This nothing consecrated Catholic Hermit has not written a post in awhile. Matters with the temporal responsibilities of being alive in this realm became hectic! With the finances dwindling and efforts increasing to finish renovating the Te Deum Hermitage (old farmhouse that did not nearly have all its problems divulged when purchased it over five years ago), the day came rapidly in which this hermit needed to move.
Ah, the old place was made new! It looked lovely, and indeed it was much to the credit of the gorgeous trees I'd hauled from previous location (when it came time, enforced, to leave that Agnus Dei Hermitage) as mostly quite tiny specimens that caused a youngish but established man to fall in love with the gardens and charming farm house.
Yes, it all turned out so beautifully--creating something lovely out of what had been wretched--and made even more so by the deception of a realtor, the bad inspector she recommended, and a usurious and bad contractor she even more highly recommended. I do love it when the Lord brings good from not good!
So I was quite lopsided for a few weeks there, not only in continuing the recovery from my serious head injury but also in finishing touches and details in all that is involved in selling a property in our current time period on this earth, in this culture, within our temporal laws.
There were many miracles of which I have praised the Lord; and at the last day or two or three, there was also another ugliness that erupted which had not needed to by human reckoning. Yet, it was quite human, the ugliness, and I know that my own human self was part of it as we always are whenever there is something of the human involved!
I had to become quite firm, insisting on a matter that I wanted the buyer to be fully satisfied, for he and his agent had over two weeks to express a concern over a minor issue that had been corrected and corrected by code and quite well. Instead, like the devil tends to do, there was last-minute upset of which my response was to slow down the rushed process and make all matters right.
My agent forgot who he was representing, or so it seemed, and I had to remind him that I must thus protect myself, and I insisted I wanted the buyer pleased and assured, and thus we needed to prolong the closing. Of course, the agents nor the buyer did not want that; so they decided they were content with the minor corrections made, after all.
For pity's sake.... I recognized the ploy of the devil to try to disrupt; and my hermit platform of Nine S' which includes slowness was the correct response. Just slow all matters, even if to the point of stopping. When threatened that if I slowed the process, there would be a law suit, the only correct response was that I supposed I'd need to get a lawyer, then.
Mercy, what one must do as a consecrated Catholic hermit in order to maintain rightness in the temporal world! Within an hour my agent called back to say the buyer and his agent were quite satisfied with the correction completed (for it was, and done rightly); and I responded that then we could go forward, and I'd be on my way early the next morning.
Admittedly, I did not at all like having to be firm, having to deal with such matters. Yet, even a religious solitary in the life of the Church also lives in the life of the world! Always there is a juggling act with that world, yet rightness must be maintained. It would have been quite difficult remaining on until spring due to how the storms of fall and winter affected my damaged spine, and I'd have had to go more into financial straits. But this is the way of the poor who cannot pay but minimum on a credit card, or who are "under water" financially, who try to pick up odd jobs if and when their bodies can manage to do any type of work, or who accept money from a family member or such, to tide through tough times.
I was thankful for the opportunity to contemplate such a situation, to consider taking in a boarder, or to be humbled to do what the struggling people do who exist all around us--who file bankruptcy or end up in homeless shelters. Why should I consider myself above any of the poorest in our culture and temporal climate today? Jesus humbled Himself to scrounging, wandering, accepting not having a roof overhead, and ultimately accepting the death of the indigent criminal: Crucifixion!
Rather than any of that, the Lord delivered me from what I had mentally and emotionally accepted should the need be. Perhaps in much of our life experiences, the Lord is waiting to see how we will respond to any given trial. That might be the point of many of our trials. I don't know, of course, the Mind of God, but I know that He sees and thinks in ways not usual for our human thoughts and ways.
Regardless, I had quite the adventure on the road with losing my way due to a cell phone losing power unexpectedly, and a wrong road number given me. It was a beautiful journey, reminding me of blind trust in God and seeing the back roads and beauty of nature in an entirely different terrain. I noticed the clouds in the sky as I drove along; and I realized that I'd been so focused for these past few years on what was set before me, that I'd neglected the freedom of no responsibilities and no concerns of paying the next bill but rather to noticed the simple GRANDEUR of God's great earth and sky!
I even ran out of gas! First times can be fun times, indeed. I had just enough cell power left to call someone who then contacted the insurance man with whom I'd just gotten a new policy for my pick up truck, Precious Blood. Before too long, a young man in a pick up truck parked behind me on a vast stretch of interstate, and filled the tank with enough gas for me to follow him back to a burg off the beaten track. We laughed, as he said this was the "first time" he'd ever had a call from an insurance company to come rescue someone! Ah, the humor and connectivity of "firsts"cannot go unappreciated.
The one-pump town had a convenience store in which kindly clerks charged my phone battery enough so that I could get to my next stop, using the GPS. I was thrilled to be out from under such financial direness to make a monetary donation to the tiny town's food pantry. For too long I've had to make prayers for others my donation. While that is maybe better--who knows in God's view?--what a joy to add some money to their collection container in the convenience store.
Now I've been at a relative's home for ten days, living in a small but comfortable guest room. All my whatever possessions (1000 or so religious books in boxes, bits of furniture and eating utensils and religious artwork, some clothing that was used in the phase prior to this last phase and to be sorted and got rid of) are in storage. I've not used the stuff in the past five or so years other than the garden tools and construction tools which I kept--thinking prudently in case I need them for whatever next hermitage. I sold off quite a bit of "stuff" before I left Te Deum--amazing my adult son who thought it all worthy for the dump. I gifted St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Shop with oodles of salable items, as well, and the boys and couple from the parish who helped me load the truck for a final time, received whatever they desired from my "stuff".
Stuff seems to be the best word for my earthly detritus of this and that. Yet I am not mocking nor inappreciative of "stuff." For a hermit with severe pain and difficulty sitting or standing in one place for very long, it is stuff that helps me do manual labor or keep otherwise limber and creatively engaged in practical and artistic ways. It is through the distraction from pain that my deepest praying of a meditative and often times contemplative nature takes place.
So it is, that now after an initial week or so of looking around for a new hermitage, I am realizing on this Sabbath that the adaptation is more severe than what I had anticipated. Somehow the housing thus far is so different from the land and spacious views of this past phase, and even of the sense of space in the one prior to this past phase although in a subdivision--well, I am feeling non-plussed about having to re-engage in the temporal aspects of which hermits very much must engage.
We have to find a place to plop our bodies and what little stuff (compared to what most folks accumulate) we bring with us for whatever purposes we have in our individual lives. For someone without severe back pain and who can engage in activities, creative stuff is not so important. I have noticed all the more in these past ten days, with my back pain burning high--that in this type of environment there is far more driving and thus sitting to do the typical functions at least initially of getting oneself set up in another hermitage in some location.
I'm not sure I am up for what I most likely will need to adapt to--not quite yet, anyway.
The family members who so graciously gave me a guest room, are off for a few days, leaving me to pet sit which is a means by which I can be of use to them, saving their pets from boarding in a kennel. Yet I have spent the bulk of it on the floor in the guest room, other than driving about yesterday to find a post office to mail a little something special to my dear spiritual father--just a treat for him until I am able to visit next month--body able and God-willing.
Then there were last week the doctor and dentist appointments, and now I await a hopeful appointment with a pain doctor--as this is the way of our times now. A general practitioner no longer will deal with a chronic pain patient. And the pain doctor will not automatically take a pain patient. No, they will look at whatever the family doctor sends in what scant records, and the pain doctor will decide if he or she wants one as a patient. And if so, the pained person is advised that no medications will be prescribed in the first visit.
I remind myself that not finding another hermitage right away is God's way of letting me consider that I may be more or less "floor-ridden" in my next and final phases of life on earth. (I can no longer sleep on even the most firm mattress, so I must use the floor as bed and place to write, such as I am doing now. I had also taken my simple fare meals on the floor at Te Deum House, but here sit on the only wooden chair they have, at table, to eat whatever served, of which I try to help with cooking and clean up to make myself useful. It would be rude to eat in the guest room, on the floor, for I also would not want to accidentally spill on their carpet.
Someone where I lived prior, who was purchasing some of my used but temporally useful "stuff", had asked me how it was a hermit could live where there would be a child? I said when in transition, one must go with God's flow. I was offered a temporary room and can be of help with pet sitting and whatever else asked or desired, and I am a grateful hermit guest.
Such matters for a hermit call upon one to be flexible and gracious, to be sacrificing in that of course, having one's own hermitage and spiritual reading and manual labor and solitude is desirable and needful, but God decides all. Yes, God decides; His will be done; and the hermit remains malleable in God's determinations.
In fact, if no pain doctor will have me, if no pain meds allowed, then I may not be having my own hermitage at all! There will be no travel to visit the spiritual father, nor to see the elderly aunt again, nor having a little plot to garden, nor a place to name as a hermitage other than perhaps a room as a type of blessed and comfortable hermitage as long as it has a floor upon which to lay my body down.
God bless His Real Presence in us! The past two Sundays I've been back to spiritual, mystical Communions, such as what the Lord provided me up until a year and a half ago when the couple from the parish where I used to live, started bringing His Real Presence each Sunday. Either way, God provides quite amply and beautifully of Himself to those who desire and seek His Love and remain thus in His Love.