Does not seem often that Jesus speaks aloud, within, so clearly. Or perhaps, in actuality, it is not often that this consecrated Catholic hermit is listening closely to His Real Presence. So many distractions of the temporal world can interfere if not watchful, listening, waiting within the recesses of the mind, heart and soul.
So yesterday, after reading another homily of Pseudo-Macarius on detaching from the distractions of the "world" so that one can choose to think of God, be in God, the hermit thought-flashed its apologies that it struggles with discipline and will to cut loose from the distractions.
Then the hermit broached in the interior conversation, the recent attempt to pray daily the novena prayer attributed to St. Bridget, one that is said to have been given her by Jesus to pray. A friend had sent the brochure with the seven-paragraph prayer, each covering a different aspect of Jesus' life and Passion. One is to pray the Our Father and a Hail Mary prior to praying the words of each paragraph.
This hermit go through four of the seven. With each, there was an appreciation of the aspects of praying for forgiveness and to improve in areas of life such as giving up sins of the heart, sins of the spirit, sins of the body, and so forth. But the hermit found itself re-reading and back-tracking sometimes mid-sentence. Just could not keep the mind focused!
Ah, the hermit decided to try again the next day, then the next. And it was this failure to successfully read-pray through a lovely verbal-mental prayer, that this consecrated Catholic hermit bemoaned its guilt and lack of discipline. How sorry! Why was it that the hermit delighted in and had the will and discipline--even to cling to--these forms of prayers when it first converted to the Faith 21 years ago? What has happened?
In this vein of thought-flashing conversation with the Lord, the hermit proceeded to apologize and self-chastise. Then through the silent din within of its conversation, the Lord spoke:
Just talk to Me.
Ah. So simple, so pure, so loving, so honest, so understanding is His Real Presence! Just talk to Me.
Perhaps He is pleased with the banter, after all, that the hermit puts forth in stream of consciousness, interior converse with God, with Mary, with various saints, angels, and souls known and unknown to the hermit who lived and died and live again in fullness of Light on the other side.
Just that morning, when the young helper and the hermit had a most difficult time unsticking a blade in a tool so we could change it, the hermit had interiorly prayed to the patron saint of tools, whoever that might be, to please help us. Instantaneously, the blade mechanism dislodged, freeing the effort.
Prior, when we searched diligently for the blade we wanted to install, the hermit asked Little Child Jesus to help us find it, and prayed that aloud. Lo and behold, the blade was found in an unlikely spot. "Thank You, Child Jesus," the hermit cheered, but then a rude aside, "but why did You take so long?" And then an immediate, "Sorry for being so rude, Jesus! Thankful You helped us find it!"
The other day a friend's husband could not find a swimming pool leak. His heart is doing poorly, and going under water, holding his breath, caused some frightening, bodily symptoms. "We need to ask the Prophet Jonah to help your husband," suggested the hermit. The thought had just popped to mind. Of course, it is the Holy Spirit Who pops these ideas to the fore. We just have to snatch them out of thin air and put them to action. "He certainly knows about underwater experiences. Three days he was in the belly of the whale, and in reality is an archetype for Jesus' three days until resurrection.
Three days later, the friend emailed with much excitement. That day, her husband surprised himself. He found the leak after three days of underwater searching. While he scoffed that it was in answer to requesting Jonah to help locate the leak, attributing it to another silly Catholic superstition (his wife is Catholic; he is not), he did say he appreciated the prayers, all the same. That counts!
His wife and this hermit thanked the Holy Spirit and the Prophet Jonah. No doubts in our minds.
So the brochure of the prayers purported to be ones Jesus asked St. Bridget to pray and promote, remains on the floor here by the mattress in this fixer-upper, Te Deum Hermitage. The hermit has decided to review the main points of each paragraph of worded prayers, to get the gist. It has asked St. Bridget to please pray these verbal prayers on behalf of the hermit, as they are lovely prayers, and beautifully worded, but somehow the hermit cannot keep focus when reading them.
The hermit is going to just keep talking to Jesus, telling Him all, sharing all, asking all, loving all, and listening to all that Jesus has to say to the hermit, day in and night out.
"Just talk to Me," Jesus said.
That's good. That's real. That's profound. That's the truth. And that's simple enough for this tired out old hermit with work galore to try to tend to the prayer requests of others and to keep renovating this fixer upper it got itself into, to be able to pray with full and sincere body, mind, heart, and spirit. Praise God!