Saturday, April 11, 2015

Catholic Hermits Read

Yes, consecrated Catholic hermits read, in addition to the Living Word of God (Scripture), other writings that teach and uplift the body, mind, heart, and spirit.  In just this small selection from Pseudo-Dionysius, much benefit comes at all levels, temporal and spiritual.  His Real Presence speaks through others--those who are through, with, and in Him and of whom He chooses what inspirations to be put ink to paper, or in our times, finger to keyboard.

The following is a selection from The Divine Names (Pseudo-Dionysius: The Complete Works).

"...I praise the super-powerful God for being omnipotent, blessed, the sole and mighty ruler, as sovereign in the reign of eternity.  He has in no way fallen from being.  Rather, in His transcendent power He is above all things and has advance possession of all things.  He it is who has granted  the power to be everything.  This gift of existence comes through the unstinted out-pouring of His overwhelming power."

"Again, the title 'Righteousness' is given to God because He assigns what is appropriate to all things; He distributes their due proportion, beauty, rank, arrangement, their proper and fitting place and order, according to a most just and righteous determination.  He is cause of their individual activity.  It is the righteousness of God which orders everything, setting boundaries, keeping things distinct and unconfused, giving each thing what it inherently deserved....What they really should know is that the righteousness of God is truly righteousness in that it gives the appropriate and deserved qualities to everything and that it preserves the nature of each being in its due order and power.

"Someone might say that it is not a characteristic of righteousness to leave pious men without some help when they are oppressed by the wicked.  To this the answer must be that if those whom you describe as pious are actually lovers of things basely sought on earth, then they have certainly fallen away from the yearning for God.  

"Would they not be closer to the virtues of the angels if, in their longing for the things of God, they shed their attachment to material things and bravely trained themselves for this in their quest for the beautiful?  It would be very much more in keeping with righteousness if God were to refrain from undermining the courage of the noblest ones through giving them material goods, if He were to give help to them when anyone tried to corrupt them, if He strengthened them in their admirable and firm steadiness, and if He gave them whatever befits their calling."

If one reads aloud and slowly the above words and thoughts, they seep into the understanding and intellect.  It is all truth.  And it is appropriate and applicable to each of us in whatever our God-given calling--single or married, consecrated, or holy orders.

Yet it is something to ask ourselves, if in our various callings:  Do we place more longing for the temporal aspects of the calling, than in a quest and yearning for the beautiful, for God?  And that question may be asked consciously or subconsciously in the Order of the Present Moment, in any given moment.  

Regardless the answer, which is quite individual and personal and can change in our shifts in and out of righteousness, we have God's assurance that when we are confounded by our trials and seeming lack of or distraction by material things as well as oppressive persons and situations--God is most certainly and righteously strengthening us, and gives us the qualities that each of us need for our individual natures and at the right time and with the perfect amount of power. 

It is good to rest in these truths of righteousness, and to pray for and in His righteousness' sake.  If we do find ourselves beset by temporal clashes and obstacles with people and situations, including within our own selves (which can be the worst form of chaos), then we can know for sure that we have lost our way, lost our yearning for God, and are too attached to material things.

Then it is high time we immediately detach from what hinders us of attachment, and that can be thoughts in the mind--concerns and upsets of a material and human nature--and return to training our intellects and wills for the sole and soulful delight in seeking the beautiful in which God is truth, beauty, and goodness.

And it can be quite the interesting and blessed exercise to yearn for God with all our body, mind, heart, and spirit--and to thank Him for the outpouring of His omnipotence into our beings, from His Being.  We are given the power necessary to quest for His Beautiful in our daily lives, and to find His Beautiful moment by moment, and return to righteousness in Him, when we falter back to our earthly attachments.  We can know by His powerful truth, that we are given exactly as we need according to His perfect and eternal knowing, power, and presence.

God bless His Real Presence in us!  Little children, let us love one another, and remain in His Love, for God Is Love!

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