St. Nic vision teaches utility of suffering

Rasa: How do we deal with our pains and sufferings, including loneliness,
rejection, boredom, lack of good stimulation? Why does God allow us to
suffer and what do we do when we are depressed, and lack ambition and
inspiration to do good? When God is not there for us in a tangible way? We
walk by faith and by virtue, and we thank God, we struggle against the
feelings and thoughts of our flesh, and continue to do good. That is what I
have been instructing St. Nic, and he is having a hard time, but I am
encouraging him just a bit. Most of the time I ignore him. Did you not
know the sublime teachings of St. Alphonse Ligouri teach us that Purgatory
and Hell's greatest sufferings are THE ABSENCE OF GOD. Yes, we all jump and
shout when the Holy Spirit fills us with grace, joy, holy feelings and
thoughts, but when all this leaves us, then what? God is testing us that we
do not fall into apathy, spiritual laziness and weakness, neglect of good
works, and so on.

I knew that sooner or later St. Nic would be put to the test when the
visions would wane or diminish. But that is the ultimate test. We all want
the honeymoon and its joys, but what happens when responsibility and duty
take its place? This happens in the spiritual life all the time - we go
from Illumination into Dark Night, and if this dark night did not happen, we
would not grow.

During the state of illumination, what is there inside us lights up. But
after a while, the Light of God must DIG DEEPER INTO OUR DARKNESS AND THE
because God is reaching deeper into us! This strange paradox is not easy to
get hold of, and most Protestants have trouble with it, as they have
repudiated suffering. But the lives of Our Lord and his Apostles and
Disciples are chock full of sufferings - all of them - look especially at
the writings of St. Paul who describes his pain at length, concluding,

'I suffer to continue the sufferings of Christ.' (Approximate quote)

The wise interpretation of this is simply that He suffered - He taught us
what to do, and if we love him, we will also suffer. Suffering is good for
the soul, it brings multitudes of merits. St. Mary of Agreda said, quoting
Our Holy Mother in her book,

'Mystical City of God' words approximate:

'Shall only I and my Son bear all these unspeakable sufferings, while the
mortals of this world live in pleasures?'

This test that St. Nic is going through may not seem monumental, but what
has happened is the illumination diminished, and with that came great pain
and loss of inspiration. I knew it was coming BECAUSE IT ALWAYS DOES - I
have lived through it hundreds of times! The Protestants do not dwell on
this, they make it seem that if you are right with God, all will be jolly at
all times, and if you are not happy, there is something wrong with your
relationship with God. This attitude will further depress and mislead the
holy souls ever more. Not all Protestants missed this doctrine. Samuel
Logan Brengle (1860-1936), an expert on 'holiness' who worked mightily for
the Salvation Army when they were top Evangelists, explained properly that
when the illumination/Light/feelings of the Holy Spirit diminish, we walk by

How could we ever develop our FAITH if we were ever in the state of bliss?
There would be no challenge to it, and so, it would not grow!

Be aware, all you souls, that during the times of aridity, darkness,
spiritual depression, God is with you and you are growing, and must
cooperate with God to facilitate growth. Amen.

From: Nicolas Strachan

To: Goddess Rasa ; Rasa

Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2007 2:29 PM

Subject: Yesterday's Vision

my Goddess,

Thank You for Your kind email. I pray to You every day and night to receive
Your Grace and Guidance for my life. I feel that this period is very
difficult but so important for my spiritual growing. Yesterday You appeared
to me when I was praying to You to forgive me as a very powerful Lady,
wearing high leather boots and a black leather gown. I felt that Your
appearance was very Powerful. You smiled at me and then You said that pain
is what I deserve and what I need for my progress. You whipped me very hard
and it was the first time I felt real pain on my flesh and I felt that my
whole body was bleeding. Then You stood on my hands, on my palms and I felt
the pain from Your High heels, it was unbearable... I thanked You and You
smiled. You said that everything You do with Love. For me it is essential to
understand the true meaning of pain which is Love, Your Divine Love for me!
I thanked You again and again. Then You asked me to drink and eat. I saw my
cup full of unpleasant and bitter things. I thanked You again and then I
started having my Special dinner. The taste was bitter but I felt that Your
energy was transforming to Love and Peace into my heart and soul. Then You
said that was the best I have done till now! "Your dedication and Love is
proven now! I love you my Son!" I knelt again in front of You and I kissed
Your Holy feet. I love You Holy Mother, I said. I love You and I adore You!

Thanking You for everything

Your humble devotee


Excerpt from Samuel Logan Brengle's Book:

Victory through the Holy Spirit over Suffering
Ye shall I receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.'

HAD there been no sin our heavenly Father would have found other means by
which to develop in us passive virtues, and train us in the graces of
meekness, patience, long-suffering and forbearance, which so beautify and
display the Christian character. But since sin is here, with its
contradictions and falsehoods, its darkness, its wars, brutalities and
injustices, producing awful harvests of pain and sorrow, God, in wonderful
wisdom and loving kindness, turns even these into instruments by which to
fashion in us beautiful graces. Storm succeeds sunshine, and darkness the
light; pain follows hard on the heels of pleasure, while sorrow peers over
the shoulder of joy; gladness and grief, rest and toil, peace and war,
interminably intermingled, follow each other in ceaseless succession in this
world. We cannot escape suffering while in the body. But we can receive it
with a faith that robs it of its terror and extracts from it richest
blessing; from the flinty rock will gush forth living waters, and the
carcase of the lion will furnish the sweetest honey.

This is so even when the suffering is a result of our own folly or sin. It
is intended not only in some measure as a punishment, but also as a teacher,
a corrective, a remedy, a warning; and it will surely work for good if,
instead of repining and vainly regretting the past, we steadily look unto
Jesus and learn our lesson in patience and thankfulness.

If all the skies were sunshine,
our faces would be fain
To feel once more upon them
The cooling splash of rain.

If all the world were music,
Our hearts would often long
For one sweet strain of silence
To break the endless song.

If life were always merry,
Our souls would seek relief
And rest from weary laughter
In the quiet arms of grief.

Doubtless all our suffering is a result of sin, but not necessarily the sin
of the sufferer. Jesus was the sinless One, but He was also the chief of
sufferers. Paul's great and lifelong sufferings came upon him, not because
of his sins, but rather because he had forsaken sin, and was following Jesus
in a world of sin and seeking the salvation of his fellows. In this path
there is no escape from suffering, though there are hidden and unspeakable
consolations. ' In the world ye shall have tribulation,' said Jesus (John
xvi. 33) - 'All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer
persecution,' wrote Paul (2 Tim. iii. 12).

Sooner or later, suffering in some form comes to each of us. It may come
through broken health, or pain and weariness of body; or through mental
anguish, moral distress, spiritual darkness and uncertainty. It may come
through the loss of loved ones, through betrayal by trusted friends; or
through deferred or ruined hopes, or base ingratitude; or perhaps in
unrequited toil and sacrifice and ambitions all unfulfilled. Nothing more
clearly distinguishes the man filled with the Spirit from the man who is not
than the way each receives suffering.

One with triumphant faith and shining face and strong heart glories in
tribulation, and counts it all joy. To this class belong the apostles, who,
beaten and threatened, ' departed from the presence of the council,
rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name' (Acts
v. 4 1) The other with doubts and fears, murmurs and complains, adds to his
other miseries that of a rebellious heart and discontented mind. One sees
the enemy's armed host, and unmixed distress and danger; the other sees the
angel of the Lord, with abundant succour and safety (Ps. xxxiv. 7).

An evangelist of my acquaintance told a story that illustrates this. When a
pastor, he went one morning to visit two sisters who were greatly afflicted.
They were about the same age, and had long been professing Christians and
members of the church. He asked the first one upon whom he called, 'How is
it with you this morning?' ' Oh, I have not slept all night,' she replied. ,
I have so much pain. It is so hard to have to lie here. I cannot see why God
deals so with me.' Evidently she was not filled with the Spirit, but was in
a controversy with the Lord about her sufferings and would not be comforted.

Leaving her he called immediately upon the other sister, and asked, 'How are
you today? ' ' Oh, I had such a night of suffering! ' she replied. Then
there came out upon her worn face a beautiful radiance, and she added, 'But
Jesus was so near and helped me so, that I could suffer this way and more,
if my Father thinks best.' On she went with like words of cheer and triumph
that made the sick room a vestibule of glory. No lack of comfort in her
heart, for the Comforter Himself, the Holy Spirit, had been invited and had
come in. One had the Comforter in fullness, the other had not.

Probably no man ever suffered more than Paul, but with soldier-like
fortitude he bore his heavy burdens, faced his constant and exacting
labours, endured his sore trials, disappointments and bitter persecutions by
fierce and relentless enemies; he stood unmoved amid shipwrecks, stripes and
imprisonments, cold, hunger and homelessness without a whimper that might
suggest repining or discouragement, or an appeal for pity. Indeed, he went
beyond simple uncomplaining fortitude and said, 'we glory in tribulations'
(Rom. v. 3); 'I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation ' (2 Cor. vii.
4); ' I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in
persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake ' (2 Cor. xii. io). After a
terrible scourging upon his bare back, he was thrust into a loathsome inner
dungeon, his feet fast in the stocks, with worse things probably awaiting
him on the morrow. Nevertheless, we find him and Silas, his companion in
suffering, at midnight praying and singing praises unto God (Acts xvi. 2 5)
What is his secret? Listen to him: ' Because the love of God is shed abroad
in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us ' (Rom. v. 5). His
prayer for his Ephesian brethren had been answered in his own heart: 'That
He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened
with might by His Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your
hearts by faith' (Eph. iii. 16, 17). And this inner strength and
consciousness, through faith in an indwelling Christ, enabled him to receive
suffering and trial, not stoically as the Red Indian, nor hilariously, in a
spirit of bravado, but cheerfully and with a thankful heart.

Arnold of Rugby has written something about his most dear and blessed sister
' that illustrates the power flowing from exhaustless fountains of inner joy
and strength through the working of the Holy Spirit. He says:

I never saw a more perfect instance of the spirit and power of love and of a
sound mind. Her life was a daily martyrdom for twenty years, during which
she adhered to her earlyformed resolution of never talking about herself;
she was thoughtful about the very pins and ribands of my wife's dress, about
the making of a doll's cap for a child-but of herself, save only as regarded
her ripening in all goodness, wholly thoughtless, enjoying everything
lovely, graceful, beautiful, high-minded, whether in God's works or man's,
with the keenest relish; inheriting the earth to the very fullness of the
promise, though never leaving her crib, nor changing her posture; and
preserved, through the very valley of the shadow of death, from all fear or
impatience, and from every cloud of impaired reason, which might mar the
beauty of Christ's and the Spirit's work.

It is not by hypnotizing the soul, nor by blessing it into a state of
ecstatic insensibility, that the Lord enables the man filled with the Spirit
thus to triumph over suffering. Rather it is by giving the soul a sweet,
constant and unshaken assurance through faith. First, that it is freely and
fully accepted in Christ. Second, that whatever suffering comes, it is
measured, weighed, permitted by love infinitely tender and guided by wisdom
that cannot err. Third, that however difficult it may be to explain
suffering now, it is nevertheless one of the 'all things ' which ' work
together for good to them that love God ' (Rom. viii. 28), and that in a
'little while' it will not only be swallowed up in the ineffable blessedness
and glory, but that in some way it is actually helping to work out ' a far
more exceeding and eternal weight of glory ' (2 Cor. iv. 17). Fourth, that
though the furnace has been heated seven times hotter than was wont, yet
there is walking with us in the fire One whose' form . . . is like the Son
of God ' (Dan. iii. 25); though triumphant enemies have thrust us into the
lions' den, yet the angel of the Lord arrived first and locked the lions'
jaws; though foes may have formed against us sharp weapons, yet they cannot
prosper, for His shield and buckler defend us; though all things be lost,
yet 'Thou remainest'; and though 'my flesh and my heart faileth . . . God is
the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever (Ps. lxxiii. 26).

Not all God's dear children thus triumph over their difficulties and
sufferings, but this is God's standard, and they may attain unto it if, by
faith, they will open their hearts and ' be filled with the Spirit '.

Here is the testimony of a Salvation Army officer:

Viewed from the outside, my life as a sinner was easy and untroubled, over
which most of my friends expressed envy; while these same friends thought my
life as a Christian full of care, toil, hardship and immense loss. This,
however, was only an outside view, and the real state of the case was
exactly the opposite of what they supposed. For in all the pleasureseeking,
idleness, and freedom from responsibility of my life apart from God, I
carried an immeasurable burden of fear, anxiety and constantly recurring
disappointment; trifles weighed upon me, and the thought of death haunted me
with vague terrors.

But when I gave myself wholly to God, though my lot became at once one of
toil, responsibility, comparative poverty and sacrifice, yet I could not
feel pain in any storm that broke over my head, because of the presence of
God. It was not so much that I was insensible to trouble, as sensible of His
presence and love; and the worst trials were as nothing in my sight, nor
have been for over twenty-two years. While as for death, it appears only as
a doorway into more abundant life, and I can alter an old German hymn and
sing with joy:

0 how my heart with rapture dances
To think my dying hour advances!
Then, Lord, with Thee!
My Lord, with Thee!

This is faith's triumph over the worst the world can offer through the
blessed fullness of the indwelling Comforter. Bless His name!

Joy of the desolate, light of the straying,
Hope of the penitent, Advocate sure;
Here speaks the Comforter, tenderly saying,
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot cure.

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