See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Sunday, August 08, 2010

One reason we are not healed...


Resentment and the rememberance of wrongs.


A profound and hidden mystery is the fall of man.  It is impossible for a person to understand it by his own powers.  This is because one of the consequences of the fall is mental blindness, which prevents the mind from seeing the depths and darkness of the fall.  Our fallen state deceptively appears to be a state of triumph, and the land of exile seems to be an exceptional field of progress and enjoyment.
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What a different picture and how terrible is the sight that meets our gaze when the mystery is disclosed to us.  When by divine guidance the abysses of hell are laid bare in the depth of the heart, how is it possible not to be filled with fear.
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'God is Love.' [1Jn. 4:8,16]  Consequently resentment or rejection of love is rejection of God.  God withdraws from a resentful person, deprives him of his grace, is definitely estranged from him, and gives him up to spiritual death, unless he makes a shift in good time to be healed of that deadly moral poison, resentment." - The Arena, Chapter 40

Resentment is like the worm that does not die, and the fire that never ends...

I'm convinced that this vice is one reason why we constantly fall back  into the same sins, or why we are not healed of this or that affliction - be it moral, mental, or physical.  True - aside from breaking with sin, not all of us are meant to be healed of our infirmities, because sometimes they are meant to sanctify us and those around us (redemptive suffering) - but resentment and rememberance of wrongs may often be the impediment to the spiritual peace and joy needed to bear our trials with patience and equinamity.  I have experienced this so often in my life, it seems to me to be true.  I think it is a process however, an act of the will is needed to forgive and quit accusing one another - since it seems to me that is what we do when we remember how someone wronged us.  It is a struggle against nature of course - something our ego resists, and the world derides.

We so often forget that we cannot say with any efficacy, "Lord, Lord" and continue to hate our brother, or ask for forgiveness without forgiving one another.  It is forbidden by the Lord who commands us, "Do not resist injury.  Pray for those who hate you."  And so on.

I fall everyday, sometimes seven times seven times a day in this way.  Who can heal me?
"When oppressed by difficult and painful circumstances, let us have recourse to God in prayer; for in his complete power are we and our enemies and our circumstances and the circumstances of all men.  He can by his absolute power and supremacy dispose of and arrange everything; he can instantly overcome and annihilate all the greatest difficulties.  Let us pray for our enemies with great care, and by this prayer obliterate the malice from their hearts and replace it with love.  'He who prays for people who offend and wrong him crushes the demons; but he who resists or opposes the former is wounded by the latter,' said St. Mark the Ascetic." - Ibid.
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Photo: Landscape after the Russian fires.
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7 comments:

  1. Great post, Terry.
    Many, many folks who suffer from addictions of all kinds find that unresolved resentment can keep them from healing, peace and joy in the Spirit.
    And sometimes these resentments are so deep, so hidden, and so elusive that without God's grace, one can go for YEARS without any kind of deliverance or freedom.
    "O Lord, You know me and You search me...You know when I lie down and when arise..."
    That, is truly our greatest hope.
    The Lord, our good Jesus, is with us in every way, shape and form.
    Let us praise Him!

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  2. Yep. Read my latest post to be up soon.

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  3. Austringer9:04 PM

    This is a post that I need to somehow keep suspended just a few inches from my eyes 24/7.

    This area is a constant struggle for me, probably my biggest stumbling block (gee, Terry, you may have noticed...).

    The care and feeding of wrongs is so seductive, and really quite pleasurable and satisfying. Truth be told, I can only pray to WANT to give up the resentment.

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  4. For me resentfulness was always a bunch of "coulda woulda shoudas". Us women especially can really beat ourselves up over this. One little mantra over the years that has really helped is "Let go, let God." Especially if it was something really petty.

    I have also found over the years that my yoga training is very helpful in dealing with the recurring beat up thoughts, especially the resentfulness. Once I learned how to deal with the thoughts as they wander into my heads--sending them off on a cloud or balloon--they weren't continually nagging me.

    The Evil One also uses resentfulness to give ya a good poke once in awhile..when I realize that it's him that's doing it I can step back and tell him to take a hike. Then dwell on it no more. (My poker incidently is very much like Nelson in the simpsons, right down to the "Ha ha" laugh when he gets my goat...twerp.)

    I have so much more joy in my life now since I have the sorta semi handle on resentment..put it this way it no longer rules my life.

    Sara

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  5. Sara: So true.
    When I can entrust the past to the good Lord, through the hands of His Holy Mother, I feel truly free.
    And believe me, I would like to beat the hell outta certain folks who have really been turds...for what purpose?
    Jesus deals with them; I remembered a certain priest who I wanted to literally beat the s*** out of for several months in the "Memento for the Living" in the Roman Canon...and viola...my resentment left, by the grace of the Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross...not my own doing...
    I'm very Celtic...I want to declare war whenever anyone I love or what I love is threatened...to the death...
    but Jesus has shown me another way.
    And His Way is ever more fruitful, loving, and wondrous.

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  6. Anonymous8:22 AM

    Amen to all of the above! I too have been struggling with this sin of holding grudges. Fr. Nazareth, I'm Irish by descent and know exactly where you're coming from! Thank you, Terry -- you've done your readers a lot of good with your insights on this topic.

    A Canadian reader,
    Patricia Gonzalez

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  7. This post has helped some friends of mine! Thanks!!

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