I have to show off the blessings of the private chapel God revealed to me. It astounds there is no one utilizing the Adoration chapel. Hours of solitary prayer time before the Eucharist exist within its confines. The detachment from St Paul Shrine I understand is necessary, an awaking of the heart to a deeper conversion. Today tears flowed freely, cleansing, opening my soul to nourishment through healing alone with God. Pleasantly, a gourmet Italian bakery and cafe, Casa Dolce, decently priced, a gathering spot for morning coffee and conversation, is situated across the street, allowing a bite for breakfast after mass. I also stopped by the Lyndhurst Community Center, making arraignments to enjoy lunch on Monday and Tuesdays at the senior center. As the retreat to Massachusetts comes into being, my wonderful array of Spanish learning CDs picked-up this afternoon, I find myself approaching a new year absorbed with, in, and through my contemplative life. There will be a removal, eliminating religious contacts and friendships, allowing any and all to return if it is deemed the will of God. I clear space, creating a void, in order to allow God to fill.
I will comment on my effort to assist Ramona. Everything is grinding to a frustrating halt. She forced matters to a confrontation with Carter regarding residency, beyond my discernment. Carter negated her staying based upon his refusal to board dogs. He has tried it in the past, not pleased with results regarding cleanliness and barking. I am obedient to his word. I made it clear I would not argue or debate with him. I want to make an observation, insight acquired through my struggles within alcohol treatment. My stay at the Salvation Army in Fort Wayne, Indiana, a six month endeavor, clearly established the fact that men and women who have reached bottom in life are determined to assert control over life. One will find in prison cells a fierce determination to assert free will. I heard it said that if one wants to find know-it-alls and control freaks go to prisons, insane asylums, and substance abuse rehabilitation centers. If one wants to find people who know how to listen to others go to your finer neighborhoods, or I would add reputable religious institutions. One must learn to be able to listen to others, especially those of good intent who conflict with one’s need to assert free will. I remember, I think it was Chesterton who said that religion really does us little good when it agrees with us. When religion nurtures and supports one’s pride and ego it is not serving one so well. Now on the other hand, when religion confronts and conflicts than it is serving masterfully. This is an essential insight into the spiritual life, a critical step in the AA 12-step program. In order to overcome a life that has become unmanageable, a life that has fallen apart, a life descending to devastating and debilitating circumstances, one must admit powerlessness. I have fallen and I am helpless. I must recognize I cannot get up on my own. It is myself who put myself in the fallen position I suffer. The power I possess is unable to sustain my life. In fact, it has crushed my life. Surrender means everything. I must come to believe that a power higher than myself can lift me up, that God can restore me to sanity. God must restore sanity, for I have become insane. I must seek solutions outside of myself. It is not that I lack intelligence nor skills, rather the fact that my life has spiraled downward to the point my sanity itself has become distorted. I do not have enough power to fix my problems, however there exist higher powers able to provide solutions. That surrender for those down and out, those coming from prison, those battling addictions, those enmeshed within the lowest rungs of society, proves nearly impossible. It is the beauty of the Beatitudes, the supremacy of Christianity in bringing solutions to the world. One must find dignity in reducing pride, attaining a psychic change by acquiescing, attaining dignity by saying I need and will accept my frailties: I am ready to listen, to become obedient. If my life has fallen apart, I cannot right matters by asserting strength and determined self-will. My demands, my insistence to dictate terms, judgements, my need to be right, my declarative statements, my excuses, the placing of blame, the pointing of fingers, the extending and sharing in shame, all these things are desperate and fearful exercising of insane self-will. None of them will ever bring about solutions. I do not know how to help someone who will not accept advice nor solutions, always determined she is the one calling the shots, always arguing, debating, and trying to be right. Luke is a wonderful dog, yet Carter says no and that is a final answer. Nothing more needs to be said. Home after home, people and organizations, are willing to offer assistance yet time after time owning a dog proves impossible. Luke has come to symbolize sacrifice, a willingness to surrender and concede to others judgement. Ramona will not allow anyone to tell her what to do, nor to attempt to solve her homeless situation, involving unemployment and a lack of financial means, without her ordering conditions. In truth, she is a completely powerless woman, while demanding to be recognized as a justified reasonable person of power. She is so absorbed in her identity as a victim, she cannot effect a mindset able to truly create solutions. It is difficult and heartbreaking.
Photos of the solitary Adoration Chapel, a haven of peace. The photos are taken with my phone so excuse the quality.