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"Offer it up?"  What the hell is that?  Where is the Grace in That?

When all is woe, you feel abandoned by God, and you say "God, where are you?", there He hangs, suffering on the Cross, abandoned and mocked, saying "People, where are you?  Is it all for nothing?"

Vic Biorseth, Tuesday, February 28, 2017
http://www.CatholicAmericanThinker.com/

Was there ever anyone as abandoned and alone and as suffering as the Crucified Christ?  Abandoned by His Father.  Abandoned by His followers and disciples.  Was it all for nothing?  Didn't anyone out there even give a damn? 

Standing nearby were His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary Clopas, who was the actual mother of the brothers of Jesus, and Mary Magdalen, and John, son of Zebedee.  That was it.  He came to redeem the whole world, and that was it.  He was abandoned, in his human form, even by Himself.  By God.  By His Farther

All our lives we have heard the "Offer It Up" advice from nuns and brothers and Priests, and the more religious older generations, and we will derive Grace out of the suffering.  Exactly how, and why, and under what circumstances was never fully explained or understood, at least not by me.  I still remember the old nun who said "Consider it a little splinter from the Cross of Jesus" over a skinned knee. 

If there is a way to drag hope out of hopelessness, and a sense of love out of abandonment, then we all need to know what that way is.  Abandonment by friends can be far more devastating to the psyche or to the soul than hatred by enemies.  When those closest to you will not stand by you, that is far worse than falling into the hands of the haters.  Hatred is more understandable than abandonment, and even abandonment is more understandable than treason. 

That is why the traitor is to be more despised than the enemy soldier. 

All those people walking by, mocking him, some of whom had followed Him.  Despair can be worse even than the nails and the Cross.  And yet, even so, He subjected His own will to do the Will of His Father, and to suffer and die doing it. 

All to redeem all of us, many of whom don't even give a damn.  Don't give it a thought.  Couldn't care less.  Don't want to believe in Him, because it is more convenient and comfortable to not believe in Him. 

And many more who do believe, do not believe what His Church teaches by His authority, because it is more convenient and comfortable to no longer believe all those unchanged original teachings.  The newer teachings are more enlightened, more modern, more convenient and more comfortable than all the old original ones.  So, for convenience, they declare the "Old" Church to be in error, or not in existence, and their own various newer churches to be the only truly correct ones, or even somehow the only real original one(s).  Even in the face of irrefutable history. 

If it's not comfortable it's not real is the doctrinal rule of Protestantism. 

But even rock-solid Catholic saints can fall into despair, or near despair.  An emptiness inside where hope is supposed to reside.  A dark sense of abandonment by God.  Mother Teresa of Calcutta is such an example saint.  She is one of the four Catholic saints examined in 33 Days to Morning Glory, Fr. Michael Gaitley, which is the retreat book leading to the total consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. 

It is a Covenantal Consecration, in which we make an unbreakable covenant with Mary, and we hear, with John's ears, the words of the Crucified Christ:  "Behold thy mother." 

No one knew of Mother Teresa's secret dark night of the soul, in which she silently suffered aridity and dryness in prayer, a sense of abandonment by God, beginning approximately with her "call within a call" until March of 1993 when she read John Paul the Great's Lenten reflection on Jesus' words from the Cross, "I Thirst." 

With that reflection, Mother Teresa understood the relationship between her sense of abandonment in Calcutta, and His sense of abandonment, from the Cross.  As she knelt at the foot of the Cross asking God why He had abandoned her, He was looking down asking all the word, including her, why they (she) had abandoned Him. 

And the connection was made.  The Grace is in recognizing what He suffered for us, including His sense of being abandoned by us.  At one end of the connection, His weight is a little lifted off the nails, and at the other, the dark sense of abandonment is displaced a little by Love, when that Love flows both ways

Mother was so moved by this reflection by John Paul the Great, and by her recognition of Jesus' own inner sense of abandonment by man, that she wrote a long letter to all of her sisters in her Missionaries of Charity order, explaining her long dark night of dryness in prayer, and the way out of it, through hearing, with Mary's ears, the words of her Son, "I Thirst", and understanding what it was He thirsted for.   

Then, she could unite her suffering with His.  And He could unite His love with hers. 

The whole beautiful letter is reprinted in the book.  Until that letter, no one other than her spiritual advisor knew about her dark secret.  Every day she smiled, she did her sworn duty, she served the poorest of the poor, she sheltered and taught the children and the ignorant, and she cleaned and helped the dying to die in some sense of belonging and dignity and love. 

When you feel abandoned and alone, and especially when you feel abandoned by God, put yourself at the foot of the Cross.  And see Jesus looking down at you, feeling abandoned and alone, and unite your troubles with His. 

And you will find the Grace that can be found in all forms of suffering. 

For me, it gives new meaning to the old words "Offer it up." 

Blessed be God forever. 



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SLIMC1 Secularist Liberal Intellectual Media Complex
GESGOEAEOT2 Gradually, Ever So Gradually, Over Eons And Eons Of Time
PEWAG3 Punctuated Equilibrium's Wild Assed Guess
TTRSTF4 Them There Real Scientifical Type Fellers
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Date:  Wed Mar 01 09:59:38 2017
From:  Bill Serra
Email:   n8nrt@ARRL.NET
Location:  Tipp City, OH USA
Comment: 

Good article, Vic!  It's great to see you back online with your great blogs again.  Hope all is well.


Date:  Thu Mar 02 2017
From:  Vic Biorseth
Comment:  

Bill:

I've never been off line for very long.  Maybe you missed me back when I changed the name of the website from Thinking-Catholic-Strategic-Center.com to CatholicAmericanThinker.com. 

Are you the same Bill Serra that went through the LPMP program with me way back when? 

Regards,

Vic


Date:  Wed Mar 01 19:11:57 2017
From:  Seppe
Email:   eccoseppe@gmail.com
Location:  Northern Ohio
Comment:

This is a very well written article about a difficult subject to explain. As you note, the presence (and gift @John 19:27) of Mary at the foot of the Cross, has often been lost, but it is essential to allow Mary to accompany us and lead us closer to Jesus. Even when we feel alone or abandoned. As we carry our cross we should remember the role of Simon of Cyrene and offer our small part to the Lord... Have a Blessed Lent. Oremus...


Date:  Thu Mar 02 2017
From:  Vic Biorseth
Comment:  

Seppe:

Yes, the gift of Mary to John (and us) is right in there with her Fiat in the vital importance that is so overlooked by so many.  It marked a turning point in the war for human souls, and set the final outcome.  I'm just sorry it took me so many years to really see it.  Now, I begin to see, proper evangelization almost demands walking with Mary, following after Jesus. 

Regards,

Vic


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