Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hermit Life On-Going

My life as a Catholic hermit continues even though I have not written nor shared in a long time.  Much has occurred, all helpful and yet painfully so, in the on-going evolution of this hermit vocation within the Catholic Church and Her Eremetic Tradition.

It became obvious through reading, prayer and observation, that my hermit vocation was not being lived to the degree desired by God, in His will, and thus rather than trudging through writing about it, I more began living it more fully, more deeply, and as I mentioned, more painfully.

Pick up your cross daily and follow Me.  Jesus meant this not figuratively.  The hermit vocation is one of daily carrying a cross or several, at once or individually, consecutively or not.  The dying to self becomes quite acute at times, and the hermit may grasp at threads of some other life, perceived or lived out by others, when the hermit's life is rather to be lived uniquely within the very dying to self that requires the stricter separation from the world in more assiduous prayer and penance.

It became obvious that to continue trying to describe the life of a Catholic hermit in our times was not particularly productive, for there will always be those who dispute what is this eremitic life, what constitutes a vocation or call to the life, or to attempt some labels and levels of credibility.  Being distracted with disputations entangles the hermit in other than, not with, the very essence of living in and out the life.

So I keep praying, reading, contemplating, working, suffering, and striving toward that which is unseen and unknown other than in faith, hope and love--and as the apostle to the Gentiles writes, the greatest is love.  God is love.  Seeking union with God, asking and desiring for this union, is perhaps the most solitary and silent quest of the Catholic hermit, this Catholic hermit, at least.

I have been pondering the various hermits, Catholic hermits, from John the Baptist onward in years passing within their own order of the present moments to this moment that is passing, momentarily.  Most of them at some point live in a type of exile.  So it is with this Catholic hermit. 

And exile is not reserved for Catholic hermits.  Having recently read The Four Independents, each life presented lived through essential exiles.  Gerard Manley Hopkins considered his final five years of life as an exile in Ireland.  Paul Claudell considered ten years in China in the early 20th century, as exile.

I have been considering exile lately, very much in comport with Bl. Charles de Foucauld, St. John on Patmos, and various eremitic prophet mystics of the Old Testament.  I consider Jesus in His various types of exile while on earth--His earthly life itself as exile.  I am with Him, in Him, in His Real Presence, in exile.  As such, being in His Real Presence has superseded most consideration of eremitic vocation, or Catholic hermit, or hermit, per se.  It is.  

Whether or not I consciously consider the vocation or the nomenclature of such vocation, hermit or eremite, it is, and I am in His Real Presence, in it, with and in Him, living it no matter if I attempt to flee.  It is, this vocation, an exile from the world (and as part of that world the temporal Catholic world) in all ways and means and descriptions from which the Catholic hermit cannot flee, if truly anointed with the oils of this life hidden from the eyes of men but very much in raw view, nakedly so, of His Real Presence:  Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


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