Tag Archives: Rule 6

A Moment of Reflection on Suffering Pneumonia and Expectations – September 17 2017

Had a mildly challenging night. Not much sleep. Even so, up and feeling a slight bit better. Prayer time was good but not great. The violent cough soon reemerged and led me to a bit of discouragement – frustration at small things.

I was hoping that today might be a turning point. It felt possible. Not happening. As I experienced the internal physical violence that comes with pneumonia, I doubled over with my hands resting on my knees and as it subsided a hint of desolation settled in. “Breathe,” Stephanie says.

Several volcanic coughing spells spread throughout the morning. I sat down at my desk. I looked at my Plan of Love/Examen. The Spirit showed me – desolation. I noted it.

Rule 6: Although in desolation we should not change our first proposals, it is very advantageous to change ourselves intensely against the desolation itself, by insisting more upon prayer, meditation, upon much examination, and upon extending ourselves in some suitable way of doing penance.

Examination: Why am I feeling this way? I am sick. But the desolation…

The problem is in my expectations. I felt an inkling of feeling better. I managed the first coughing fits to keep them shorter. Later they worsened. So out of control. Why when all the other health indicators are good?

I need to be careful with my expectations. I need to hope that this will end soon but expect it will last a month or longer. His love is in this moment – this truth – I need the reminder of how fragile my life really is and how much I really need Him. Eyes welling with emotion. His love is present. Manage expectations. Yield.

Enough examination. A suitable penance? Offering it up for the young men entering into the High Calling program. Just the thought of offering it up… a ray of joy pierces the clouds of desolation. Welling with emotion.

What an inexplicable yet sober joy to be able to join with Christ in the redemption of the world. Rejoice – choose joy in suffering. Lean into the discomfort. He is there in the moment, waiting.