Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Thoughts on Elizabeth Leseur's diary...

I have started reading "The Secret Diary of Elizabeth Leseur" and have just come across this passage, which I could have written myself, so well does it describe how I feel.

"It is a great and double affliction that I offer: my life and the great solitude of my soul, so different from what I would have wished. To be always with dear ones or friends to whom one can never open one's heart even for an instant, to whom one can never reveal anything of one's inmost being, is an intense grief. Jesus Christ must have known it, He who had so much to give of himself and who endured painful rebuffs and reverses besides which the ones I sometimes suffer are nothing."

So different from what I too would have wished. I always saw myself marrying someone else who also had faith. How DO we end up marrying people with no faith? Perhaps there is a reason why we are so ignorantly ready to spend our lives with persons with whom we cannot even share who we truly are. If we knew the truth, of the suffering and isolation we would go through, we would never do it. And these souls would not be won.

Elizabeth Leseur's husband eventually converted, after her death, and St Monica's husband also converted as did St Rita's. Who is to say that mine will not? In a previous entry she hopes that one day she will be able to live the deep sharing with her husband. Apparently, at the end of her life, she knew that it would never happen, and being quite sick she offered her sickness and death up for her husband and was convinced that he would convert following her death. St Monica and St Rita both outlived their husbands, but their husbands only converted on their deathbeds and so they never had that deep sharing either. Which leads me to believe that it is unlikely that I will ever have that either. Although they are only three examples, I have yet to find an example where the faith of one leads another to conversion before either of them die.

This means I must be condemned to living isolated from my husband for the rest of the time we have together, (or perhaps asked to offer it up would be a better way to put it?)

I do offer up my feelings of isolation, and as well I offer up certain household tasks but not nearly as much as I should. I have the double suffering of knowing now that I might have had a husband with whom I could have shared my soul had there not been confusion and misunderstanding and sin on both our parts. This too I must offer up although it seems to be the hardest to give up. It is hard not to regret such a thing.

I must pray, pray, pray.

She continues writing: "And yet through all these trials and in spite of the lack of interior joy, there is in my soul some central place, which all these waves of sorrow cannot reach. In this place is hidden all my inner life; there I can feel how completely united I am to God, and I regain strength and serinity in the heart of Christ. My God, give health and happiness to those I love, and give us all true light and charity."

My island... where waves of sorrow may wash up onto the beach but reach no further... when I go there, my suffering stays behind. It has never seemed to me a religious place, but perhaps it is after all... that central place where nothing can touch me. My brother wrote me a card on his wedding day. How strange and delightful to receive a card from my brother on HIS wedding day, when I should have been writing HIM a card! He gave me a compliment, he said he admired my "resilient cheerfulness." What a compliment! I do not always feel cheerful, and I am sure that I do not always act cheerful either, but still I appreciate the compliment, and I think that if I am sometimes able to find the force to be cheerful or to even joke about my suffering it is because I am able to go to that place in me, my desert island, and find some kind of strength.

How dear to me are my Gypsy Queen and my Aquaman who come to visit me on my island every once in awhile. Gypsy Queen who seems to be always there to listen even though she might not always agree with my beliefs, and Aquaman who is there to lift my spirits and dance a virtual dance with me, and send me virtual flowers.