This nothing consecrated Catholic hermit is not alone in living alone or in solitude. There are hermits dotted about the world. And there are people everywhere who are alone whether or not they live with others or have families or work with the public.
This topic is not new, so no point in explaining or even debating the subtle truths, the esoteric realities, of human beings in their--what I term--"ontological aloneness." It is the loneliness of being that we all experience, sometimes more noticeably than others. It is an interior sense of being alone.
The hermit has adapted to a greater degree of solitude than ever it imagined possible. The hermit does not feel "lonely." Not at all. There is no sense of desolation at this point of this journey. The past two years of increased solitude and living in a type of God-arranged exile, has brought the hermit to a point of peace in solitude, of a sort of restitude and quietude.
Then there is the reality that none of us is ever really alone unless we choose to deny or ignore that there is God always with us, and His ministering angels, and the community of believers--even if we rarely see a spot of light or angel vision, or rarely see another human being in person. And for those who do not even have a laptop and do not see "people" visually on the internet such as in news clips or other video clips--those folks are not really alone, either.
However, we can all feel "lonely" from time to time. It is just that this hermit has adapted to a degree that it simply never feels "lonely". The hermit still feels despair from time to time, and that due to extreme pain sieges in which the mind and emotions can no longer manage the pain. The mind and emotions thus are seemingly on their own, doing their own thing, despairing in more pain than it seems rightful for a human being in our time period to have to suffer.
Yes, there are pain meds, but with so many people who do not have physical pain abusing the medications, it is very difficult for those who do have serious pain to receive an amount for the severe episodes...unless terminally ill. And, the hermit does not want much, anyway, for it seeks to attain to unconditional love and to unite its pain with Jesus on the Cross of His Suffering in reparation for our sins and for the salvation of souls.
So even in severe pain and tending toward despair (did not Jesus anguish in Gethsemane and also on the cross?), the hermit does not feel lonely. It knows it is not alone even if in human solitude. God is with us.
The adaptation to increasing amounts of solitude (and silence) is arranged by God, if natural and true. We hermits do need to cooperate, such as if we are consecrated in this vocation. We then, of course, try as would anyone who is committed and avowed to living a life of stricter separation from the world, and in the silence of solitude.
If we try to force it, though, we can end up feeling lonely and desolate. If we take tiny sips of solitude, that helps in adaptation. But we must always trust and accept that God is the best One to arranged for the amount of solitude, when and where and how.
This hermit did not realize that God is the One to do the arranging and setting of the amount of solitude until arriving in this desert exile. Even making the decision to move here, the hermit thought others and itself was in charge of the decision...only to find out rather shockingly, that instead of an easier life and perhaps a few more church contacts, His Real Presence arranged a big hunk of solitude.
From first arriving, a neighbor tried to take part of the hermit's little plot of land via some loophole law. He did not succeed, but he and his wife never spoke again. Another neighbor came out of her dwelling one day and announced that they all stay to themselves around here. The hermit does not have anyone to call upon for an emergency, even, other than if the Catholic deputy happens to answer his voicemail messages, which is about 50% rate.
And all this is all right, for the hermit has finally figured out that God wants the hermit to rely on Him to be here, totally, completely, and to be the hermit's Spouse in a truly tangible and mystical way. So He provides when there is a need. He brings who He wills, when He wills, and how He wills, and for what He wills.
Thus, the surprise when a friend across the miles visited for an afternoon, brought here by her adult son with whom she was staying a week. Thus the kindness of the adult daughter to offer to bring food a couple weeks ago when the hermit was having another high-level pain siege and was running out of some staples; but His Real Presence lifted enough of the pain for the hermit to drive and replenish the food.
We are not alone. When we let God lead and determine the amount of solitude, He sometimes moves more rapidly in stripping the distractions than what we think we can handle. But what is so amazing is that because He is arranging for the solitude--even if it kind of startles us with the degree He sets--we handle it, for whatever He wills, we are carried along, for we are not alone. He is with us in ways more actual than what we would ever have known had we kept trying to set our own standards.
Recently the hermit decided on its own to cease viewing news clip videos. But that was not God's decision for then. No. So the hermit watches a few, glancing over and getting the gist of details even though it knows what to pray for in general--the world, people, various crimes and calamities, suffering, poverty, politics, countries, peace, morals, Christians, those of other religions, etc.
Perhaps His Real Presence at some later time will determine that He wills the hermit to not have to see any of it. But for now, He wills an enforced bit. Perhaps it is because the hermit was forgetting to pray for some aspects that it prays for more readily if it has the news reminders? Don't know. But He did not allow cutting it out, despite how boring, depraved, repetitive, and temporal the news folks and videos can be.
He is the One Who sets the degree of solitude--when, where, how, and how long. For he can raise and lower the degree of solitude according to His will. That is something to consider and keep in mind. Accept it, as much as we need to accept the fact and reality that He is the one who arranges the degree and type of solitude. Accept it as much as we accept that we are not alone. God is with us always. There is no loneliness in solitude that God has arranged.