Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Catholic Hermit's Family

Today, the nothing Catholic hermit's family (daughter, son-in-law, grandson) will drive a distance to this desert exile domicile, and help (or actually do the work) of shifting some boxes and furnishings into the pole barn.  The items in the pole barn need some shifting and re-organizing, first.  

All this is in effort to make more work space in the hermitage, in order for the electrician, a man he knows who does some plumbing, and then in a week or so, Raphael and his men, to come and try to make great gains in getting the hermitage finished and salable.

Although the hermit had visited another family member (daughter, son-in-law, granddaughters), far away, and with financial assistance from the daughter to do so, there is once more not communication with them.  But the nothing Catholic hermit now has a better understanding as to the reason, after having visited them for awhile.  They are extremely busy in their lives, and it is as if those who are present, right there, are communicated with.  When another is out of sight, the responsibilities of their present moments press them into that mode of distance to that which is outside.  It also has some to do with priorities and the amount of work emails and phone calls the daughter deals with in her career, during the week.  On weekends her phone and emails go untended.  

Kind of "out of sight, out of mind" mentality, but am thankful to learn it is not in rancor or malice that calls and emails go unanswered.  When plans were made to visit, in that present moment space of time, there were responses.  It is how it is and to be accepted as such.  Not the ideal in some ways, for family closeness, but the hermit accepts the various personality styles and understands the demands that others must live with in their busy lives.  Hermits, of all persons, try to keep their own lives simplified.

The adult son is a different situation.  He has chosen to remove himself from belief in God.  Quite busy in his career, he, too, does not keep in contact.  In this case of family, there is anger and contentiousness against the hermit.  There are earthly reasons for this, and over the hermit's being duped by the real estate deal here and the ensuing efforts to turn the place around, make it livable, but running out of time and resources to do so. 

For the first time in over a year and a half, the son responded to an email the hermit sent, alerting that it was going to need to try to sell before long and hoping there would be cooperation in signing off documents.  (The son is part of the hermitage mortgage deal, which he desired to be at the time.)  He made the hermit an offer that would have left the hermit penniless in a few years, so of course that had to be declined.  He did not grasp quite what he was proposing, surely.  Rather, the hermit would prefer being helped along month-by-month so that it could continue doing a lot of the manual labor, thus saving high labor costs.  (Remote areas can end up being costly in various ways.  There is usury in any situation some humans can wrangle it in.)

No, His Real Presence did not move the son to desire to help in that way, which is fine.  It only means the door is closing on remaining here.  The hermit must go for broke and do all it can, hire the two trusted workers even if costly--but just and fair in charges--to finish as soon as feasible, and then try to sell the hermitage.  The son, if not sole owner, would like to be disassociated with the endeavor.  That is quite all right.  

Catholic hermits, being Christian and called out of this world, not more into it, understand and flex with whatever His Real Presence brings and allows.  And this one knows also that there are various factors involved, behind the scenes so to speak.  It grasps the clash between this nothing Catholic hermit who is totally devoted to and in love with His Real Presence and the Faith and all therein, and a young man in the full prime of life, successful in the temporal world, who is in a phase of ridiculing Christians and disbelieving of God. Yes, it is but a phase.

The hermit's aunt in a distant place, a nonogenarian, has been most supportive in prayer and encouragement, and has financially assisted the hermit such as in this terrible illness and back when it was thought the hermit could turn the hermitage into a more livable place with the desire to remain here once finished.  The hermit's spiritual director, also, has helped--his in part to make reparation for the dismal actions of a diocese in yet another situation that has been forgiven but was very costly to the hermit, and perhaps unfairly so.  

In these rather personal details of family (and also of financial risks and struggles), the point is always of being open to and heeding God's will.  A hermit must be responsible for its own livelihood and sustenance, as far as the temporal and material aspects of life play out.  It must not hold attachments too much, and be willing to go without when situations unfold even down to abodes.  

It is all a journey, and that includes a hermit's family, for unless one is in a religious order of hermits in which it is understood that one detaches from family and no longer belongs to family in that sense but rather belongs solely to God and in obedience to the religious order, a hermit must be sensitive to the needs of others, such as family sensitivities, and let God do as He wills in the ups and downs that can occur.  Since this hermit is the lone Catholic of its immediate family and the bulk of the extended family, there is not the grasp of a hermit's life that a hermit from a Catholic family would understand.

A hermit must always be grateful and to rise and fall with the waves, and to endure the doldrum and the storm, alike--in love, faith, trust--while always seeking His will, moment by moment.

In this terrible illness of which there is finally some break in the severity and improvement noticed, there is much gratitude for having survived it.  There is gratitude for the way in which His Real Presence has provided much prayer support through the aunt and some other long-time friends, including some very close Catholic friends, and the spiritual director.  

His Real Presence provided the Catholic deputy sheriff [remember, it may only take one angel] who happened to be on duty for five days in the worst of the illness, and who ran some errands that were critical, even though at first he wanted to take the hermit to a hospital.  He quickly understood that the situation warranted faith and trust, and suffering it out but with help from medication and two doctor visits.  The temporal financial aspect did not allow for more expense, and the aspect of this hermit's vocation as victim soul, also did not warrant other than allowing the Beloved to hold His hermit in His Arms.

So, the family members currently are on their way to the hermitage, and this nothing Catholic hermit must rise from bed, empty the chamber pot, and praise and pray and thank God in all situations--including whatever family issues, calm or stormy at any given time, and with holy awareness of the family that is the Body of Christ.  The ones coming today are Christians, and thus the reason for more communication and understanding, even if not agreeable with Catholicism.  Light is light, and love of Christ binds whoever in that light.  We must remember that darkness stands in opposition to the Light.  So we pray for our biological families, and for our family the Body of Christ, and for our family as in the family of man, of the world at large, believers and unbelievers.

God bless His Real Presence in us!  Little children, let us love one another!  Remain in His Love, and bless those who do also and those who do not.  May our hands ever be in the open palm position other than when we must grasp hard the cross of Christ Crucified.  Let go all the earthly possessions and situations, and be open to receiving whatever His Real Presence brings, moment by moment.

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