Retreat with St.Paul of the Cross- Day 11

     On December 3, 1720 Paul Daneo wrote: “ All day long I was troubled with great sorrows. I had some experience of them when I was in the world but not so vivid and violent. For my part, although I am in such a state, I feel a great wish for them to continue. I can even say to you that when such afflictions— I don’t know exactly what to call them— come to me, I seem to be buried in the depths of misery, to be the most wretched and desolate of men. Nevertheless the soul embraces them because it knows that this is God’s Will and that these are the joys of Jesus. I remember to say with St. Teresa : ‘To suffer or die.’”

    Orlando’s entry: Paolo’s dryness and depression crystallizes into deep “vivid and violent sorrows”.  Nevertheless, he embraces them because he believes that they come from God’s Will and they are “the joys of Jesus”. Is this “joy?” To say with St. Teresa “To suffer of die”?

    Paolo is being drawn into the heart of suffering: the Passion of our Lord. Like him, we share in the Sorrows of Jesus and realize that behind them is the pure joy of God’s Glory, Love, Peace ….. Berta and I were suddenly drawn to ask God: “ Who are You?” It is such a mystery. Dear Lord are You impassible, above all feeling whether of joy, sorrow, or even love? But You ARE Love! When You became one of us You felt all these emotions– You are capable of them! I find myself caught between another Ying and Yang that my faith makes me face. Fortunately, the Tao, the Logos, the Word, becomes the Way into Your mystery of joy and sorrow, which is beyond my understanding. 
    Your Holy Spirit, like a spike, the hollow spike which is hammered into a maple tree, pierces my heart. What come out is blood and tears. Sooner or later suffering will take over our lives. We are meant to COMPASSIONATE with You, dear Savior. This is the narrow gate into eternal joy with You. The more I learn and analyze, the less I know and understand. All I know is that I love You! And, even more importantly, YOU love me!

    Berta’s entry: Dear Jesus, today everything I have read has been leading me to understand that my soul and my self are longing and craving to get closer to You, my God. I realized with the help of the Holy Spirit that getting closer to You can happen through different types of prayer and experiences. There is intercessory prayer. There is great time alone with You. There is the Eucharistic celebration. There are the ministries we involve ourselves with. But the one that has affected me the most is the misery and suffering that one can go through. Does this truly bring me closer to my God? 
    St. Paul of the Cross in today’s entry wrote: “All day long I was troubled with great sorrows….. For my part, although I am in such a state, I feel a great wish for them to continue.” At first I had a hard time understanding this, until I recalled that sometimes I like feeling miserable. Why? I am not sure. But then I continued reading the entry, and here Paul explains: “Nevertheless the soul embraces [this misery] because it knows that this is God’s Will and that these are the joys of Jesus.” 
    How can our feeling miserable and wretched be the “joys of Jesus”? The answer I received from the Holy Spirit is that we can join You, Jesus, in Your Passion. Yes, I believe that through all that misery, pain and disillusionment You were also feeling the joy of knowing You were doing Your Father’s Will, which was only done because of Love. Love was at the heart of it all! Love of His creation. Love, compassion, empathy, all lead to sacrifice on that Cross! I agree with St. Paul. We need to be with You, Jesus inYour Passion, because at the end of that journey what we will receive is joy, truth, love, and resurrection. A new life! A new hope!  Thank You my God! Thank You for allowing me to sacrifice a bit for You! Thank You for inviting me in!

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