There’s that moment in the Gospel where Jesus tells us to cut off our hand pluck out our eyes should either lead us to sin.
Is it something we should take literally? No yet it is reported that one Bishop long ago actually did cut off his hand.
When something remains in disuse it goes dead, limp even. It will not even come to mind at all after a while.
Jesus calls us here to remove ourselves from a sinful situation. Monks have already done this as where they are now, have been removed from the scene of the world yet the devil attacks them still through memory so they too still need to train themselves to make this go limp and cut it off.
Remove the eye by training the eye to look at other things so that it wont be lead into sin. Train the hand and remove it from its sinful practices and by becoming a new person.
I’m going to go a step further. It is helpful to go to a monastery but not all of us can.
Living in the world is it possible to look at a woman dressed so provocatively and yet not be aroused or to be tempted to lust after her?
Yes it is but one would have to be a spiritual giant of sorts in order to maintain it. But it is possible that whilst the eye sees the naked woman, it is possible for it to at the same time be plucked out and not present. Does that make sense to you?
Because when you are filled with light the eye perceives everything through that light. So if you’re filled with the Light of the Holy Spirit it’s enough to blind you to all that is darkness and evil.
So when Jesus says to pluck out your eye and cut off your hand, he means to detach yourself from them and grow new eyes that perceives all via the Holy Spirit and to grow a new hands that shake for peace and not war.
This morning I awoke thinking how much my prayer life is lacking especially in the area of the Rosary. When we first pick up the Jesus prayer or Holy Rosary of Our Lady, we begin to pray but we feel much unrest and we are like monkeys jumping from one branch to another, that is from one thought to another. We begin to feel very lethargic and prayer can seem like a chore for most of us and all of these experiences can make us run from prayer, feel great discouragement and just sit and mope. But I find that each of us is stuck on an island that separates us from God. It is an island of an empty pleasure of the world where the soul at some point realizes it doesn’t belong and try’s to break free. Our journey off this island of self adoration and interest never always begins instantaneously but requires us to play our part and use the materials God gives us if we are ever going to get a response. It requires us to get up and search for The Holy Spirit, for freedom from the bondage of the bodily passions and sin.
We build with prayer and this can take some time I find. At first tom hanks try’s to build a raft but he is met with great resistance as he fails to get over the first wave. What’s happened there? He realizes he has built wrongly and needs to go back to the blueprint and rebuild a proper way. It’s the same with us, sometimes we desire to get out of this world of our sinful imperfections but we are praying wrongly, and when we are met with the wave of resistance of the flesh and enemies that govern the air of this world we keep falling back and that the many exterior and interior ( but mostly interior ) obstacles seem to prevent us from shedding our old world in search of the new one and in truth the obstacle is often ourselves. But if we keep building and continue to pray and seek out Christ and look deep into ourselves we will find that eventually we build what’s needed with Gods Grace to get over that wave. But even then, once over the wave the journey has just begun and as with Tom and his imaginary and emotional attachment that is Wilson the football, we too still have many imaginary things that we are attached to that we need to die to having got over the initial wave. It pains us even to sometimes say goodbye to them for we stupidly believe that they bring us comfort and rest.
So the foundation of our raft must be the living of the Gospel and becoming dare I say Jesus himself, becoming another Jesus. But without the gift of Fortitude we will never acquire the sail that completes our raft, and our sail is the Light and Grace of Christ himself to get over the wave. So this is something I am praying for at the moment because I too want to get off this island and wilderness in which I am separated by my sins and my imperfections from truly seeing God face to face. So if your out there and your finding prayer difficult I would invite you to join me in the fight in using all the materials that Jesus and the Church has given us to acquire the means necessary to break free from the chains of the world and sail the sea to freedom. It takes time, it takes patience but if we pray through the torrents of all the lethargy and disinterest we will by the Grace of God get there eventually.
Tags: castaway, Catholic, Christ, Christian, Church, God, Grace, hanks, Holy Rosary, Holy Spirit, Jesus, light, Mary, meditation, Prayer, Rosary, Tom