To bear pain is an old mood. It has self-depreciation in it, and it indicates a failure mentality. Today you assume responsibility for your pain; you grasp humiliation. The flip of humiliation is joy.

I realized I should have known something 15 years ago. I was aware of the humiliation. I had blocked off the pain. I knew I must be cutting off life. Like Job, I participated in the school of suffering. I had to embrace the pain of humiliation.

We need to break loose from the perversions of bearing pain. In the book, The Ronin, he got the ____ beat out of him until he learned to be sensitive to his role as a Sumari.

Our culture says I am too sensitive. We need to learn how to structure suffering. It is normal to swim in the abyss. We appropriate pain so we won't miss the dance of life.

Look at the creative power of suffering. Chardin speaks of the energy that comes from this. Our job is turning that outward. In the LENS course we experience the pain and failure of building the new earth. The possibility is embracing the pain. In the LENS course we need to be as sensitive to people's pain as in RSI. The think tank is a way to sociologically structure pain. If you suffer inside its hope is structured sociologically. St. John speaks of burning away or suffering.

We do something that has to be done rather than do it to forget suffering.

After surgery it was the first time in my life I suffered physical pain. This is day after day. What is important is the dimensions underneath forced. It became focused on suffering related to pain. It is a symbol of long endurance. A new kind of imperative is slowly trying to make its voice clear. It is an imperative deeper than the imperative I placed on myself self when I see the indicative. I am being imperatived or resolved. It is beyond my own freedom. Though the imperative is shrouded, I feel the urgency to alter my life style. It bores in to change my time pattern.

The greatest pain is not external. The greatest pain is internal, like self doubt. This is what spiritual suffering is. It is not psychological. You cannot say, "Go away". It is a battle unto death. If it were psychological, related to the external, we could deal with what happened as a child. If it were psychological, there is an external cure. You go to a psychologist or friend or counselor. With spiritual suffering there is no outside cure. You cannot run away with yourself. A war has started. There is no mediation, no compromise, no terms. Either you die or the enemy dies. First comes self-doubt. Then you strain yourself through some categories. It boils down to humiliation, weakness, resentment. The dark night has been going on. The difference now is you have a road map. Once you become self conscious, the happening happens. There is a black spot in the middle of your stomach that never goes away. You recognize it. The humiliation and weakness - it is all apostasy. God's grace is that he turns humiliation into glory. There is a metamorphosis of suffering. All He wants is a broken and contrite heart.

Once you have that road map or spirit reading, deep contemplation takes place. There is an intensified level of consciousness. You get something clear that weakness is your manifestation. Your presence is a testimony of the glory of God. Your humiliation etc. reminds us that we are standing before God. I boast of my weakness. That shows God's glory.

In pain, suffering goes on. But pain keeps you from suffering. Later you participate in suffering. Suffering means "to bear". Pain is the penalty. My mind goes to the war, and the wounded. Pain turns you into a kind of zombie. It make the men beyond caring whether anyone else cared. They were not interested in talking about anything serious. They could care less. During the first week I spiritually forced myself to get myself immersed in my work. In trauma, your universe shrinks. Getting people out of bed expands their universe. I was physically unable to be creative and physical. When you are sick and go to bed you want to shut out the universe.

Pain has to be self centered. In suffering, it moves away from the self. It does not mean the pain is not in suffering. The role traps you can fall in to are stoics, martyrs, gladiators. Included in understanding this is the human or spirit response.

One experience is resentment. It is re-sensing. It is a feeling of displeasure regarded as causing injury or insult. You are conscious, are affected by, the result of having your pride hurt. There is anger and hostility. You see mistreatment of someone or something that is dear and worthy. It means you take ill from injury. The French derivation is ressenter ( to be angry, to be affected by, to feel, brooding over an injury) ressentiment ( to feel, to perceive by the sense. To feel strongly). From the Latin: sentire (to feel, "to go mentally"). Sent: to head for, go. to feel, to resent. A synonym is repel, resist, rebel, take ill. Excitement, which is the effect of the sense of perception or injury. Sense (perception of stimuli originating from the outside or inside the body). Perceive (by the senses, become aware of)

Christian love is not glowing in your heart or smiling through your teeth. Not until you have experience suffering, humiliation, weakness, can you be a catalyzing agent for transforming lives.

Joseph W. Mathews, 1973