From the Gospel of John, Chapter 3:31-36:
"The one who comes from above is above all.
The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things.
But the one who comes from heaven is above all.
He testifies to what he has seen and heard,
but no one accepts his testimony.
Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy.
For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God.
He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.
The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,
but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life,
but the wrath of God remains upon him."
The nothing consecrated Catholic hermit awoke this morning, quite early, in the usual--but higher than sometimes--pain. The right kidney area has been affected greatly since the previous major pain siege. It is merely a new aspect of pain of which the hermit must embrace and accept, and eventually learn to distract the mind from it. This will occur over time. Periodically there are new areas of pain added to the conscious awareness of this earthly body.
Is today the day to attempt getting up and trying to press forward in physical activity? Or should there be yet another day of increased pain meds enough to allow the mind and body to rest and have reprieve, the mind and emotions from the bodily, earthly pain? Am drinking some heated-up, three-day-old coffee and eating some chocolate covered almonds a friend sent, while assessing the bodily situation. Firstly, however, drank some very healthy Green Glory--the hermit's name for a veggie-fruit smoothie.
Now, the chocolate covered almonds are not healthy other than the almonds and perhaps a tinge of the chocolate...had it been dark chocolate. Yet the temporal truth of the matter remains that sugar helps increase the endorphins in the brain, which are the body's natural, brain pain aids.
Natural sugar such as in fruit is healthier than the raw sugar in milk chocolate-coating on the almonds. But the raw sugar acts faster, and the hermit's pain level is such that it requires either faster-acting endorphin stimulators or increased pain meds. The hermit prefers to medicate with the sugar first, in case the mind is able to gain ground over the bodily pain this morning.
The hermit has nearly 31 earth years of lived experience, plus much knowledgeable, temporal-research on the topic of pain. This regimen works even if a combination of unorthodox, not-so-healthy, temporal elements. Who's to say, though, that ingesting more temporal pain medication for a third day might not be that good for the mortal body, either? One thing for certain, too high of pain is not good--stresses the body, the mind, the emotions, and ultimately puts the spirit to the test of peril, as well.
Thus far in this post, the words have been of what is of the earth. The written communication is of temporal pain, body, and thoughts on elements of various pain relievers.
But Jesus in His Living Word states that the one who comes from above is above all. And the one who God sent speaks the words of God, and He does not ration God's gift of the Spirit.
Which of these does this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit want? Does it want to be of the earth and to speak earthly things, or does it desire to be from above and above all?
If this hermit wants to be in union with His Real Presence, then it must be with Him and from above and above all. It must speak the words of God and accept the fullness of God's gift of the Spirit. As Jesus does, so must the hermit do...by the grace of God and the best of its ability and discipline of its God-given free will. (Remember, the human soul, created in each of us by God, consists of the intellect and the will.)
The successful saints and mystics throughout Christian history chose to be with Him from above and above all. They thought and spoke the words of God and accepted His fullness of the gift of the Spirit.
So must this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit.
As for the current temporal circumstances, down to the last nub of mortal energy and effort on a temporal abode and the few temporal, in-person interactions--these are of the earth. Choices need to be made. Is it to be from above or from the earth?
If a soul chooses to be from above with the Above, it must let that from the earth be of the earth. Otherwise, there is conflict of interest, as is said often enough of temporal issues. In the writing, the words ought be of that which comes from above, of the words of God, and of thoughts and actions of the Spirit. In the thinking, likewise. In the interactions with others, the same: Be of that which comes from above--the words of God and the thoughts and actions of the gift of the Spirit. Be of and in His Real Presence.
Now, this can come down to the details even of the temporal Church, or as some call it the "secular" Church. Other than the Mass in which is the fullness of truth and the seven sacraments inclusive, the other aspects are of the earth. The committees, the positions, meetings, prestige and fund-raisers, labels and titles, temporal decisions and rules, the decor and garb, are of the earth.
The Mass and the Sacraments within are of God above. (We ought be honest even if it seems painfully, nakedly stripped and whipped.) When what is of earth and speaking the words of earth, is all set aside, we have in and around us what is from above and the words of God and of the gift of the Spirit. We can more readily "see" in order to think, do, and be, according to our choice of free will, what is or what is not of earth or of heaven.
A consecrated Catholic hermit, the nothing to His All that it is, has the luxury of being able to choose the rather extreme in the stripping and whipping away of what is of earth. His Real Presence provides this luxury through the temporal aspects of pain...actually. But the luxury needs to be chosen and accepted for and as the gift that it is. And then it must be utilized as gift and as way of life-beingness from above, not of the earth.
The temporal is passing away, as we are told by Jesus. And whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. We are also told this truth. We can choose to be with and in one from above, or to be of and from the earth. (Attempting to be partly of above and partly of earth, causes a fissure of which the below wins out by temporal gravity.) This hermit has had enough of hair- and word- and life- and soul-splitting.
The process of choosing can be relatively quick. The process of accepting and living in the one from above and not of the earth, can be however long is life. One wonders if the process of accepting and living in the one from above extends into eternity? Does the process include such as in the phase we term "purgatory", or the purgation of what remains in us of that which is of earth--whatever is lacking in us of good, or clinging to that which is temporal and passing?
Now the hermit must turn to reading of that which is from above, in preparation for a phone discussion later in the temporal morning of time that is gifted from above. And for that reading, to have the mind more alert means there is a decision to not take the temporal pain medication that would give the temporal body additional respite from temporal pain.
The thoughts and words that the hermit will read and which come from above will assist in this transitional day of the body's pain siege needs. Then the mind, heart, and spirit's assumption into the above will be upward--more into the One Who Is from above--and of and into the words of God, and of the un-rationed gift of His Spirit.
Choose, accept, and strive to be with the one who is above. Through, with, and in Him, be above all. Speak the words of God; testify to what has been seen and heard. Accept Jesus' testimony; God is trustworthy. Believe in the Son and have eternal life. Disobey the Son, and lose the sight of life of, from, and in the above.
Not everyone will grasp this hermit's intent or the challenge. Some are anchored in earth and think and speak of earthly things. This hermit has done so, often enough. It will not be easy to shift. The process could be made easier if the hermit asks for and utilizes the God-proffered graces of great faith, desire, and strength of will.
If this hermit relinquishes its grip on things of the earth--even the emotional attachments to perceived earthly needs-- then the process of being, thinking, and speaking of that which is above will flow from the power of the Spirit--given in fullness, not rationed. All has been given over from the Father to the Son, and this hermit is being invited into the Son.
Now to live as from above, in One who is from above and above all, not from earth and of earthly things. Living from above is a process requiring relinquishing of earthly habits and ways of perceiving. This requires accepting the power His Real Presence desires to pour into this soul. There may be quite a few earthly hindrances remaining to be expunged. We shall find out.
Even though it seems this soul has been emptied over the years of temporal time, by the scourges of beautiful pain and suffering, there may likely be things of earth holding it from all that is above all. And, there may be good ways of using that of the earth as steps on the stairway to heaven.
A friend's package arrived the other day. Inside were the chocolate-coated almonds and a tin of colored pencils with the suggestion the hermit enhance the Living Word with what the temporal trends call "Bible Art." Says it will immerse the body, mind, heart, and spirit all the more into His Living Word.
(This may be one way of body, mind, heart, and soul spiraling in Christ, upward from earth with Him to above, utilizing temporal pencils and color into eternity of thought and God's Life-In-Word.)
God bless His Real Presence in us! Little children, let us love one another for God Is Love! Remain in His Love. His Love is from above and above all!