Friday, July 31, 2015

Catholic Hermit: Praying, Working, Suffering, Acedia

Haven't written much lately but continue on in prayer, work, and pain.

This past week have been mostly on the mattress, trying to pray, to keep up the spirits and a positive attitude on all the work yet to be done in conjunction to flailing finances.  Have been also keeping up some with the world scene and, ironically, the world of politics.  Donald Trump has taught this hermit much.  (Will write on that topic later.)

About all the hermit has accomplished physically is to keep up some watering.  Picked some vegetables and fruits, had a visit from a young neighbor lad who was home alone one day when power was out, and have tried to pray even though nothing very disciplined.

Seems as if this consecrated Catholic hermit has come into a phase of spiritual acedia.  The financial advisor--great Catholic man and wisely practical (admire this as seems to be lacking in the hermit!)--sent a brochure of the prayers ascribed as Jesus' asking them of St. Bridget.  While the "promises" included if a person prays these prayers for a good length of time, daily, are not condoned by the Church and were added at some point in history distant from St. Bridget's time on earth, the prayers are rote, mental, yet very good in covering aspects of Jesus' life mission.

It has been awhile since the nothing Catholic hermit has prayed verbal/mental prayers.  This hermit is not a disciplined type in temperament, as far as remaining in one phase or aspect of spiritual growth.  However, in the spiritual life, we know that there is never, on earth, a time in which we will not ever sin, not ever be in perfect contemplation.  Rather, we wax and wane; there is a movement innate in us as in the ocean of the high tide and ebb tide.  We roll with the Order of the Present Moment.

But we can lapse in our process of seeking God and loving Him with all our bodies, minds, hearts and souls.  We can drift far out yet not as in a productive or generative casting out into the deep.  More it is as if we are drifting out in a sewage drain system, where the farther we drift, the worse the stench and the thicker the sludge and excrement.

This weary, pained, consecrated Catholic hermit recently has been out in the sewage of the world too much.  Even if trying (and praying) to refocus on His Real Presence, to read the spiritual writings so good for the soul, to still its soul in listening to the Holy Spirit--the eyes have taken in far too much of the world in news and thoughts despite always trying to relate everything in existence to a spiritual lesson, a spiritual truth, a linkage through, with, and in His Real Presence.

Now, that was one long sentence expressing a simple but huge thought.

This hermit has been stricken with spiritual acedia, and what to do about it?  Friends are praying that the hermit get back into work mode which helps provide the groundwork for silent prayer leading to contemplation while in the process of work progress.  It is an art form, is manual labor, and it is a symphony of silence, solitude, slowness, suffering, selflessness (mind leaves self), stillness, simplicity, stability, serenity.

But the hermit has wandered the laptop, for the spiritual reading of Macarius and finishing Dionysius can be heavy--as in the books themselves are hard to lift and hold when needing to be flat on the back with knees propped under pillow to allow for low back to be relieved somewhat.  And in pain, the mind has difficulty focusing on other-than-pain.  And time flows by with concern arising: how will the hermit be able to financially and physically finish this temporal abode before dire straits arrive?

The other evening the hermit came across the musical artist Eric Clapton.  Second greatest guitarist in the world, it is said.  The hermit read about and listened to documentaries on the musician and man.  Observing those who are successful in their life missions, work, and genius teaches much that can be applied to how a consecrated Catholic hermit (or any soul!) can be successful in our unique, God-ordained life missions and temporal-spiritual life purpose.

There are certain commonalities woven through the lives of people who succeed in life, whether their missions are more in "the world" or not in "that world" but destined to be of it, all of us, physically.  Not to go into the points in this post, but the song "Holy Mother" written and performed by Eric Clapton (and in some instances along with the great Luciano Pavaroti), hit this hermit's body, mind, heart, and soul last evening.  Thus, the two postings from YouTube.

Awoke this morning with the melody and words of "Holy Mother" flowing in the mind, heralding a day in which the nothing consecrated Catholic hermit has great hope and faith that the formal definition of spiritual acedia is already passing away and waning, and the deep and profound love of God and delight and desire in all things of God, rules the being and soul.

On another note, have read not too long ago that some blogs are successful due to the sheer honesty and personal vulnerability of the blogger.  Those who admit to their humanness and open to the reality that they are not perfect and are striving regardless (no matter their topic), tend to garner the touchstone aspect with the vast bulk of likewise-striving humanity.

This hermit, this soul, certainly hopes it is touching other touchstones and is being touched, as well.  The recent feelings of spiritual backsliding, of this phase of spiritual acedia, of the reality that the world can be alluring to even those of whom God has personally called out of the world and has spoken in His Voice to that effect, assure this hermit (and hopefully others) that  it is no different than all who remain quite aware that we are in temporal and spiritual procession.

God bless His Real Presence in us!  Little children, let us love one another as God loves us first.

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