Tuesday, January 27, 2015

On Humility and Hermit Titles

Humility is the treasure of treasures, or so write various saints and so lives Jesus Christ.

How do titles affect those who have them added to their names, or how do their names being known in and of themselves, enhance or diminish the virtue of humility?

Have any hermits of yore used any identifying symbols or lettering in conjunction with their names?

No, they did not.  With the Carthusians (900 years and counting), if a book was written by one, a simple "by a Carthusian" sufficed.  Only after a century or more (and usually more) and on rare occasion was a Carthusian identified by name in conjunction with authorship.

What would be the point, for example, of a hermit then or today, signing his or her name followed by letters or symbols? How would hermit titles fit in with humility?

One considers if Jesus signed His Name:  Jesus, S.o.G; or Jesus, S.o.M.

No, He did not.  His divine humility was in divine opposition to such displays.  In fact, He most often asked others--including demons--to not give indication nor point out His identity in any way.  

Only when he needed to ask His apostles, or John the Baptist, in order to fulfill His Divine Mission, did He ask, "Who do they say I am?" or "Who do you say I am?".  Well, if there is a point, such as some important need to identify a hermit's profession of vows, or location, or group affiliation, or some other allegiance, then signifying such is beyond this nothing Catholic hermit.

In fact, if the many hermits who existed and exist who did not or don't identify themselves by name, began signing their names as David Devout, erem.CR or Holly Holy, CRE, what difference would it make to others or to themselves?  Most importantly what difference to His Real Presence?  [erem. could stand for eremitic, and CR could delineate Consecrated Religious, as all hermits who have professed vows (either private or public) in the Catholic Church, are stated as consecrated religious according to the Church's Catechism.]

Recently, one or more publicly professed Catholic hermits decided to self-identify as such, using the initials erem.dio (presumably an eremitic, or hermit, affiliated with a diocese).  All the rest of us currently alive and all those over the centuries, mostly do not nor did not share given names nor our professed names if these differed from the former. Definitely none of whom this hermit has ever read or heard, invented for themselves nor took on by the counsel of others, identifying initials, signifying an identifying title.

One has come to accept that those in religious orders thought it best to clarify they are of this or that order (Benedictine, Franciscan, on and on).  Perhaps it was necessary to self-identify based upon different rules of life, different foci of spiritual and corporal works of mercy.  

But they are groups of consecrated religious, living in monasteries under one rule.  Hermits are individuals living under individual rules, other than the handful of hermit monastic orders.  Even then, their lived daily rules of life are uniquely individual, and in solitude and silence.

If there is any point to our identifying ourselves by name and especially by letters or symbols following our names, the reason eludes this nothing.  It is rather odd to even add "Catholic hermit" to the "nothing", but this nothing Catholic hermit has a point--attempts to make a point by including "Catholic" with "hermit" to "nothing".  

That point is mostly pointless, other than to remind that the tried and true Catholic hermits who gave through the centuries and continue to give their bodies, minds, hearts and souls to His Real Presence and the Church--Christ and His Body--as consecrated religious hermits, differ from hermits of other faiths or philosophies and from secular hermits.

God bless His Real Presence in us!  Little children, let us love one another and follow our humble Savior--without title other than the sarcastic one carved on the cross above His Humble Head.  Well, indeed, He Is King of All.  No title necessary; His life, death, and resurrection say it all.  So be it in any small way for all us nothings--Catholic hermits or otherwise.

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