Am praying up to the last possible moment before needing to rise from mattress, dress, and drive the distance to Mass, then face sitting another hour or more. And, this is after a particularly grueling pain siege lasting a couple or more days. This nothing consecrated Catholic hermit is yet a bit too pained but pushed itself yesterday to do a bit more exterior painting.
This morning's chapter of Hebrews is 7, and this for the friend who recently turned 88. The hermit is daily offering reading and praying the Letter to the Hebrews, the Living Word of God, with also a daily prayer intention for the friend: a spiritual gift. Yes, the spiritual gift is being offered; but the friend is a spiritual gift to the hermit, as well. Today's intention is the Holy Spirit's gift of counsel.
Counsel, as the gift of the Spirit, is that of making right judgments, right decisions, within the will of God and pertaining to all of the soul's existence in body, mind, and heart--relating to life in this temporal world as well as life in His Real Presence. Counsel has to do with right decisions regarding all that one does, says, thinks and prays.
This morning the hermit does not want to go to Mass. Why? The answer has sifted down to these two points: physical pain will increase as a result of driving and then added sitting during Mass; and the horror that can be and is likely, to be trapped in a type of hell when in ecstasy but the priest's tendency to intrude into the glory of the Mass with unhealthy or disturbing aspects.
Rather than go into the latter, in depth, the hermit understands the various facets of how this occurs, when it occurs, during Mass. It takes a great submission and dying to self to endure when there are aspects of the beauty of Mass so tainted and disturbed. The hermit's spiritual father in the past has said to try to allow oneself to be crucified, for the Lord certainly is when such intrusions occur within the Mass, especially caused by a priest or allowed by a priest, at the altar or lectern.
But the hermit wonders if the Lord also asks this hermit to voluntarily do that which is going to cause more physical pain later, from the driving and sitting, particularly when still recovering from a physical crucifixion-type pain siege?
Perhaps it is best to find out. After all, this consecrated Catholic Hermit has tended to cast the nets int he water, time and again, to discern God's will. Either the nets will come up empty, partly full, or full. Perhaps, also, this is how we Christians learn to cooperate with the gift of counsel, of trying to learn right judgment and to find out what the Lord wills for each of us, individually and as His Body.
The hermit certainly needs much grace in every present moment. That is for sure.
God bless His Real Presence in us!