Suffering to Enter The Bridal Chamber

I see Thy bridal chamber adorned, O my Savior, and I have no wedding garment that I may enter there.  Make the robe of my soul to shine, O Giver of Light, and save me. (Canticle Nine, Holy Tuesday Matins).

O Bridegroom, surpassing all in beauty, Thou hast called us to the spiritual feast of Thy bridal chamber.  Strip from me the disfigurement of sin, through participation in Thy sufferings; clothe me in the glorious robe of Thy beauty, and in Thy compassion make me feast with joy at Thy Kingdom. (ibid)

The door of the bridal chamber is open; God’s wedding feast has been prepared within; the Bridegroom is at hand and calls us.  Let us then make ready. (Canticle Three, Holy Tuesday Great Compline)

For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ…And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation. (1st Corinthians 1:5,7)

that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death (Philippians 3:10)

For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake. (Philippians 1:29)

There’s a cleansing power in suffering that the false prophets of the worldly gospel refuse to acknowledge.  While forms of American “Christianity” teach health, wealth, and physical beauty, our Lord calls to us from the cross, blood dripping from His holy Body, “Join in my sufferings that you may partake in life.”

There are two roads before us: the “good life” of pleasure and amusement that the world offers us (sometimes cloaked as Christianity) and the road of the cross,  of suffering, and of death.  But through the death of this latter road, we find resurrection in this age and the age to come.

Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. (Revelations 22:20)

Understanding my pain

considering_by_aeraviI have been struggling with physical pain over the past couple of days; probably the worst I have ever experienced in my life.  On Monday, it constrained me to my bed for most of the day.  I couldn’t take care of myself at all; even rising up to go to the bathroom or sitting up to eat was almost unbearably painful.  My wife really came through for me, and I am forever grateful for her.

But I mention all of that not for your pity.  You can give it to others who continually suffer much more than I ever have.  I mention that because through my pain I have learned important lessons.

I have been blessed during most of my life with great health.  Most issues I have are related to food allergies, and if I avoid those things, then I have no problems.  I have come to expect myself to be strong, to be a provider for our family, to do anything I set out to do because it seems I usually have the strength, brains, and will-power to achieve my goals.

But not over these last couple of days.  Continue reading Understanding my pain

May this chapter end in tears

statueYou have plunged me to the bottom of hell
To its darkest, deepest place
Weighted down by your anger
Drowned beneath your waves

Yahweh, I invoke you all day,
I stretch out my hands to you
Why do you reject me?
Why do you hide your face from me?

I bore your terrors-now I am exhausted
Like a flood, they were around me, all day long
All together closing on me.
Now darkness is my one companion left.

Continue reading May this chapter end in tears