Francesco and Andreas left after a couple hours this morning. They and the other workers will return tomorrow. Francesco noticed some left over wire fencing and asked for 16'. Of course he may have it. Then he said since they were called to another job, that I could rest and enjoy the day, it being Sunday.
We had a little discussion about taking time out for the Lord, as much as he could comprehend of English. I mentioned at least changing the routine--such as to some activity that allows the mind to pray, to give God our hearts in a different way due to the shift in routine.
So I rested today and pondered, changed the routine, and watered many small trees and shrubs dotted about the hermitage grounds. For larger beds, I could leave the sprinkler on for awhile and not have to be outside monitoring.
Where there are some soaker hoses already set up, hooking up the hose and letting the water seep from the pore-like holes, accomplished slow and steady water supply to the thirsting plants.
A friend emailed and is eager to begin a new book, to meet a new spiritual friend, as she puts it. At first I thought The Collected Works of John of the Cross, but each of us separately decided that was heavy for the present moment.
Then into the mind came Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity. This seems to be what we are to read, even if I've read her biography. My 85-year-old friend (an aspirant on the spiritual ascent) can read the biography, and I can read the first volume of her letters. Since each of us are converts from Protestantism, Bl. Elizabeth's delight in St. Paul will resonate.
And, in the inspiration to suggest Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, the Lord encouraged a review of her life, in recall of getting to know her three or four years ago when reading the biography. Biographies are filled with writings and thoughts of a person. The reader is allowed perhaps more intimacy in the person's mind and spirit than in a life encounter, a human friendship.
How often does someone we meet in life actually share or reveal the depths of their soul's longings and the inspirations of His Real Presence, or the insights learned--gained from hours of conversation with Christ in various modalities, including His Living Word.
While pulling away weeds and grass from the tree beds, waiting for the hose to deliver a good drenching of water down into the soil--refreshing the roots--my heart began to yearn again for much more depth in holy relationship with the Beloved.
I considered the past year and even recently, with returning to writing and sharing. The manual labor and renovation goals have shifted with the spiritual life subsuming. Having a livable hermitage is not that important in comparison to the habitation of His Real Presence in my soul.
Then I considered how it was that God told me years ago I was to be a hermit, and how He reminded me every so often when I veered or did not value the vocation. But it became clear, today, that a calling, such as the hermit vocation, is not the focus, not the purpose, not even worth pondering too much or writing about. No, not the vocation itself in whatever format of daily living out.
My hermit vocation is a soaker hose.
It has the function of such; it is the form and modality of delivering His living water, the susten- ance needed for my soul to grow,
to endure, to be refreshed
and subsumed into the Source of the Living Water.
And God chose this particular type of earthly existence, culled from the distractions of the world which He deemed necessary for my soul's progression. It could have been a sprinkler system, an irrigation canal, an above ground line with emitters.
But He chose a modality, a format, a system, that is more hidden, low to the ground, even covered over by mulch. A soaker hose is simple, inexpensive, and very, very slow in the gradual delivery of the necessary water to ensure the life-giving and life-sustaining outcome. I'm not even privy to why He chose this format, this means through this particular vocation, other than years ago He did tell me that I would be drawn out into the world too easily, otherwise.
For whatever other reasons, it really does not matter what or how, but to accept the mode of soaker hose and not some other type of conduit--more forceful, visible, maybe even "important" and massive, such as a viaduct.
And, as the means being a soaker hose, the body, mind, heart and soul must yield over to the Source and the water, and drinking, quenching the thirst for God, growing in His grace and love, and uniting through, with and in Him for all eternity. His Source and Power is Love. And with whatever can be sipped of Love, learned of Love, shared of Love, and lived of Love, is what quenches the thirsting soul and gives it eternal life.
The soaker hose vocation is now in perspective, under the mulch, laid out in a meandering circuit, the path of life, and it is not the soaker hose that is of much consideration other than to check it now and then to make sure there are not major breaches, cracks, splits or blockages so that the Living Water which IS the value and purpose, will reach the soul, day and night as needed.
Ah, now the heart is silently throbbing, His Real Presence pulsating His Blood within our Being, our Body, united with all who thirst and drink of the Cup (sometimes sipping deeply of suffering) of Salvation.
The soaker hose is under the surface, doing its job. I will check it whenever necessary, if some aspect of my soul begins to droop or wither. The soaker hose is necessary only because it is the conduit God chose for the means of Living Water for my soul. And of course, the outcome is for not only God but for others, for who does not appreciate and benefit from a beautiful tree, shrub, bloom, strawberry?
Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity did not ponder of nor write of her vocation as a religious sister, or life as a Discalced Carmelite, or of what rules and duties in the convent. She pondered God in His Three Persons. She wrote of God and her desire, seeking, thirsting, and finding Him everywhere, for He quenched her with Himself.
What a blessed day here! From being too worn out to do other than hook up soaker hoses and set the little sprinkler in various beds or tree by tree, the Lord has clarified the thoughts, sharing, and writing.
He has shown me this particular vocation in the world called "hermit", and what is its function as a means and modality, chosen out of other vocations simply because He knew it would be the best in my particular situation. And He chooses the means and modality for each soul, for what is best for each soul in ensuring His life-sustaining essence.
So, that explains the vocation with a metaphor: Hermit a soaker hose.