Raissa was called to be a contemplative in the world. Some of us seemed to be called to this. Such a life means that one moves from solitude to being with people easily.
Too much solitude is not a good, nor is too much time with people. A balance must be met.
Like Raissa, if I am with people too much in one day, I find the experience exhausting. The interior life demands attention and discipline, and for the beginner, like myself, much focusing.
Sometimes, I can be at Adoration for an hour, but not always.
Raissa was given the graces to be with Christ in the Eucharist for many hours in the day. But, she also needed to go out to her husband, his work, their friends, and the call of God to work in the larger world, as necessary.
Jacques notes in the Journal that she was given this ability to move back and forth between the two worlds of contemplation and activity.
He wrote this elsewhere: Contemplation… is frequently the treasure of persons hidden in the world… souls who live by it in all simplicity, without visions, without miracles, but with such a flame of love for God and neighbour that good happens all around them without noise and without agitation.
To get to the point of not experiencing agitation means that one must allow God to show one the ugliness of one's soul and live in a state of humility. I am not there, yet.
This happens in the Dark Night, the time of no consolations, no resting in the Lord, just the awareness of one's sinfulness.
I think it is easier for an intellectual, to be honest, as one is use to study and reflection. The very active person must change the style and pace of life to meet the demands of contemplation.
For the definitions of meditation and contemplation, see the other series. I am not going to repeat those.
However, I shall use the terms which Raissa uses and which Jacques kept in the original French, as the English translation of both ideas lacks precision. But, before I mention those, I want to emphasize that Raissa knew in 1915 that God was calling all Catholics to perfection.
She writes that perfection is not merely for one's self, but for the sake of justice. She quotes the Mass:
Sursum corda. Habemus ad dominum. Dignum et justum est. Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere, and this is perfection. December 10th, 1915.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them up to the Lord.....It is right to give Him thanks and praise....it is our duty and our salvation always and everywhere to give You thanks.
It is our duty to be perfect. God demand justice, which is righteousness, and this is the call of each one of us. Raissa notes that do we not all desire justice? So does God.
We are justified in God through perfection. On November 26th, 1914, Raissa writes that the horror of World War I, which has caused all people in Europe suffering,
...would make the world hateful if one did not know that in some way all is well because there is divine will and permission. There remains nothing for us but to ask more than ever for the perfecting of our souls, so that by aspiring to nothing but Heaven, they too may be worthy to be admitted there the day God wills.
From the beginning of this part of my blog, from January, 2012, this has been the reason for my writing to you, my readers... for the perfecting of your souls and my soul.
to be continued....