A thorn has entered your foot.
That is why you
weep at times
There are some
in this world
who can pull it
they have learned
–St. Catherine of Siena
(Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West translated by Daniel Ladinsky, p. 190)
“St. Catherine (1347-1380) was said to have been profoundly interested in every human being that ever came before her. She devoted herself to relieving the mental and emotional suffering of the hundreds that sought her out; her words and her touch bestowed a soothing grace” (ibid. p.180). A soothing grace. A healing salve for the wounded. She lived to relieve suffering.
An Essential Wound
But should all suffering be relieved? What if the thorn in your foot is an essential wound? A wound necessary for your spiritual development? Odysseus, approaching adolescence, received an essential wound in his thigh from the white tusk of a boar. In addition to pushing Odysseus toward manhood (from puer to man), this wound foreshadowed the immense burden and suffering of his life’s journey.
To Bear Suffering
Understanding an essential wound in your life can paradoxically relieve some of your suffering. To bear the essential suffering in your life in a small way is to live in imitation of Christ. By learning from Him, you may be called to help heal others through your wounds . . . through your writing, through your life.
Photo Credit: Photo by McD22 at Flickr Creative Commons.
Linked with Thought-Provoking Thursday.