Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Catholic Hermit Chugging Along

Sorry, readers, that I've not been writing much.  My shoulder (two previous surgeries), elbow, hand--upper back--overworked!  Now my left hand tends to swelling and pain, although a dose pack of Prednisone was helping within a few hours.  This morning, though, I did a small amount of weeding, and my right hand numb again.  

I went to the clinic on Monday morning to get the prescription.  I'm not to use my upper body much, which when trying to finish the renovations so I can sell and move on, is not that practical.  Two young men, college boys, have been here two days last week and will be here now two days this week, working on the exterior projects and carrying in all the hardwood flooring boxes, doing much lifting and making great progress.  I, of course, have used my arms and shoulders in doing certain tasks that to me seemed not that much!

Writing intensifies the issue, and besides having daughter and grandson here a week ago to help work, and how much I worked then on installing upper stairs, some drywall mudding and sanding, and painting with her, doing some plumbing, and our installing a front walkway--my arm, elbow, and hands really flared all the more.  Slightly better now, but thus the lack of my writing on my blog.

Spiritually, it seems as if I am distracted by the work efforts.  It takes organization and thought to instruct others once the mind figures out what needs to be accomplished by priority and then to explain and instruct, and interact.  I'm used to so much solitude that this time period is a reminder of the life of a consecrated Catholic hermit must flex and flow with God's will and providence.

How thankful am I that God has provided these wonderful young men to drive a distance to help, and how thankful I am for the family member lending me, short term, money to be able to try to finish, and that includes being able to hire the young men.  Another, a former student of my daughter, came again last week, two days.  He is Haitian and has lived through trials that most of us cannot even imagine surviving.  He is but 21 years old, and is so filled with the Holy Spirit!

We had quite the miracle last week regarding his car.  The miracle involved holy water and praying in heartfelt manner, for his car to start, as it was not operable for over three hours of trying all means of repairs and battery charging.  

Why did I not think of bringing out the holy water to begin with?  I suspect it has to do with the distractions of so much work efforts and having to hone the mind on skills, some of which I've never utilized nor tried.  We had prayed, of course, but the holy water was miraculously efficacious just at the point that the man and his wife from church were driving to bring a tow chain so I could tow the young man and his car back to civilization, late at night by then.

Slowly reading John of the Cross, now on his wise counsels.  I cannot say that I ponder them while I work, for much of the work now requires mental focus on what I'm to do and the power tools I am using.  It is a good thing to be reminded and humbled with how lay persons must live daily--focusing on their jobs, tasks, family rearing, marital relationships, and also wishing they could be closer to the Lord consciously.  Yet, for lay persons the mind must focus on the temporal tasks and responsibilities.

A consecrated Catholic hermit usually and typically has the luxury of focusing on God in a conscious manner, with few distractions otherwise.  Having gotten myself into a challenging real estate purchase, all well-intentioned and researched in advance, has brought with it, however, the most spiritually challenging and growth enhancing phase of my life thus far!  But after this, simplification with less responsibility and not such intense manual labor, will be the goal.

I've had to enter into trapping and shooting raccoons.  This has been rather a horror, considering I've never touched a gun in my life nor killed any animals prior.  I was the type who'd take a tissue to get a wasp or bee out of the house.  Then here I had to eradicate the rat situation, and now the raccoon problem.  I've had an infestation of raccoons to the point of their dangerously stalking, coming close as in within a couple or three feet.  Raccoons are major carriers of rabies, and having so many in a relatively closed in area, was becoming a danger.  

For good measure, I am naming them alphabetically, with saint names, before I dispatch them.  It is illegal to live trap and relocate raccoons.  The legal recourse is to live trap and shoot.  Such a shame they are overpopulated, and a man with the department of natural resources said people feed them and cause the animals to become aggressive and invasive.  Shame on people feeding and hoping to befriend wild animals!

So, my dear friends in Christ, I have not written much lately on my blog, and I will not for awhile yet due to the numbness and upper limb inflammation and over-use as well as those others coming to help me with the work.  Daughter is flying back in a couple weeks to help for a few days, and I'm to have some work completed, necessary for us to make further progress.  It is practical at this point to utilize the help when help can come.  The young men helping are doing so as their summer jobs have not yet commenced.

God bless His Real Presence in us!  Even when distracted by earthly work and responsibilities (even if we got into them without realizing), we can in our subconscious--in our hearts and souls--love God above all things and love others as God loves! 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Catholic Hermit Wishes...

I wish that I had more spiritually inspiring comments to share!  Perhaps the best is to share that even a relatively hidden, consecrated, Catholic hermit has times of seeming spiritual doldrums.  Perhaps it is no such a doldrum as more it is a phase of the temporal aspects required of us mortals also affects a Catholic hermit!

There are bills to pay and maintenance responsibilities of where a hermit lives in solitude and silence.  Yes, I have to do more manual labor now than what I'd otherwise undertake.  The spiritual reading and the time of prayer in which one is not actively engaged bodily are each sparse in the daily routine.  The only interruption is caused by the right arm being so over-used--afflicted with Carpenter's Elbow, a thumb "drill whip" injury resurfacing, and the twice-operated-on shoulder erupting with inflammation.

So the day before yesterday I prayed about those without limbs or missing a limb, and then considered people who are ambidextrous or learn to use the opposing limb of dominance.  I began using my left arm, elbow, and hands to do weeding.  The result?  My left arm was unused to such efforts; I pulled muscles in the upper left back that affect the neck.  Now my left arm is in pain and left hand suffers from some numbness.  

Balance is important in anyone's life, and this includes balance of working the body either in exercise or manual labor.  It is also important to have balance when working our brains, emotions, and spirit.

We've had a weather shift in the night, and that is most helpful to shift activity here, for the body reacts to weather shifts and must slow down some; and the elements are not conducive for being outside, either.  Yet I must press on with some efforts for finances have a shelf-life soon approaching, and time is nigh for me to finish this renovation, sell, and go God-knows-where.

So I will do some caulking today.  And one thing that is not out of balance in this hermit's life is that of prayer.  Prayer continues no matter if resting or working, no matter if spending a bit of time reading the daily Mass Scriptures or reading instructions as to when to apply Weed Stop to the lawn.

I also continue to pray much for the various prayer intentions people message me or call or email, or for what the news of the world prods me to pray.  The last living aunt is 94 today, the spiritual father has been ill but is improving, a baby was born prematurely and is striving to breathe and thrive, an elderly man has dangerously low blood pressure and heart rate.

The woman who has been purchasing trees returned this morning, and we walked about the gardens in the drizzle, seeing what else she wishes to add to her gardens.  I gave greatly discounted deals for she has a love for trees, and the trees that I've collected, tended, and brought to two locales now, will have a good home with someone who grasps the beauty and healing quality of trees.  

The detachment from what was is immense, and I praise God that I am able to let go of what was so gloriously allowed me in times past, of learning about trees of all types and of having the means to acquire them, plant, tend, and bring much enjoyment to many people--especially myself!  My spiritual father always said how the gardens I had in my previous locale were a true glorification of God, a gift to God, and beautiful in the sight of God and mankind.  Yes, they were!

And here, people who drove by sometimes would slow and call out how beautiful the trees or that this is a veritable botanical gardens.  A neighbor woman has spoken only once, and it was slowing her truck on the way to her work to say what a joy it is every morning for her to wake up and be able to look out at such loveliness in these gardens.

So we do go through phases, be as a hermit or as an anyone with whatever vocation is ours while on this earth.  Sometimes we are more consciously aware of a balance in spiritual efforts, but then again, perhaps God does have it all in His purview and providence as to how we are spiritually progressing.  We may think we are not at all--so tied to our earthly labors that we do not dream nor write love poetry to God, or that we are out of balance and not doing as we ought in our spiritual growth or attention to lectio divina (spiritual reading, particularly that of the Scriptures and pondering thereof).

But perhaps we are, more than our minds can think, for when we are thinking we may not be progressing within our souls as much as when our minds and bodies are distracted with work enough so that our hearts and souls are maybe more freed from ourselves to love God above all things and others as God loves.

I don't know.  I do wish in my conscious mind that I had something more inspiring or inspired to share, but perhaps the fulfillment of such a wish must be left to God and the reader.

My hands--both now--are numb enough from writing.  Time to stop!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Catholic Hermit Post Pentecost

I've not been able to write much lately due to over-use of right arm from shoulder through fingers.  Have Carpenter's Elbow, and two previous shoulder surgeries are also involved with numbness down the arm, plus a past "drill whip" injury of my thumb adds to the issue.

So yesterday was Pentecost, and gloriously so.  Now today, with Pentecost past, the soul is rejoicing with the Holy Spirit being given to all of us who believe as the Body of Christ.  Blessed and grateful!

Every now and then in the work here, I call out aloud:  Jesus!  You were a carpenter!  Thus was the case Friday morning when the man from the parish (who along with his wife bring me Communion on Sundays) came to help me install the stair stringer boards.  He returned Saturday to help adjust the center stringer board.  Definitely, building a staircase is a two-person job when it comes to the critical part of hanging the stringer boards, securing them and making sure they are level.

Then there has been the massive weeding, for working on the interior had the exterior be put off.  And there is a raccoon problem now, with two having stalked this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit to an extreme point of becoming bizarre.  So means will have to be taken to trap and remove the coons who have become aggressive.  It is a shame that some feed them, most likely for the human's enjoyment of doing so.  It is unfair to the undomesticated creatures who then become dangerous menaces and are over-populated.

Have sold several trees which helps pay some bills and clears the over-crowding of these, too, for they love this soil and climate, for sure.  What were slow-growers have become rapid-risers.

And so I wish and pray for our souls, to become rapid risers, now reminded of the great indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  How do we deserve such a gift from God?  It is only because He loves us without measure; He loves us as His children and loves with much mercy.

I've had some questions asked via emails, and I've tried to answer briefly with the arm situation as it is--most difficult to type.  The topics--questions asked--are of interest, perhaps, to you blog readers.  So when my pained and numb arm and hands are improved, I will share and write my thoughts.

Have many prayer concerns given, and thankfully praying is not affected by any ailments or injuries of body!

God bless His Real Presence in us, and thanks be to God the Father, the Son, and the HOLY SPIRIT!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Catholic Hermit: Christ Ascending--Am I with, in Him, Ascending?

Today is huge.  Not only is it the day celebrating the Ascension of Jesus from the temporal earth into the mystical, spiritual world of heavenly eternity, it is the birthday of St. Padre Pio.  Plus, it is the feast day for another favorite of mine:  St. Mary Magdalena d'Pazzi (mystic, stigmatic, victim soul).  And, it is the feast day for Venerable Bede of Middle Ages fame and that of Pope Gregory VII.  (The latter I know least about, but information is a Google away!)

My son is on his way on another solo bicycling trip from Hamburg, Germany to Zurich, Switzerland.  He will follow the Rhine River the bulk of the trip.  I continue to pray for his safety but also for the fascinating experiences--expect the unexpected!--along the way.  There are some temporal dangers traveling alone; but I always have noted that a person does gain perspective and depth when not traveling with family, friends, or a group of relative strangers.

For example, whenever we are with others, we interact with the others: speak, observe, relate, hear, and so forth.  When alone, we are totally open to whomever and whatever the Lord decides to visit upon us--persons, experiences, thoughts, observations.

This is true in the spiritual life, of course, and in our daily temporal lives.  Thus, when someone emailed concern as to how to handle a co-worker who resents the person from going to her car on lunch break from their working at a busy Walmart store, I found it of interest and also linking with something I'd read in one of John of the Cross' poems.

The person who contacted me is trying to do her spiritual reading on her lunch break and to have a bit of quiet time--respite from so many people in the work venue.  Her co-worker has tried to shame her--"So you are trying to avoid PEOPLE?"  Yes, she is doing just that.

I suggested she explain to the single co-worker who likes to chit chat on breaks and during lunch, that the person who desires a half hour of peace and quiet and time to do a little spiritual reading, has not that opportunity once work is finished.  She is married, and her husband resents her reading or praying at home, for he does a bit of what the co-worker is attempting: control over another person.

While going along to get along is how it, at this phase of their years of marriage, is wisest for various temporal reasons, the person has had to give up the spiritual reading and quiet time of more formal prayer at home.  The outcome otherwise is uproar.  But to have a co-worker attempt the control over breaks and lunch time is a point of setting boundaries.

Hopefully, simple communication and explaining the home situation and the person's need for quiet time and yes, to get away from people for the few minutes out of a day and night, is crucial to her spiritual well-being.  We shall see.  Darkness does not like the light, and this person has lived out the battles of darkness against light in her marriage; and when we have a pattern of being controlled, the devil delights in having others line up to try to gain control, also.

I thought of Jesus, taking leave of the disciples and crowds, from time to time.  He'd go off to the mountains, or take a boat himself to cross the waters; the crowds and disciples would try to follow after, try to find where he had gone.  Ultimately, to get some peace and quiet to pray, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked his disciples to act as guards of sort, to help insure he had privacy and hiddenness so that he could pray on the night of all nights--prior to his pending crucifixion.

Then in John of the Cross' poem, these words from the Bridegroom (Christ) to the bride (John of the Cross, the soul--any of us) made a point excellent for a hermit but also for anyone.

From "The Spiritual Canticle":

from the Bridegroom-

"She lived in solitude,
and now in solitude has built her nest;
and in solitude he guides her,
he alone, who also bears
in solitude the wound of love."

Today I went to civilization to get some supplies, get gas for Precious Blood (truck), and got a huge load of black bark mulch.  A young Haitian man is going to come Saturday to help this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit do some yard work.  First thing this morning, I sold nine trees at greatly discounted prices.  Need to keep to the process of detaching.

It is not easy to live in the temporal world and be consciously aware of and thinking of Jesus ascending, or of Jesus in any of the details of his life on earth. Or to even consider what Jesus is doing right now, while we are about our daily, temporal activities--do I know Jesus that well?  Am I with him, in him, as he ascends, for I do consider that Jesus is in some ways perpetually in a mode of ascension, and those of us who love him, know him to any degree, and who desire to be with him, are in some aspect in ascension with the Lord.

We can ascend, in some ways, by being guided in solitude.  We can ascend and yet relate when needed, when truly needed--not a controlled need or a neediness need.  Our Lord was certainly assertive--not aggressive but also not one to allow others to manipulate.

He ascended.  That act and fact--temporal and mystical both--give a solid glimpse into how our lives can be in Christ.  Know, love, ascend with and in Christ.

I suppose we won't necessarily know if and when we are ascending in and with Jesus.  But, we do know that there are certain conditions which do assist us in being guided by Christ, and assumed into Christ, of sorts.  Some periods of external and interior peace and quiet certainly assist in the process.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Catholic Hermit: Knowing Jesus

Still considering how it is that there is divergence in Christianity and why some depart.  Or, also, why some are prone to legalism, to laws of minds, functional as they may seem--I wonder.  

I appreciate what The Catechism explains of the "old law" being a first stage of revealed law, of moral prescriptions, and why the law of Moses was necessary.  It does make sense of matters even in the early church when some (personality tendency?) even then remained occupied with needing externals to form or uphold their ability to have faith.

"1980 The Old Law is the first stage of revealed law.  Its moral prescriptions are summed up in the Ten Commandments."

"1981 The Law of Moses contains many truths naturally accessible to reason.  God has revealed them because men did not read them in their hearts."

If we do not have truths--Jesus as the Way, the Truth, the Life--in our hearts, we may then turn to or actually need a first stage, such as the old law, moral prescriptions or externals such as what food to eat or not eat, or what various laws of minds are then created to give security to some or many.

In our lives and moral and spiritual development, we do seem to progress through phases.  As St. Paul put it, we needed milk when young but later ought to live on pure spiritual food.

Perhaps, I do think, the divergences come when some progress to knowing Jesus, of having God's law of love and the ability to "read" the law of love in our hearts.  Or, there are those who have not progressed to knowing either the Father or Jesus, who have not God's law, the greatest commandment, nor ability to read God's law of love in our hearts.

It thus seems crucial that we desire and pray to know Jesus and the Father or either One, and to be open and accepting to the Holy Spirit in our hearts, our inner sanctum of our souls.  It is crucial to grasp with great faith, hope, and love, that we are within the Trinity and the Trinity is within us, always and everywhere.

Jesus gives us the prescription of spiritual life, as quoted in the Gospel of John.

"I have told you this so that you may not fall away.
They will expel you from the synagogues;
In fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you
will think he is offering worship to God.
They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me."

So today, this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit and child of God, lover of Christ my Spouse, will ask anew that I know deeply and truly, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  I pray to love God with all my body, mind, heart, and spirit.  I pray to love God in Himself, above all things, and to love others as God loves.  

To know Jesus, to truly know Him, is to know the Father.  To have love of Jesus in the depths of our beings, to know with assurance that He is in us and we are in Him--this is truth and eternal life.  

I wonder if I know Jesus to the degree that I desire, or if I desire to know Jesus in the fullness of love of God in Himself?  I suppose I would not know, nor is it necessary to know.  What is needful is to simply keep loving, keep asking to love Him more and more, and to desire with fullness of body, mind, and heart, that His love will infuse love all the more in my soul.

This will be my hope, in faith, of holy charity, while I get up on the ladder that I will pull up onto the scaffolding, while I paint the stairwell trim, way up high, for the final effort before installing the stairs.  Yes, in many ways literal and spiritual, the result may then be the stairway to heavenly love. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Catholic Hermit: Christ!

Everything seems to bring this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit back to Christ!  He is the first and last, as is said: alpha and omega.  So this morning when I read this excerpt from The Catechism of the Catholic Church, I rejoiced at the assurance and absolute freedom that Jesus Christ gives us when we put our all into His All.

"1977 Christ is the end of the law (cf. Rom 10:4); only he teaches and bestows the justice of God.

As a hermit my Rule of Life is the Gospel rule, and the undergirding platform of living that rule, I consider to be the Nine S'.  These are aspects of how or in what disposition I live the daily rule, the Gospel Rule. 

My spiritual father years ago suggested, the day after my profession of vows, the first three s': silence, solitude, and slowness.  The Holy Spirit suggested six more s', and one includes "simplicity".

The love of God in Himself need not be complicated.  The law of God, which Scripture states is love, a law of love, can be simple, as I am finding out over the years.  God's law simply is, and His law supersedes other laws.  And as Christ is one with the Trinity--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--as The Catechism so succinctly states the reality: Christ is the end of the law.

This is quite simple and also quite true.  Why complicate our purpose in life, our mission that God has given each of us in our various ways and means?  The simplicity He gives our individual lives as well as in our lives being part of the Body of Christ?  Why complicate our lives within the Body of Christ?  To love, to love to learn to love--to love God in Himself and love others as God loves--love is God's law.  

Christ instructs us to remain in His love.  Christ makes clear in His Living Word what is the greatest commandment, and that of God's law of love.  And again, only Jesus teaches and bestows the justice of God.

So I was struck yet again when a dear hermit wrote and mentioned he might be relocating to a different diocese because the diocese bishop designated him as an Independent Hermit rather than "bestowing" Canon Law 603. 

[Yet another example of designations and labels for hermits being creatively invented by individuals, this time a bishop making up "Independent Hermit"  That's a new one. Heard of another hermit who decided to create the label--"Lay Hermit"! Lord, have mercy on us label-making mortals!  We are silly and presumptuous.  Why complicate a beautifully simple vocation with making up additional labels and designations?  But, enough on all that.  I'm sure Jesus knows who we are and calls us as He wills and what He wills, if anything other than "child."]

Returning to the thoughts of simplicity of love and simple love of Christ.  I consider once again that Christ is the end of the law.  Why complicate matters?  Why seek after others to bestow what we might want to think is our due, or a type of justice in the context of hermit life?  Seek Christ to bestow whatever upon us.  Christ is our all.  He is the end of the law.  

This morning my feet were screaming in pain.  Yet I put on these copper-infused compression foot bands that do seem to help, got dressed, painted some window trim, installed some diminutive shoe molding in the garret room up in the attic gable, and then went outside to begin to weed.

While weeding, thoughts disappeared for the most part, as some manual labor seems to lift me out of my "self".  Only at one point did a thought drift into the conscious mind, and it was connected to the rich and deep contentment that the Lord has bestowed upon me in the recent months.  There is simply so much love flowing, and an insightful consideration of eternity is being lived in a way difficult to describe. 

Christ is always in the present moment, and by His grace, I am with him in this and every moment.

So into the conscious realm came the little message, that what was good and holy and spiritually efficacious and simple for hermits such as St. Antony of the Desert, St. Paul the Hermit, and all other hermits throughout the centuries and up until toward the end of the 20th century--all that is good enough for the likes of me.

In fact, it is stupendous!  It is propitious (and this word just now popped in, and I looked it up, and it is perfect for context!) and it is ordained and gifted by Jesus Who Is the end of the law.

Now, as for wherever we hermits may wander or if we remain in one spot, the Lord will unfold our lives and lead us as simply as He wandered the earth--depending upon mission and circumstance and sometimes in response to current events that threatened the perfection of purpose and mission.

It can be as simple as finances, health, or circumstances that require a shift from where we are to where we are to go next, if at all.  If Jesus determines that a law of minds is what He as the end of all law, desires for a person, then by all means, go where Jesus will provide the means to have the law of minds to rule and guide.

But that does seem a bit complicated.  Whatever, while weeding the full joy of freedom that comes when one remains in His love and is stilled within enough to hear His Voice--the full joy of Christ and His law of love filled my heart and soul.

Going to head up the ladder with a bucket of ceiling paint (Simply White!), and will figure out if the body has the energy to paint a first coat on a tongue-and-groove ceiling.  All things are being made as new here, and this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit rejoices in this present moment despite jangling, bodily nerve pain shooting here and there. 

While on earth, we shall know earthly pain.

God bless His Real Presence in us!  Christ is the end of the law; Christ is All!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Catholic Hermit: Remain in Jesus' Love

My spiritual father wrote again.  I so cherish his letters; it takes a great deal of physical effort on his part to write due to health considerations.  The content is always rich and deep, speckled with humor, as well.

He wonders about what it is that priests have done or not done, for he grieves the people leaving the Catholic Church.  He takes this upon himself, being a priest--and a holy one at that.

I have pondered his comments and concerns, and I responded to his letter the other day.

It is not on the priests, although many have not been screened by bishops, perhaps, so well before entering seminary.  The decline in membership and also those attending Mass is also not a new sorrow for the Church, yet it does seem to be increasingly so.

Much has to do with all of us Catholics, whether those of us in the consecrated life of the Church or those who are in married or single vocations.  

The problem seems to be within ourselves, and it has to do with following and immersing ourselves in the laws of mind or the law of God: the law of love.  Love God above all things and love others as God loves.  This is the law of God, Jesus' greatest commandment, and it is verily how Jesus taught and more so, how He lived His earthly life as an example for us all.

Another way to view the dispersion of people to other faiths or no faith at all, has to do perhaps with the externals.  It does seem to me--this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit who is old, worn from suffering but praying while doing a great deal of manual labor and learning a bit to remain in Christ's love--that some are drawn to the Church and exist in the Church due to a need or attraction to externals.

Someone wrote to me recently with an article attached, about a US bishop who was convinced the decline in Catholics is due to not receiving Communion properly.  He had a call for Catholics to receive Communion on the tongue and not in the hand, and in a kneeling position.

The person who sent me the article found this to be just the answer to our Catholic Church's membership woes and why such persons as our Vice President and newest Supreme Court justice left the Catholic Church and attend other--such as evangelical or Episcopalian.  Well, we all known those who have left the Catholic Church over the years, and there are many factors involved in the persons' reasons and choice.

Even trying to figure it out can bring us to dwell upon the externals.  Yet there is a reality occurring, and whether in the time of John of the Cross or of the early Church or of our time period now, it seems to come down to love.  Love in His Love, or not so much love in His Love.

We are in love of Christ or not so much, and we love God in Himself or love a bit more the temporal aspects of the Church, and in some cases love the temporal aspects of the world.  And there are gradations of these aspects of love.  

But love of God in Himself, loving God above all else and loving others as God loves--remaining in His love: this is the command of Jesus, given to us to follow and live, always, in all circumstances.

We do love aspects of the world, but it is through the love of God that this is possible and keeps the love as outflow of God's love, not our notion or expression of love--but a love that flows from God.  We are in God, and He is in us.  Jesus says in so many ways:  Remain in My love.

Remaining in His love includes remaining in His Living Word.  It includes remaining in His Real Presence, also, and this includes receiving His Body and Blood.  Yet there is the grace of God involved and our own choosing, to love God above all things and to love others as God loves.

We must get ourselves out of the way and cease our desire to live in and place our minds and hearts and bodies into other considerations, the laws of minds which tend to be rooted in the externals.

I suppose some personalities are more inclined to the externals, or it can be a habit or was instilled in childhood or such.  To love God above all things and to love others as God loves is not on the same trajectory as loving laws of minds and being caught up in externals.  Remaining in Christ's love alters a soul's life and existence, here and eternally.

Pray to remain in His Love.  Desire to love God above all things and to love others as God loves.  God loves in and through and with us, thus.  Quite the process, but there is a turning point of grace that He provides once we begin to let go of ourselves.

I suppose, of course, that loving God above all things includes the things that we people have deemed as necessary, such as the early Church began deeming certain rituals or trends as necessary.  Laws of minds develop from minds.  The law of God is of God Who Is Love.

"Remain in My Love" Jesus tells us in His Word and life example.  There are mystics and saints who learned obedience through suffering, to love, to love to learn to love in His love.  We do have many examples, thus.