When the Devil, that subtle serpent, perceives us contending to God alone, fortified against ordinary satanic delusions, he transforms himself into an angel of light; he urges us to attain perfection, hurrying us on blindly and without the least regard to our own weakness.
He fills our heads with devout thoughts, seconding them with passages of Holy Scripture and examples drawn from the greatest Saints, that he might provoke us into some shameful misstep through an indiscrete precipitous fervor. –Dom Lorenzo Scupoli ‘’Spiritual Combat’.
Once again, reviewing the weekend God has been gracious in granting exceptional spiritual exercises into my life, a plethora of socially pleasurable spiritual activities. Yesterday in praising the pilgrimages, I failed to mention the start of the Sabbath day, a five AM communal Rosary of three mysteries. I believe it was the largest crowd for the monthly blessing with fifteen in attendance. A magnificent start of a new month, an authentic expression of the pursuit of the expansion of faith, hope, and charity. Recognizing the sweet consolations within all the weekend activity, plus a Friday visit with Dr. Nichta, I comprehend a weariness, the realization I am transforming within my routine of daily mass at St Paul’s Shrine and personal disciplines within daily life. After the pilgrimages and a lengthy dinner at an excellent Chinese buffet, I felt exhausted, excited to return to my solitary path to God. I was pleased to drive the last woman home alone. Mary, an older prayerful Filipino, is one comfortable within silence. Adorable staring at nothing through her fashionable white sunglasses, content in the presence of God, a bit crazy by worldly standards, it was appropriate she was my final contact for the day.
Regarding St Paul’s Shrine, the greatest consolation sprouted sweetly within disposition. The last week of daily mass was difficult due to complexities involving Ann. I sought resolution with Father Roger, and Sunday everything came together. Wrath and nervous energy filled me before mass. During mass, it dissipated. Arriving, I knew she would be there once I realized the mass celebrated sixty years of service to a sister she favored. She arrived, another date in tow. Observing her during post-mass socializing, pity placated. Wrath existed, yet it was minor, easily quenched. She is putting on weight. Another comedy date, another ridiculous looking old man; add in arrogant behavior when in truth one spiritually attuned would have been uncomfortable. Within a deceived one arrogance and displayed self-confidence dominates. Those properly striving are able to rest in silence, peace, and awkwardness. They draw their strength from God, not from themselves, not from their rationalizing. I think of Father Roger, a humble holy priest, always a bit on edge during post-mass socializing. During the open house, he hid in a corner overwhelmed by the crowd, yet still shaking hands and extending warmth and fellowship. He feared not to appear awkward. Within everything I experienced over the weekend, it was obvious, Ann is a secular shallow woman, an individual living a life dominated by free will. There is no holiness through a dedication and devotion to the contemplative path. She is a confused woman of sixty living the life of a fifteen year old, even to the point of constantly on her phone texting. It reminds me of leaving the recent retreat on a Friday to celebrate mass with my mother. Within the peace and wisdom provided from the concentration upon God, it was easy to identify my mother being spiritually disjointed.
An insistence by Dr. Nichta has always been that a codependent relationship goes both ways. Ann screamed at me about an obsessive compulsive nature in regards to my attachment to her, for my declared authentic love, and also its consequence of hysterical frustrated behavior, yet in truth she is even more dependent than myself upon others distracting her from herself. I am positive her life has been subjugated to the pursuit of finding someone to focus upon: her neighbor, different dates, perusing single websites, single dances–it exhausts me to comprehend the extensive energy wasted constantly trying to bring new people into your life, and then just as easily disposing of them. She has simply never matured into a woman able to be content within herself, while also not possessing the wherewithal to engage in an adult female/male relationship. I am positive we had a good thing, a life together that should have transformed into an absolute concentration upon the pursuit of God. We were given to one another for a purpose, yet she could not acquiesce. I must accept and recognize her for who she is. Doctor stresses that in distinguishing everything that happen between us, I must understand: she got what she needed and I got what I needed. She received a life to focus on, diverting her from penetrating self-introspection, a life to dominate, someone vulnerable and weaker than her. While I received a nine month rehabilitation center. I have progressed beyond the therapeutic time, growing in strength, advancing in self-knowledge, fortifying through spiritual exercises, easily able to spend time alone, to care for myself, to be a friend to myself, in fact finding I prosper mightily when alone. I am not alone scheming and plotting, focusing all of my energy upon others. Beyond a concept, God alone has become a way of life, a hunger and a thirst being satisfied.