Sunday, August 19, 2018

Catholic Hermit: Time to Praise


Awoke quite early with severe pain--and no wonder with the on-going manual labor recently in the Te Deum Hermitage!  Just a few tasks yet to fine-tune the interior, and then I will play "gardener."  The trees and perennial flowers, the roses, the vegetables and fruits, and also the weeds have been neglected this summer due to bodily mishaps and all the interior work done in order to have the house finished.

But this Scripture from Ephesians 5 in today's Mass readings rivets my attention as it is so positive and uplifting--as always the Word of the Living God uplifts!

"...be filled with the Spirit,
addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and playing to the Lord in your hearts,
giving thanks always and for everything
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father."

I particularly love the aspect suggested of "singing and playing to the Lord in your hearts."  As a consecrated Catholic hermit whose daily horarium has been heavy on the manual labor and thoughts necessarily needing to be attentive to tasks at hand in order to ready the property for closure and the transition to where I know not--it is good to be reminded that within our hearts we are able to sing and play (music or whatever love-musings and actions) to Jesus.

Even in the night when using some laptop program to distract with the sound of accented voices (somehow British or other foreign or even a regional accent or drawl helps lull my pained body to sleep), I can utilize the voices as a form of music and turn all with intention of my heart, as singing and playing to the Lord.  It may seem pathetic, that--but praise be to God that it works when I yet cannot take anti-inflammatory medications as have not been cleared yet with the head injury and brain bleeds.

Increasingly I am reminded that intention is so crucial in our approach to all matters temporal, and thus spiritual.  We can use hone our hearts and minds and bodies to creating all aspects in our daily lives to become, in effect, spiritual songs.  I have slipped in this aspect of inner singing and playing simply due to the intensity of trying to finish the manual labor here with a deadline set not so much by myself but by finances and others now engaged in this final phase with the old farmhouse hermitage.

As to addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs--I have not done so recently and not so much directly in the past, either.  It is a lovely suggestion--perhaps more an abjuration!  We can say to friends, "Blessings to you" or "Much love to you" or "God love you" (as my spiritual father usually says when a phone conversation is at end or his letter concludes.  How about "The Lord be with you" or "God bless!"?  

Depending upon our location amidst people in "the world", our greetings may vary or be attenuated by how well we know the other or in what way they may be comfortable or not with our greetings.  Yet it does not take long or much to develop a way with others that allows them to accept our good intentions and our own way of being--spiritual being, and indeed, filled with the Spirit.  We can assess the persons and situations in the present moments, and by the power of the Holy Spirit can be guided as to loving praise and joyous remarks.

While I currently live in an area that is mostly quite secular, others detect in me rather easily, the spiritual.  I do not mention that I am a consecrated Catholic hermit as I try to live the Church's guidelines for her hermits to be "hidden from the eyes of men."  However I do not hesitate to reflect in action and word that I am a child of God--in subtleties merging into more overt depending upon the situation and person with whom I'm interacting.

The Holy Spirit most often speaks for us even if we think we are the ones thinking and speaking.  Although I've been woefully too busy and distracted with manual labor and attention to details of temporal transactions--the Holy Spirit yet guides and reigns over my mind, heart, and spirit.  The love of God we have within and our living within His Real Presence, filled with His Body and Blood, greets others in our thoughts as well as others we meet in person.  The message and effect are there even if we speak not a word.

And our angels are with us even when we neglect thinking of them or thanking them--as I have been neglectful in this, as well.  The other day when the two teens were here helping spread more gravel and then trying to tidy up the pole barn, I was sweeping rat droppings and other debris and noticed a lovely white feather fringed with rust-color--and thought it might be a hawk's feather--a red hawk.  But only this morning did I remember the old saying that angels leave reminders of their presence through a bird's feather.  Even if not an actuality--although could be, who are we to say?--the linkage of a feather as a reminder of our guardian angel's presence is lovely and of value.

Just as St. Paul's reminder in Ephesians is lovely and of value and so very, very true....

"...be filled with the Spirit,
addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and playing to the Lord in your hearts,
giving thanks always and for everything
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father."

(And yes, giving thanks always and for everything--which means even that which we think not what we needed or wanted, that which causes us pain and inconvenience and distress.)

God bless His Real Presence in us!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Catholic Hermit: Calling Upon Jesus and St. Joseph


Both were and are carpenters.  Time is God's, and I'm considering all as present moment these days, as best I can in my utter humanness.  

Exhausted today with pain but yet keeping going.  A daughter, her husband, and grandson were here for a week--took their vacation week to come and help do some tasks around here.  The stairway (to heaven, in essence even if not substance) is completed other than some holes to fill and to try to tighten up the oil rubbed bronze, solid iron balusters.

I've been doing all manner of touch up work which takes far longer than I ever anticipate.  There are many facets to finish carpentry, painting, and tiling.

Plus, I still deal with the aftermath of the "flight from the stairway to heaven"--the brain bleeds, pain from impact, and shoulder that was affected and remains a lingering, bodily problem.

Yet we must continue on, doing our best, striving to keep going with the attitude of all for God, or omnia pro Deo.  

Just wanted to check in and let you readers know that I am thinking of you, praying for you, and hopefully before too much longer will return to more thoughtful--hopefully spiritually meaningful--and yet still temporally applicable sharing of the ups and downs of life as a person, Catholic hermit in the consecrated life of the Church, and also very much a sinner who seems to be not much improving as is said fine wines improve with time....

Yet, the Lord is with me--arranged for someone to spontaneously be offered, to do the stump grinding in the front yard.

Efforts are well under way in the temporal transition which also will be very much and primarily  spiritual transition--a metamorphosis from one phase to the next, whatever that next is.

I shall find out, either in this realm or the next wherever the Lord has set for me, just as He does for each of you!

Tomorrow morning the couple from the parish bring the Eucharist again, and I am more than eager and ready to partake of His Real Presence in tangible form, even if I know I am with, through, and in Him as we all are, in every present moment of earthly and heavenly existence for all eternity!


Saturday, July 21, 2018

Catholic Hermit: Flying from the Stairway to Heaven

I've not fallen off the face of this earth, although certainly could have quite easily or so a neurosurgeon commented.  Lucky I was not paralyzed, miraculous no broken bones, fortunate not dead--some of the comments.  One nurse said I must have a powerful guardian angel to have guided me out to road and up a ways, not conscious of any of it.

So I was removing some risers to the stairs I'd installed in this old farmhouse hermitage. I had made an error in their lengths, and Craig who coaches me from lumberyard admitted that it really would be best to re-do those.  Yes, he is so right.  I was using pry bar to get them off and amazed at how easily they were prying off!  Got to the top step on the stairway that I had named "Stairway to Heaven,", and that riser was slightly harder so had to give a more powerful pull with the pry bar.  The pry bar slipped out from the riser unexpectedly (accidents are unexpected), and the force propelled me backwards in the air.

I was able to somehow turn my body forward and look down, hoping and praying in split seconds that I could get my foot down on a tread to help slow the airborne momentum.  That is the last I remember of what my adult kids pieced together with the help of someone who found me up on the road a ways, covered in blood.  I was knocked unconscious for up to 40 minutes, but also was somehow wandering in the house due to trail of blood and pool of blood where I must have been on floor for awhile.  

Still not sure what I smacked, but the EMT folks thought bones broken, and forehead was opened up to the skull and down into the eye socket.  (Yes, was also told at trauma center that I was fortunate to still have my eye.)

Anyway, it will be two weeks this Tuesday.  I was taken to a major trauma center for five states, and have two brain bleeds.  But they stabilized so am back in hermitage.  Daughter and grandson drove, son flew in from NYC; they did a couple or so days of work team and also tending me, until they had to leave and my shock, adrenalin and euphoria at seeing them wore off.  I wiped out fully for next many days.  So much a blur.  Other daughter flew out a couple nights ago--very late, so drove over yesterday morning.  

In the meantime my shoulder flared up terribly.  Hope it is not my SLAP tear surgery messed up.  Strange.  Could not manage the excruciating pain; EMT came again early in morning the other day, but enough pain meds and muscle relaxants helped me get a grip, and they checked other vitals.  I said daughter would be there soon, and they also said they can come back.  Keeping arm immobile, but wow, what horrible pain in that shoulder.  I took more pain medication than ever in that time period, and I'm not prone to ever call 911 myself.  

Today daughter was going to drive me to ER, but I got rational and we talked it over.  My body with the head injury still not up for being driven anywhere, and the ER would take MRI and say to get appointment with a shoulder orthopedic specialist and take Tylenol.  So I went into post-shoulder surgery mode of six years ago and am not moving my arm.  Only problem is at night when I sleep.  Also, of course, am on pain meds for head injury still.

Other daughter and husband and grandson might return in a week.  I had to take a bit to realize and accept that God is not choosing that I be able to finish the place due to finances running out.  I could wait for body to heal, but now with the shoulder making a major fuss, and time of essence, gotta just relinquish that aspect and let go and be grateful for help of any kind.

Even getting a ride to get stitches out in a week or so more is not easy to come by.  Then there will be another brain scan and follow up with neurosurgeon to see if brain bleeds have been absorbed by body.  I'm not learning about TBI's--traumatic brain injury--as don't want to anticipate anything--but others are reading and can tell me if what some of the aspects I am experiencing are that.

I tell you, I think in some ways God allowed this so that I'd be able to deeply relate with head injury victims.  I had been praying a lot about a great-nephew--young lad--who was plowed into two years ago at age 11 by a big teen on skateboard.  He has suffered terribly from residual TBI problems including seizures.  I now know even a bit of what that child has endured.  And, I also grasp more what so many soldiers and other accident victims, head gunshot wounds and various head injury victims experience.  

Helps me pray and have greater empathy and understanding.

I am most fortunate, of course.  Memory coming back rather well, we all think, and speech and writing back--speech being less so but amazingly unscathed.

There are other lessons from the Lord, and He is definitely guiding my transition from this place and efforts to what is next.  Not totally sure what, but I know He is allowing this to help guide me in His own inimitable way.

God bless His Real Presence in us!

Appreciate any prayers you are willing to pray for all matters here to fall into place and to better endure the type of pain that is not anything I would grasp had I not experienced this.    

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Catholic Hermit: Fulfilling One's Mission--in Dwelling Place?



Mass reading from the other morning, Ephesians 2:19-23:

"So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, 
but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones 
and members of the household of God, 
built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, 
with Christ Jesus Himself as the capstone.  
Through Him the whole structure is held together 
and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord; 
in Him you also are being built together 
into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit."

Off and on, I wonder if I am fulfilling the mission God brought me back from death to fulfill.  He had told me when I had died in recovery room nearly 31 years ago, end of this month, that I was to rear my children and fulfill my mission.  With that, I was sent back into my body, filled with temporal pain.  The medical staff was elated that I was breathing again despite the return to cardiac arrests.  The surgeon said he did not know if he could save me, but he would try, and was taking me back into surgery to see if something wrong with the rods he'd installed.  Said driving late at night, returning to the hospital after receiving the urgent call, he had a thought come to him that the rods might be the problem.

Ended up they were--bent not quite right for my spine and put me into cardiac arrests beyond what they said someone should have survived.  But enough on that.  I was back, and for better or worse--for I certainly tried my best--I reared my children into adulthood in which they are each thriving and contributing members of society, educated, healthy, successful and I think content and pleased to be alive with their family and friends and lives.

But my mission--doing all this manual labor trying to finish a house I'd ended up having to gut and renovate--am I fulfilling my mission?  The thought returns to me when I'm picking blueberries to put out on the roadside table for whatever donations anyone wishes to leave in exchange:  God has placed you here; He allowed my not realizing others were selling something that was a mess and that workers in this area are over-priced and often not qualified nor quality workers.

I have reflected that I could have tried to bail out early on; but the gutting had commenced before I (or my family who lived in area at the time) realized the total scope of just how bad a condition.  We had removed carpeting and a wall and ceiling, as well as some asbestos flooring, getting down to original fir floors (in awful condition). 

It was the rats and the horrible odor in the house--and a handyman who said it was rat infested and the odor rat urine-soaked wood and drywall.  Rats were trying to get in and some did; birds were getting in.  And to try to sell it with the odor (was not noticed in winter because heater had not been on other than the two hours of the inspection time).  And to try to sell it with some of it gutted, a small amount of what ended up being gutted, was still going to be a problem because banks will not approve a buyer's loan if a house is not totally finished--down to trim around a window or a doorway.

I would have lost even more of my parents' hard-earned money--more of the inheritance they so wanted for me to use for a better life than the hardships I'd had financially as a single parent with low child support and no help from ex-spouse in putting children through college and for such things as health insurance and cultural experiences.

So I remained and decided to try to make it habitable and then sell.  It was a hard grind and continues to be.  There have been more obstacles than I can recall and don't want to recall.  Some were strange and the number too many for normalcy's sake.  And now, I continue to try to finish, finding the finishing details to be quite time-consuming and my energy low.

It is a strange effect, to be so close to finishing a dwelling place and yet get plagued with doubts that I actually can finish.  For one thing, I have to wait for a stronger person to help with a few simple tasks such as drilling in some 6" screws to secure newell posts before I can finish the stair banister and balusters.  Help removing a pocket door so I can trim off 1/4" from the bottom and rehang it.  Takes two people, and thus far my marvelous angel, Beth--in Hebrew means "house" and refers to "God is in this place"--has not materialized to give two hands and strength to the effort.  But Beth has certainly helped me in miraculous ways all along. 

So the above Scripture has seemed an answer to my questioning the Lord if I am fulfilling my mission--and more so, how am I fulfilling it by working on a temporal dwelling?

The answer is in the Scripture.  It all has to do with the spiritual realm, and this earthly dwelling and task of learning more than I've learned in various ways over the five years here--this earthly dwelling has taught me spiritual truths beyond what years prior I learned.

This old farmhouse, Te Deum Hermitage, is a metaphor for how I am being built together, in Christ, into a dwelling place of God and the Spirit.

Perhaps I need to consider more the aspects of my daily manual labor in constructing a new interior to this house (and did a bit of exterior, as well).  I ought ponder how it is that through the Lord, in Him, this structure is actually held together--for it is as efforts are all for God.  But more so, it is held together due to God's omnipotence and love, and His will and wisdom in all matters.

On the spiritual level, all the trials and struggles within, as well as the praying for others, the hours and hours of conversations with God in the solitude of silence--all was His doing and allowing me to be constructed, as well, to be cut and sanded, refurbished and nailed effectively into God's household, along with the holy ones and other of His members.  My life, thus, is built upon the foundation of the Trinity who imparted basic construction to the apostles and prophets.

I will have to reflect further and pray for more insights into this consideration of how it is that my time here, including whatever days or weeks remain in efforts to finish this earthly dwelling place and then go only-God-knows-where next.  Or if there is some temporal next place or will be my time to be taken into Christ's judgment and transferred to the fully mystical life.

The reality of God's dwelling and being a member of His household, is putting a spirit of greater motivation and worth into my efforts today, to keep working and praying and praising despite being physically fatigued and with added physical pain.  I will next nail some boards in an area to the right of what I have named "the stairway to heaven"--the stairs that are finally being finished after having to also remove the old and faulty, original stairway.

Am trying to multi-task today with hooking up soaker hoses and replenishing the roadside table with 1/2 lb. bags of organic blueberries.  And then there is the sanding and priming of the final skirt board and some baseboard trim--last bits of trim not already primed and painted, awaiting cutting and installation.  But there remain the obstacles in which I must evidently wait for a temporal member of the household of God--perhaps the man from the parish who with his wife are away on an extended trip.  Or perhaps God will provide a help from my angel in the form of strength to carry a door up the stairs to install in the bathroom, or strength to somehow remove a pocket door without mortal help.

I'm open for mystical, supernatural assistance, for sure.  More of it, that is, for I know in surety that the Lord has provided much help and has my angel here all the time, nudging and assisting, guiding and reminding me to remain calm and humble when I do not pay attention and make errors.

Well, of course, Jesus was a carpenter, as was His earthly father figure, St. Joseph.  I know I've been helped beyond mortal comprehension.

God bless His Real Presence in us!  Simply keep going!  Remain in His Love!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Catholic Hermit: Battling Discouragement


Having much fatigue from increased pain but also I am battling a spirit of discouragement.  

Rationally, there is no reason for feeling discouraged.  I am striving each day to keep going here, to try to do what manual labor I can in order to "finish the race" on this old farmhouse--my Te Deum Hermitage these past five-plus years.

I know well that discouragement is a "spirit" of the dark forces, sent by the devil to try to defeat from within the mind, heart, and soul.  These aspects of our beings (mind, heart, soul) can greatly affect our bodies.  All is connected--the temporal and the spiritual--while we are in our bodies on this earth.

I also know that praising God is a tremendous antidote against the spirit of darkness, which in effect is the disgrace of discouragement.

Yesterday I struggled with not allowing discouragement to affect the mind and emotions, yet the obstacles infiltrated all the same.  The devil can gain entrance through subtle cracks.  Fatigue is one of them--fatigue from pain as pain is quite tiring.  Upon waking, this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit's body is exhausted.  Pain does that.

The devil also can gain foothold through even the most fleeting thought of past or future.  Thus it is crucial to remain in the present moment.  However, a memory was introduced via a present moment event--a reminder of someone in the past who quite cruelly mistreated, causing quite difficult challenges not only for me but for others--children then, now grown. I found myself praying yet again for the person yet noticed that while years have passed, praying for the person remains in itself not easy in purity of loving concern for a soul.  But that is the goal in prayer--to have purity of loving concern for whomever we pray.

Then the devil tried to creep in (and got part-way through the cracked opening) through obstacles in the manual labor.  Raphael who had said he would come yesterday to help figure out how to get the screen out of a skylight his workers had installed (need to now clean the window after a couple years of dust accumulation--like the spirit of discouragement, subtly but increasingly noticeable build-up).  He was also going to screw in the 6" screws to secure stair newell posts, as my right hand and elbow are not up to the steady strength required to maintain power of drill on head of 6" screw in such a crucial stair post setting.

He did not come; and in the meantime I also could not finish the upstair's hall flooring at a threshold until I can remove the pocket door which needs trimming at bottom to clear the new floor height as well as is catching on something within the pocket construciton.

So I tried to switch to other tasks needing completion.  I decided to set the final door frame in opening to upstair's bathroom.  Got it shimmed, plumb, and level--screwed into doorway--only to realize that I needed to saw off a half-inch at bottom of frame.  So I removed the screws and shims that took quite awhile to get just-so in order to have the frame as perfect as possible to hold the door itself.  Went to pole barn to retrieve the hand saw, set the removed door frame on the floor with padding so would not scratch floor, and sawed off the half-inch.  Reinstalled the door frame--re-shimmed, put in setting screws, and decided to paint final coat on door laid out on sawhorses in living room.

Painted it but was distracted then in another task.  Later when I walked by the painted door, I noticed some paint had started to run in the door's inset panel.  It also had dried enough that I will need to sand and re-paint that door, at least in the three places the paint had left "run" marks.  Must wait 16 hours between coats of this trim paint, so more delay in this project, as well.

Amidst these various attempts for the spirit of discouragement to gain entry to within from without, a thought returned of which I'd been reminded for awhile now.  It was that of the elderly woman who passed in here six years ago.  She has made her presence known a few times, rather obviously; and her soul is not one that is settled nor at peace.  

I have been praying for her to be at peace and for the repose of her restless soul, well as to reassure that there will be others to live here when I'm no longer.  There has been confirmation through others, and some tangible aspects, that in earthly life she was dabbling in non-Christian beliefs and actions.  The devil uses all weakness to attack.  I have sensed that this soul has been disturbed by my effort to finish and to leave, thus I've experienced strange but real obstacles in addition to the more logical ones.

Despite the various ways the devil approaches and proceeds to try to gain entry into our daily lives, through spirit of discouragement or whatever other spirit of darkness, we must persevere in praise of God as well as in prayer for others and even ourselves.  Lord, have mercy on my soul!  Lord, save us!  Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy!

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.  Praise Him above and here below.  Remain in the Order of the Present Moment.  Keep going, simply keep going.  Even if the daily, temporal life events seem disjointed and haphazard--seeming without meaning or purpose in a spiritual way, or in our holy vocation or God-willed mission in life--these events and tasks are what God has allowed and of which are set before us to be tackled and from which we learn invaluable spiritual lessons.

Today is a new beginning, a metamorphosis from the night's dark cocoon of resting in some other realm, somewhere between temporal and mystical or combination therein.  Dawn brings new life, new hope, a new chance for increased faith, new conversations in prayer and new praising of God.
And today brings new challenges against spirits of darkness no matter the types.

We persevere for the love of God and strive to think, do, and be all for God, all for His glory,  all for His love.  The temporal outcomes (such as whatever occurs with finances, health, finishing (or not) but yet relocating (unless death precludes) do not matter nearly as much (or at all) as does the process in which we proceed and unfold in each present moment of life.

God bless His Real Presence in us!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Catholic Hermit: Seeing Clearly

The Living Word of God always stirs the mind, heart and soul--and often, as well, the body in some reaction or action both interior and exterior, as a result.

The other day, the Gospel reading at Mass was from Matthew 7:1-6.  The usual thought emphasis I have when reading this Scripture is that of judging, of course.  Do not judge others.  

"Jesus said to His disciples:
'Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged,
and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother,
"Let me remove that splinter from your eye,"
while the wooden beam is in your eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter from your brother's eye.'"

This judging has to do with criticizing others, or making a determination or decision in which our feelings, opinions, and sometimes or often times, facts as well.

There are degrees of judging others that seem to be the worst--and those have to do with judging based on our opinions, likes, dislikes and emotions.  Even when facts are involved when we judge others, Jesus suggests in this Scripture that we should simply stop judging.

Elsewhere in teaching us, Jesus points out that if we offer our peace to someone and it is returned to us--rejected--we are to not tarry but take back our peace and move on.  We are not required to immerse ourselves in the company of those who range from evil to rejective of our presence or way of being.  

Discernment of spirits is different than judging. But in a simple consideration, I've been coming to a point that there is not much need to "judge".  Even if there are proven facts--and not "facts" that are actually our perception or our interpretation in which we consider such as "facts" when they may not be at all--we do not need to judge.  

We can free ourselves from judging others by stopping it, as Jesus commands.  Yet we can act; we can move on from those who do not accept the peace, the friendship, the love, we offer.  

I think Jesus provides the antidote to judging others.  Perceive our own situations, selves, flaws, purposes, vocations, missions, thoughts.  He asks us to perceive what is in us--in our temporal selves and spiritual selves.  Perceive, examine, and make changes accordingly.  At minimum, though--knowing ourselves as we truly are, as best a person can do so without self-bias and pride as far from the perceiving as possible will occupy us for it is a present moment effort.

We each have more than enough splinters that make up more than enough beams in our own selves--plenty to keep us busy and not with the time or energy to be judging others.

Nonetheless, what really clicked with me when sipping the purity and truth of this particular teaching of Jesus is the point He makes of a benefit in letting go of judging others.  (After all, judging others soon becomes, as Jesus points out with the splinter-beam metaphor, a willing to take action on the other as a result of our judgment/s of the other/s)

The judging can turn into an unhealthy obsession with trying to "fix" the other, change in them what we judge as not right.  Judging can include, then, drawing attention to what we deem not right about the person, or what is the flaw, or what we perceive is wrong about them.  The judging can then become more public, for people tend to share their judgments of others.  It can become detraction or worse if the person/s who is or are judged does not conform to our perceived view based upon our judgment.

It gets complicated!  Rather than simple beauty, truth, and goodness, when we judge we enter into an unrealistic realm in which we think we can see quite clearly what needs to be altered in others.  We place ourselves in a power position; pride surges with the self-appointed judge we have become.

Jesus tells us that when we stop judging others and go to work on removing our flaws, our vices--especially the kingpin of pride--and when we have cast out all our flaws and vices, then we will be able to see clearly enough to remove the flaws we have judged others have....

Of course, how many of us will in this lifetime remove the massive amount of flaws we carry with us daily and nightly?  How many of us will not be tempted to have some new or different flaw or old flaw come back in under a disguised form?  How many of us can always and fully and honestly perceive our own flaws so that we will be perfect enough to go to work on those we judge? 

Most of us will humbly admit that we are not likely to ever come to that vantage point in which we are that clear-sighted and perfect that we can be as God and go to work on others' lives and souls.

Yes, remove our own flaws fully, totally, first--perfection!--and then we will see clearly to remove those flaws in others.

Time for this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit to simply stop judging and to pray for clarity of my vices and flaws, and then the strength, grace, and will infused by Christ to rid them, and be perfected.

I kind of think I will in this life and for some portion for however long God deems in eternity (beyond my ability to fathom that infinity), be quite occupied with the task of  1) stop judging others, and 2) removing my flaws and vices--in other words, be free of sin....

To simply make myself stop judging others seems the easier of the two adjurations of Christ.

I suppose recognizing and admitting when we are judging others is a grace to pray for.  We can so easily call it something other--analyzing, apply "facts" (often tainted by our biased or blurred personal vision), discerning (not really if we are honest with ourselves).  

Remember, if we are in a situation or involved with or affected by people who do not accept nor return the peace of God we offer, or if not of God--evil--we can retain our peace and move on, remove ourselves (and our minds, often enough) from that situation or person/s.

Let God be the Judge.  We don't need that burden; and in fact, Jesus tells us to stop being a judge!  We can receive that honor when we are perfect, when we see clearly and have removed all our flaws and vices....

That will be a day in paradise, surely!

"Jesus said to His disciples:
'Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged,
and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother,
"Let me remove that splinter from your eye,"
while the wooden beam is in your eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter from your brother's eye.'"


Monday, June 25, 2018

Catholic Hermit: Memory; Fr. Vincent Explanation


Saw this memory of five years ago.  I had shared with Fr. Vincent the amazing and helpful occurrence with St. John the Baptist back in 1988.  I suppose throughout life, one reflects and tries to grasp the meaning of such visions and locutions--the Hand of God in our lives, the interactions of the Holy Spirit in numinous encounters.

"Fr. Vincent emailed that the miraculous occurrence 25 years ago on the Solemnity of Birth of St. John the Baptist, and other graces I've been given spiritually, that Jesus transfigures into events in our lives (consider the event on Mt. Tabor in which He transfigured before Peter, James and John) so that we will have strength and marvels to consider as the path ahead is going to be very difficult. The more graces, the more we can expect of trials that will require us to cling to the graces. There is a direct correlation, I see."

Other memories are as if it is today and relates to the intractable, chronic pain that the Lord allowed and bestowed nearly 34 years ago.  He needed me more for Himself and to keep me from leaching back out into the world.  I write about pain, I live pain.  It is my constant life companion and the means of my mission and purpose in life: suffering.  Pain is what helps unite me with Christ, my Beloved Spouse.  When I neglect to consider it as such, it becomes merely pain and not salvific nor glorious.

Another memory from five years ago--manual labor, pain [had also written about feeling as if I have the flu but knowing it is the pain causing the effect], and vision and past, simple message from Padre Pio:

"Some trees are not doing well due to my needing a load of compost, and then the strength to shovel and wheelbarrow. I need a shovel since two have been broken by my helpers here. Accidents do happen, and I have broken things sometimes without even knowing how I did. Electrical type stuff. Need to be praying more today. Silence and penance! So said Padre Pio to me many years ago in a vision, unexpectedly appearing. It was among many portents of great suffering ahead in my life."

This morning I awoke exhausted from pain.  Hard to fathom that type of power from pain after a night of sleep!  Yet, it is so, that pain is powerful and thus utilizable for spiritual good if one views it as such and cooperates with Christ in suffering.

Need to work on the newell posts and banister/railing for the stair install.  Man from parish is only available Thursday afternoon to so kindly help me install banister and balusters.  Must remove from saw horses the bathroom door, in process of priming, sanding, painting (two coats, both sides) and haul in the long rail and newell posts from pole barn and begin the finishing processes for these.

Praising and praying--and to simply keep going, to simply keep going.

God bless His Real Presence in us!