Have been in civilization for a couple or three days, practicing being a guest and also practicing servanthood, helping paint woodwork.
In the midst of that came a last-minute St. Bernard Love of God Bourbon Ball order, and nothing Catholic hermit decided to stick with the endeavor, costly as it is to purchase more bourbon and pecans, and considering the time commitment, packaging efforts, and distance to mail the order.
What swung the needle to "yes" is the prayer involved. Prayer for a hermit is a bulk of the vocation.
Recently, the hermit here has felt weak in faith and doubting in the efforts made to be of use and help in this world, to even be adoring of His Real Presence. Distractions can easily settle in, and a major distraction has been physical pain, as of late. And, there is the emotional pain of a couple of the adult children having severed ties. It seems so unnecessary and inexplicable, other than allowing God to do as He wills; for all the recent spiritual reading has reminded the hermit that detaching from family is necessary in order to all the more attach to His Real Presence.
As St. Bernard wrote about love of God, once we come to a sincerity of loving God in Himself, we then love through, with, and in God, all His creation--human beings, souls, included. And this means all people, all souls--not only family and friends or known enemies, but those living and already passed from this earth. Love, sheer love, Is God.
This morning Francisco is coming to help. The place is even in worse condition with building supplies piled about, and old stuff needing yet to be removed. Am praying he will be understanding and tolerant of how difficult to work in cramped conditions. The body today is very pained, and so we will just do as we can, as best we can, and nothing Catholic hermit is profoundly grateful that Raphael is sending one of his men to help.
We will focus on building the stair landing. Washer and dryer (not used due to conditions inside and the outdoor, cold, winter weather) need to be shoved aside--where? God will provide shoving space, somehow. We will construct the box and place it upon stilt-studs, with sleigh-type support underneath. We will place it beneath the current stairs, where it must be for the finished project. Later we can demolish the steep, narrow, shallow stairway and build new steps.
The landing provides for a stopping point, and then a turn in direction with three steps farther to the upper floor. Building stairs is more complicated than one might consider initially. But much research and asking questions of Craig at lumber yard, helps with the courage to take this first leap: the landing.
This hermitage is a stable. It has been home to various critters over the years--far more critters than human beings. Constructing the stairway landing is a major "step" to make, these two days before Christmas. There is much to ponder in this hermitage stable, and to relate with the stable and events of 2014 years ago. Consider Joseph the carpenter, as one connection. Consider none of the commercial aspects we have now, of Christmas preparation. Consider a basic dwelling, used for animals mostly, and where Jesus Christ was born.
Consider the stairway to heaven, and the angels ascending and descending. Consider the hills where the shepherds watched their flocks, as hills require ascending and descending. As for a landing as a turning point and place to catch one's breath in the ascent, we can find many parallels and much for spiritual reflection.
God bless His Real Presence in us! Little children, let us love one another! Let us consider the stable as the abode in which the Trinity has come to dwell in us and us in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. No matter the temporal construction of our dwelling places, consider the stable as our home in His Real Presence. As a cave of sorts, He was born in such a dwelling and was buried in similar.