Author: Lisa Graas
•7/17/2004 08:48:00 PM
I am doing much better!  Tomorrow, I plan to take all of the kids to Mass with me (I have four children.)  I'm just hoping and praying that I do not have a panic attack.  Fortunately, it's an 11am Mass, so I will have plenty of time to prepare.
 
This Sunday's readings include the story of Mary and Martha.  No doubt, most sermons will be on that story.  I choose to reflect, however, on the reading of St. Paul to the Colossians.  In this reading, St. Paul says, "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church..."
 
On this blog I have shared a lot about my sufferings but not nearly enough about my hope.  The hope that I have is that, by His Incarnation, I have been made able to partake of the divine nature, which means that by His Suffering on the Cross, value has been placed on my sufferings.  This value is redemptive value.  I participate in the redemption of the world, as does every Christian who rightly offers up his sufferings for this purpose.  There are two kinds of suffering, however -- redemptive suffering and wasted suffering.
 
Wasted suffering is that suffering which does not have redemptive value in that the person has chosen, for whatever reason, not to offer it to God to use for His divine purposes.
 
You may think I'm crazy for saying that suffering can be redemptive, but consider the saints who also believed it, including St. Paul who wrote of it throughout the Scriptures!  Yes, by my sufferings, souls are being saved.  Again, read what Paul wrote: "...in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church...."  Consider also the words of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus: "I prefer the monotony of obscure sacrifice to all ecstasies. To pick up a pin for love can convert a soul."
 
Of all my sacrifices, I believe my greatest are yet to come.  I pray that God will give me the grace to offer them up in a manner pleasing to Him.
 
If you would like to speak to me about this, or any other subject dealing with our Faith, email me at GoCatholic@gmail.com   You can also leave a comment here on the blog. 
 
Love from Lisa
Author: Lisa Graas
•7/07/2004 05:08:00 AM
So many of us with mental disorders experience times when we do not know how to pray. Prayer seems impossible. Let these words from St. Teresa of Avila take hold and know that your prayer of silence is pleasing to God.

"... in such spiritual activity as this, the person who does most is he who thinks least and desires to do least: what we have to do is to beg like poor and needy persons coming before a great and rich Emperor and then cast down our eyes in humble expectation. When from the secret signs He gives us we seem to realize that He is hearing us, it is well for us to keep silence, since He has permitted us to be near Him and there will be no harm in our striving not to labour with the understanding... But if we are not quite sure that the King has heard us, or sees us, we must not stay where we are like ninnies, for there still remains a great deal for the soul to do when it has stilled the understanding; if it did nothing more it would experience much greater aridity and the imagination would grow more restless because of the effort caused it by cessation from thought. The Lord wishes us rather to make requests of Him and to remember that we are in His presence, for He knows what is fitting for us. "
(p. 88, Fourth Mansions, Chapter 3, Paragraph 5)