Today the universal church begins, together, proclaiming and pondering St. Paul's "Letter to the Romans." These lines stand out, having awakened this morning remembering my mother's passing on this day 11 years ago. I reflected upon her lovely life and her recommitment to Jesus Christ toward the end of her life after exploring a bit off the narrow path. The Lord called her back, better then ever before!
Last evening I watched a couple or so video clips of old "What's My Line" television programs. I recall them from childhood and found myself laughing aloud in the hermitage--some much-needed laughter after some deep, inner questioning and praying for the Lord's guidance and will in various matters. Yes, I saw Jesus in the laughter; I saw Him in the decorum of people, recalling the 50's and '60's before the yawing opening of our society to more an "anything goes" attitude.
It is not as if sin did not exist prior. Of course not! But people more attempted a refinement of loveliness and decency, at least externally. And the external is a reflection of the internal, as the internal also illuminates through the external.
It is as if a weight has lifted from this hermit, a Catholic, a Catholic professed and avowed for this lifetime in the Consecrated Life of the Church--and more so, espoused and betrothed to Jesus Christ for now and all eternity.
The hermit's young helper's mother returned the call yesterday.
I was able to smooth things over, to apologize, to explain that when I am in Mass and in the very deep mystical state, that all is fresh, clear, raw, unfiltered truth. In no way would I ever flee from Mass in horror if in the conscious, filtered, temporal state. Like those before who shielded their inner problems (TV contestant Dorothy Kilgallen had a drinking and infidelity problem but masked it, as another side of her was decent, loving, warm, intelligent, and refined), I would have, during Mass if a priest or some other person did something that was distracting or off-point and off-kilter, simply ignored it and turned the thoughts to Scripture, to Jesus, until the disturbance had passed.
My spiritual father has ordered me not to return to the parish, nor to try to help or talk with the priest, nor to alert the diocese for they already know the situation and are handling it in the way that works best for them. (In God's will, He will take care of the priest and the parishioners over time, in His own way. There is always opportunity for deeper conversions.)
And that is where this hermit's soul is, now, in the Order of the Present Moment. I am at a point of deeper conversion. My rule of life presents itself more than ever: to follow the Gospel Rule. As a fellow Catholic hermit of yore discovered, the Gospel rule is the perfect rule of life for hermits and for anyone. So within the Gospel Rule, within the Living Word of God, I am trying to live a life of love, utilizing the Nine S' to support and engage living the Gospel in the Order of the Present Moment.
Silence. Solitude. Slowness. Suffering. Selflessness. Simplicity. Stability. Stillness. Serenity.
There will be no more parishes in the foreseeable future. I was able to explain to the helper's dear mother, that I do not desire to see through situations, through people. Yes, if all is good, it is bliss. If not, it is horrific hell to endure. I have been trying very hard to do as the temporal Catholic rules and laws ask--and then a long-time friend who visited last week reminded me that for centuries, Catholics received Communion once a year....
I have been, with the help of priests and a specialist with the paranormal, trying to figure out what God wills with this rather rare mystical ecstasy at any and every Mass. I have not so much considered that He wills me to a greater silence of solitude of being with Him. I had ignored five visions and dreams with locutions (messages) directly advising me that I do not belong to the world of parishes anymore. The first was within two years of becoming a Catholic! Since it did not seem to jive with the norm, for I was not in the consecrated part of the Church as religious brothers and sisters, all along I have continued to try to go to Mass in parishes--with rather difficult outcomes.
No one is to blame other than me, I do agree! I have been not paying attention to the signs, to the messages, to the dreams and visions. And it was all right to do so because there is this gift called discernment that we must cooperate with fully--not lean unto our own understanding but seek the guidance of wise others and also then seek affirmation and confirmation from the Lord in His Living Word and in His guidance of our souls, in every present moment.
His ways are beyond our understanding and knowledge, for the most part. What is asked of us it to have complete faith in Him, and to receive the peace He bequeaths. The peace of the Holy Spirit is always a very good sign that nothing other can replicate--His abiding peace! Abiding.
We can detect sin in ourselves and others when there is ugliness, envy, pride, vindictiveness, treachery, deception, bickering, detraction, wrong-judging.
I do not want to be in any of these categories. That is not my nature and never has been. This morning I feel a cleansing from my sins and a sense of light and love and being lifted out of what I had tried so hard to figure out, to go along with, to be a part of that which the Lord had me pass through, benefit, and then have my angel take me to the Stairway to Heaven. The Mass is the Stairway, with all its beauty and wonder. But what is in the Mass?
The Sacraments, all of them, and His Living Word are in the Mass. The life, death, and RESURRECTION of Jesus Christ are in the Mass. The passageway between the temporal and into the eternal mystical, union with God, are in the Mass. And the Mass goes beyond the time and place. In the Mass, we are sent out to take His Real Presence into life and into lives temporally and mystically, now and forever.
Although not the norm according to the temporal rules which are very good indeed but Jesus is clear that no temporal rule is necessarily eternal, there is the Gospel Rule of Life, of abiding in Him and He abiding in us, that transcends. Many canonized hermits and saints came to this, and usually through much persecution and with negative judging by others. Yet they persevered.
Yesterday I was thinking again about John of the Cross and Padre Pio. They did not leave off their vocations or their temporal names in religious life, nor no longer consider themselves to be Catholic. Rather, they more deeply understood their vocations, their roles, their Catholicism and very much so their Christianity as followers of Jesus Christ.
So it is with this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit. Yes, I could use the name I had in religious life, even if I did not remain in that community. I could go by Pio of the Wounded Heart. But that is so very temporal, and as a hermit, I am not the same as John of the Cross or Padre Pio. I am called to be hidden, and to more know the name by which I will be called in heaven, a name told me by the Lord some 19 years ago this fall during a bit of a taste of heaven in the here and now.
But even that, remains a name for heaven, not for my hermit life. No, I am simply a consecrated Catholic hermit. That is more than enough name. It reminds me of my vows, of my life and place in the Catholic Church, and of my vocation as an eremite. And my given name, thought of by my late mother before I was born and gifted on the day of birth, means "gift of God." That is beautiful!
I thank my mother many times over today, for her lovely life and her loving me and nurturing, protecting, and holding out all kinds of hope in what I might accomplish in life, to do good, to love, to thrive. She instilled in me a love of God, of Jesus, of the Holy Spirit! I have already this morning apologized deeply for the bungles I made and still make! But love transcends our errors when we are sorry, and when we so want to do much good in Christ. To be holy--that is the desire of this heart!
Through Him we have received the grace of apostleship,
to bring about the obedience of faith,
for the sake of His name, among all the Gentiles,
among whom you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ;
to all the beloved of God in Rome, called to be holy.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.
--from Romans 1
God bless His Real Presence in me, in you, in us! Little children, let us love one another for God Is Love! Accept, embrace, feel, reflect, and share His Love with Him and each other!