At Attracted to the Light, I found a great lesson on the topic of identity in Christ.
I’m not saying that people won’t help out if someone is having a problem. I’m saying that people aren’t interested in the minutiae of other people’s lives. Talk therapies, introspection and knowing yourself are all very popular these days so it’s easy to think other people might share our own fascination with ourselves. If they did, Dale Carnegie wouldn’t have made a fortune teaching people to fake interest!
It’s only when people are in love that the minutiae of someone else’s life suddenly becomes fascinating. We are told that God knows every hair on our heads. This interest in detail is used to show how much God loves us.
How is that related to identity in Christ? It is rather like Perpetua’s Ladder which I mentioned in my post explaining what “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” are. If you don’t keep looking to Jesus because you are too attached to your disorders, to other people, to things, or to issues that are not of Him, you will be pulled away from Him.
This is so very important. So important. If you don’t get this, you don’t get the importance of our identity in Christ and you will be not only the victim of much wasted suffering, but perhaps even the cause of it. Many there are who don’t know about identity in Christ who cause needless suffering.
St. Perpetua’s father came to her in tears to beg her to offer sacrifice to the emperor. He was too attached to St. Perpetua to let her be attached to God. Thankfully, she said no to him.
And as my father stood there to cast me down from the faith, he was ordered by Hilarianus to be thrown down, and was beaten with rods. And my father’s misfortune grieved me as if I myself had been beaten, I so grieved for his wretched old age. The procurator then delivers judgment on all of us, and condemns us to the wild beasts, and we went down cheerfully to the dungeon.
This is how it is in families. Surely, we should at least have the holiness of St. Perpetua when we are dealing with non-family members. People don’t care about every hair on your head, and so it is natural for people to not really care about your trials, even if you are headed to your death, but God cares about every hair on your head. He cares about every aspect of your trials. I share this not just to make you feel better if you are feeling rejected, though making you feel better about it is a bonus. It is mainly so that you will know that there is a purpose in it when you feel that people don’t care about you. Often, it is because people are very naturally absorbed in their own lives. If you feel pain from people “not caring” then you are too attached to the world.
Having said that, it is right and just to sorrow for the souls of people who go beyond simply “not caring” and who blatantly reject you or others close to you. It is healthy and redemptive to sorrow for their souls, even to sorrow greatly for them, because you know Jesus loves them as much as He loves you. Still, it is only in the context of sorrowing for the pain that it causes to Jesus in His Cross, and for the souls who will come into the path of people who walk through life that way. Pray for them all, and offer this sorrow for them, because it is redemptive.
Our Lady of Sorrows is the best model for us in this type of suffering, as human beings, at the Foot of the Cross.
O most holy Virgin, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ: by the overwhelming grief you experienced when you witnessed the martyrdom, the crucifixion, and death of your divine Son, look upon me with eyes of compassion, and awaken in my heart a tender commiseration for those sufferings, as well as a sincere detestation of my sins, in order that being disengaged from all undue affection for the passing joys of this earth, I may sigh after the eternal Jerusalem, and that henceforward all my thoughts and all my actions may be directed towards this one most desirable object. Honor, glory, and love to our divine Lord Jesus, and to the holy and immaculate Mother of God. Amen.