Sunday, April 12, 2015

Catholic Hermits Correspond

Here is another sample of correspondence written from this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit to a priest the hermit met and with whom had spiritual friendship in this country, before his return to Nigeria.  He emailed in response to this particular correspondence, that he found the content to be a helpful, positive reflection.  Some friends have suggested that this hermit's letters may be the better of writing genre; but that does not presume that the letters are that good to begin with!  However, perhaps this piece of a Catholic hermit's correspondence will be helpful for someone who happens upon this blog post.  

Correspondence (written in the silence of solitude, one soul to other souls) is an example of what some Catholic hermits "do"--for some readers have sought input into what it is that Catholic hermits do in their daily lives.  Spiritual correspondence is a part of this Catholic hermit's vocational life-being and life-doing.  The content, for better or worse, is always regarding some spiritual, Scriptural, and hopefully insightful thought from His Real Presence, shared with whoever is receiving.

[Dear Fr. V...,]
"I did pray for Nigeria off and on yesterday, too.  I noticed in a news article that Boko Haram massacred many people in pre-election rampage in Nigeria, yesterday or the day before.  May the Lord use all my suffering for the people of Nigeria!  I have read some of Pseudo-Dionysius' writings on God as the good and on evil.  So I know that these people who do evil things, or when we have evil in any of us to whatever degree (such as I have, too), that evil is not a being, but it comes when we have a lack (to any degree of lacking) of the good.  

"God created us, and He is good and creates only good.  So when any of us fails or has a lack of some level of good, even if small, that is evil.  Some people falter greatly or have a great lack of good, thus seem more evil.  But it is good for me to remember that the persons themselves are created by God and thus are created as good beings. Same with creatures and all that God has created.  Lucifer was created as good but chose to falter from the great potential of good that God desires and wills.

"So I thought about the ways in which I choose to falter from the good that God desires of me, and also to consider what degree of good does He desire of me, what height of good is expected or are we given the graces to attain?  The degrees of 'perfection' from our human perspectives vary, for some are given more graces and more is expected, than others.  

"Some beings are created with more earthly anomalies than others, and thus the degree of the good to which some should attain might be different than that of others.  God knows and ordains, each to his or her degree of good that ought be reached.   When we falter or lack any degree of good, it is an evil.  Something like that, anyway.  I do a poor job of explaining what makes so much sense when I read it.

"But it does explain some Scriptures, and it is good to reflect for myself and ask, 'Am I achieving the good and performing God's works to the level and degree to which He has made it quite possible for me to achieve?  Am I striving for perfection in good, or am I allowing lack and faltering?'

"I do realize that I allow much lack and falter in the good when the pain takes over, for somehow I am letting it at least try to take over and allow the darkest of thoughts.  Those are not good.  It does seem, though, at some point, when the mind is derailed by that kind of pain which is so powerful to reduce us to not being able to think, and weakens the gift of free will, we truly are naked and helpless in the Hands of God.  It seems like that, anyway; and thus we have to hope and trust that He will protect us from ourselves.

"God bless His Real Presence!  May we always be in His Real Presence and keep as much good in us and clear out as much lack of good, so that He has much welcome and space in the abode of our bodies, minds, hearts, and souls."

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