Saturday, October 14, 2006

More on Suffering and Identity


"The Martyr Sebastian Being Rescued By the Matron Irene." - Ribera



Please excuse me for accommodating the poetry of St. John of the Cross regarding the suffering a soul endures as a result of childhood sexual abuse...



Nevertheless, the verses can just as easily be applied to a soul in mortal sin, or a person suffering from a variety of addictions, and most likely, even depression.

"I live, but not in myself...
I have neither God nor myself.
What will life be?
It will be a thousand deaths,
Longing for my true life
And dying because I do not die.

What life do I have
Except to endure
The bitterest death known?
I pity myself
For I go on living,
Dying because I do not die.

Lift me from this death,
My God, and give me life;
Do not hold me bound
With these so strong bonds;
See how I long to see you;
I am so wholly miserable
That I die because I do not die.

What death can equal
My pitiable life?
For the longer I live,
The more drawn out
Is my dying.

I will cry out for death
And mourn my living
while I am held here
For my sins.

Dying because I do not die." (My free-base John of the Cross)

I left out most of the contemplative references to God to show the acute suffering a person in this state experiences. Contrary to the words, "I pity myself" it is not a whine of self pity the soul utters, it is the acknowledgement of the state of his soul. The person suffering doesn't seek pity - no one could penetrate that wound so deep and thorough, except God. On some levels it is the lament of hell, yet for the soul who prays and frequents the sacraments, it is part of the purgation process, that results ultimately in healing, although never satisfactory until eternity, since the pain continues to ebb and flow, as the night follows day.

(And please excuse me for dwelling on this subject for so many days. It's for "you". :)

1 comment:

  1. I'm grateful that you've posted these reflections and don't mind at all. I think you're right on the money. Childhood abuse is serious and the often swept aside issue that no one wants to acknowledge or talk about. Who would? Too often people deal with this with the "Get over it." or "Offer it up." remark. They don't realize how this discredits the person. They were prolly told that by the adults they tried to tell and it ends up making them feel guilty for the abuse as if they were making a big deal out of nothing. It puts the blame on the "child inside" all over again. I despise that with a passion. Thanks again.

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