Resting the pained body today, and praying, gently centering the soul in His Real Presence. Picked up Pseudo-Macarius to continue reading the homilies, and the very next one where this hermit left off is aptly titled:
"The need for much accurateness and right understanding in discerning who are authentic Christians."
So it is that this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit reads and ponders what Macarius writes from centuries past. It has to do with testing what he calls deceitful workers "since even such as these wear the habit of monks or Christians."
How so very much this hermit desires to simply be a child of Christ, to be a Christian! Nothing other, does it want! It seems that having to be thrust into seeing and sensing, without the balm of filters, some of the ills of our human lives and the mockery in some instances, of what we have become today--it is horrifying. Sickening!
A lack of grace occurs in that aspect of the temporal Church which resorts to dealing with souls in what is expedient, in what "works" rather than in genuine Christocentric concern. This includes the hard choices and sensitive but assertive effort involved in reversing some decisions, then helping some find a "place" in the Church where they are best suited, or not suited, depending upon the situation.
But, all that is what this hermit must simply pray about. It is not in the business of church administration. The big world of church politics is obviously not where this soul is placed by God, nor what it yearns for or desires.
This soul, this hermit's pained and seeking soul, desires Christ and His love, and to love others with His love. It does not want to be in situations in which there is discord under the surface, and sometimes not even so under the surface. It does not wish to have this "gift" (as some have called it--the hermit chaffs at the seeming malaprop) of seeing raw truth, of being taken into bliss only to have the bliss intruded upon--and for what good in the effect?
The only explanation the hermit can find is so that this hermit can suffer and pray for the persons it sees, for the situations that unfold in discovery, and for its own soul--that finds itself reeling from what it has seen. And not just what it has sensed or seen, but then for the hermit to progress onward to union with Christ--not in discovering yet more disappointing aspects of more muddy mess.
Now to refocus the body, mind, heart, and soul. What does Macarius advise in discerning who are authentic Christians? How can this hermit live its life so as to be an authentic Christian? It is not pleased with the horror in which it fled, nor even when asked if the hermit was all right, to have burst out in what seems such abject truth yet judgment. Whether true or not, if not for the mystical state which bares all good as well as not good, the hermit in a normal state would easily have masked and demurred from speaking forth.
Now to put all that aside, and to not step foot into that which does not edify. No need to dwell on what others may do or believe, or not do or disbelieve, or if they judge or misjudge. Leave it to Christ to discern our souls, to know if He lives in us and us in Him. This hermit now may and must free itself from all that other. It must not enter back into that world. It can avoid those situations of temporal Catholic world malaise unless the Lord should bring note of it in a dream or vision or chance report from some person corresponding or calling.
Other than to love all souls and pray for them, and to have compassion--these others, Christians or not--must walk their own paths as they see fit. They may judge or misjudge, but this hermit does not want itself to be in that position and does not need to be in such situations. To do so sickens it, causes great grief of soul, and brings on deep contrition. Yet, in truth, this consecrated Catholic hermit prays and hopes for priests and hermits private or public, for souls of all vocations and religions, and for its own soul, that we each are saved in the Lord Jesus Christ for all eternity.
Now in every present moment, this Christian Catholic hermit must:
"...work at the justification which is being accomplished in the inner man wherein stands the judgment seat of Christ, together with his spotless sanctuary, so that the testimony of your conscience may glory in the cross of Christ. He has 'cleansed your conscience from dead works' (Heb 9:14) that you may adore God in your spirit, that you may know what you adore according to him who says, 'we adore that which we know' (Jn 4:22). Trust in God who guides you. Let your soul have fellowship with God as bride communes with bridegroom. For 'this mystery is great,' it says, 'but I speak of Christ' (Eph 5:32) and the spotless soul. To him be glory forever. Amen."
God bless His Real Presence in me, in you, in us!