Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Bad Fruit, Abuse and Predators, and the Grace to be Free.

Beware of false prophets who come to you disguised as sheep but underneath are ravenous wolves. You will be able to tell them by their fruits. Can people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, a sound tree produces good fruit but a rotten tree bad fruit. A sound tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor a rotten tree bear good fruit. Any tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown on the fire. I repeat, you will be able to tell them by their fruits. Matthew 7:15-20

Bad fruit eh? When one has broken the cycles of abuse through grace, one can sense a predator in the vicinity. No longer walking the victim's walk, one can turn away and reject the invitation of that predator. One who has embraced the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ will do just that, for the One who bears the Most Sacred Heart would never do those things to the one. And He is very protective of His little brothers and sisters.

One who has been abused gains a very keen eye and a sensitive spirit. These two tools facilitate one's survival before, during, and after the abusive events. They enable one to gain some form of control by triggering an abusive event to get it over with, or to know the signs that things are almost done, and then finally to find a safe place to be. They enable one to sense the "darkness" within another who also abuses.

Those same tools facilitate a deep and sometimes wordless connection with those around who live as victims.

Jesus repeats himself in His warning about knowing someone by their fruits. He is adamant that we take the time to get to know someone before placing our trust in them.

This is especially true before making a life-long commitment in the Sacraments of Marriage and Holy Orders. It is also true for those who are Postulants or Novices.

Once one has made the decision to break free, to run to freedom, one still needs to deal with the internal cycles. For, the external cycles at the hands of the other or others take very deep root within. The longer the external cycles are lived, the deeper they are rooted. Even in the absence of the one(s) who abused, one will live those internal cycles within for many years. And, it may even take decades or a lifetime before one is completely free and healed.

One needs Jesus Christ, one needs to receive Him regularly - daily if possible - in the Eucharist, one needs to bring the wounds to the Sacrament of the Sick and a priest, one needs to bring one's inner cycles to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and be totally open to the healing of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, and one needs to learn to foster healthy relationships with others. This last one is just as important, for it is easy for one to remain fearful and distrust anyone and everyone around.

The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus beats with love, understanding, and compassion for His little ones who unknowingly share in His Passion. He will bring others into the life of the one who suffered. People who will genuinely listen and be a friend, who will accept the one who manifests the brutality of their life with ugly behaviours and mannerisms, and who will, by their presence, teach the one that they are valued and loved.

And one other thing: Those two tools also give one the ability to see beyond the hurts, wounds, and pains in others. They give one the ability to see His Light within. And it is His Light that illuminates the other's beauty and goodness. Only predators, the wolf in sheep's clothing, are the exception to the rule and one knows them by their fruits.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

Pax vobis,


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