A Long Absence
This completely, Catholic hermit has been away from writing on this blog for a long time. Much has transpired. More than other labels, this nothing of a child of God has been ushered into more solitude, slowness and silence.... The suffering is intensified, and the spiritual dark nights lengthened with little daylight at times. Or, perhaps it is like the brilliant, spring green of new growth that lasts but a blink compared to a conifer's year of daily existence.
There have been more messages--locutions--within the inner ear, and visions within the inner sight, and also the distractions and upsets, the intrusions of the temporal. Here is not to share the messages and visions. This increasingly emptied hermit has crusts of temporal weighing down the body, heart and soul (and heart is often meant more the emotions, yet in some instances verges into the soul of Christ, such as when one is told to "Think with the heart!"--not meant to think with emotions, of course).
Some young friends email and chortle a bit, that God has certainly enforced a far more austere and arduous hermit existence than what was. The hermit and hermitage have changed drastically, and in more the place and essence of the Church's brief Catechism defined statement of the eremitic life.
So this Catholic hermit of God struggles now with the deeper depths, farther from the temporal intrusions yet in some ways resenting and battling the more physical aspects of mankind in attempting to improve subhuman, current living conditions. The wind and chill are upon this locale, and heat is needed. Insulation would help, as well; we mortals deal with energy costs, and with even less sustenance of the monetary type, there has been a major bilking by a contractor, nice man but what Scripture would term a white-washed tomb. This past Sunday's first reading warned of those who took advantage of the poor. It does not change the electrical situation here, now, however.
The spiritual life seems far, far away, lost in the transition of one place to another, into rough elements of hermit v. nature and man's inhumanity to man. Am camping out, basically, and the prayers are tears, which come freely. There have been many losses in the past while. The body, mind, heart and spirit try and need to adapt. How blessed the prophets and apostles who drop all immediately and follow God's will. In this instance, not all was dropped, but huge swaths were dropped, and losses were immense of a temporal nature. But the inner has taken more time to catch up to the effects of losses, for the losses do affect the bodily sufferings, and the bodily sufferings affect the bodily emotions.
It is a process. The depth of solitude verges upon a sense of alone so vast, that at moments or hours in the day or night, the silence and solitude and slowness seem as if death is nigh. And in those moments and hours, God is so very near--especially in the heaving sobs and frustrations of temporal intrusions that yes, are part of any of God's hermits' reality. It was this way before; but no, this is yet deeper depths. Forging forward.
Yes, am far away from where before. It is marvelous to realize the attachments one has or had, when thinking one was quite detached. There is still email communication, but even the cell phone service is quite sketchy, and the rare call is dropped suddenly, more often than not, or broken up like dried bread. Crumbs of conversations cannot be pieced or made whole. Adaptation to climate and the rugged living conditions and with financial struggles cause God's Catholic hermit some grief, physically, but also very much into the faith chalice. Faithful, heroic suffering suffers much these days, or so it seems!
Yet, drink deeply of this Cup, and be thankful for the graces of being brought so far more stringently into the Church's defining words and ideals of eremitic life. Who would have thought it? Life was too comfortable. There was not enough of the silence of solitude, the stricter separation from the world, the arduous prayers and penance, being hidden from the eyes of men.
The Lord tweaked this Catholic hermit-of-God's vocation. The knobs were turned, tighter, and the level adjusted across all spectrums to heightened depths and strident revealings: Hermit life is more than what one can describe or formulate. God directs the course, not the hermit nor any other. Some may remain in the mode of judging and criticizing, or setting forth how a hermit is, ought, should be or not. Only God knows; only God does. Nothing remains equivalent: not hermit to hermit, nor hermit to self. Only God flows the course, and this hermit is borne along awkwardly still His.
God surprises when He calls His hermit such as was with Jeremiah; but the coals are placed all over the body other than the lips, as in this phase words are not vocalized. And this God's hermit is rather duped, having thought--hoped--the vocational unfolding might be the same or even easier. Silly Catholic hermit of God! More suffering! More struggles! More stripping! It is all God, God's will and allowing. The pinnacle awaits beyond precipices.