Saturday, October 10, 2015

Catholic Hermit, Question of Evil

Received an email pertinent to another Catholic hermit who evidently continues to disparage and discredit "yours truly" here.  The person wrote that this other hermit who writes such things was "sheer evil."

Now, it seems a bit severe, but one does wonder if there is that much hate, envy, and on-going rancor towards this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit here who is striving to simply live its vocation and chronicle the spiritual progression--very much including the unknowns and the failings and sometimes successes.  Is there is so much hate and resentment in a person who happens to also be a "canonically approved" variety of consecrated Catholic hermit, and then is that person technically or spiritually an authentic hermit in the consecrated life of the Catholic Church, regardless of public profession?

Is that person's bishop truly supervising that hermit of whom he is to be directing her daily life according to his approval of her plan of life?  Does he even know what she writes, or of her obsession and need to disparage another Catholic hermit (this one here, in fact!)?

But, the response given to the person emailing, is that it does not matter.  Better to be wrongly judged by someone out there in the blogosphere, than to try to figure out or even consider if a hermit is credible, authentic, or valid if going through the Catholic canonical hermit motions but is missing in some basics of Christianity and Christian behavior.

Let the Lord judge that hermit and this hermit, here.  In fact, there is some news regarding this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit attempting to receive Holy Communion.  It contacted the deputy who moved his family so that he could have them attending a licit Mass, elsewhere.  For over a year, before selling their home and moving, they had been driving a long distance to return to the parish where there was a healthy priest and a valid Mass.  His priest had told him to not go to the parish--the one this hermit has tried to attend with rather disastrous results (see previous blogs but not really necessary to drag through the ordeal).

So the deputy was willing to bring this hermit the Eucharist and would speak with his priest; and the hermit was to contact the priest, also, for that priest is well aware of the sorrowful situation in this nearby parish.  However, when the hermit spoke with the lovely secretary who passed on the request to the healthy and capable priest, the answer came back in the negative.  Due to canonical laws, the priest had told her, he could not allow the deputy to bring the hermit communion.

Of course, the hermit had explained its spiritual father forbade it to return to the closer parish, given the sorrowful situation of the priest and Mass there.  And the hermit is too ill with chronic pain to drive the distance to physically attend Mass at the healthy priest's parish.  But that priest feels strongly of the rule that a person must attend Mass at the parish nearest.  Of course, the hermit knew immediately there is an inconsistency but did not mention it.  Why bother?  It would only embarrass the priest, for he allowed the deputy and family to come to Mass in his parish for over a year while they lived closer to the unhealthy priest's parish than does this hermit!  And it was that healthy, solid priest who told the deputy and his family to not go to the closer parish.

Ah, what do we do with our temporal Catholic world?  We have to keep a strong sense of humor as well as offer prayers and sacrifices for all the shenanigans that go on.  We humans--in holy orders, in consecrated life of the Church, in matrimony or single life, Christian or not--are quite something else in our sheer goofiness!  It is difficult at times to know, literally, which end is up....

Another bit of news helped this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit, here in its unsalable hermitage.  The deputy shared that he had been to the bishop twice with concrete listing of documented ills and wrongs in this nearby parish and issues with the dear, struggling priest.  Nothing was going to be done.  Word from within the diocese is that this struggling priest was a disaster at two previous parishes, so he was sent to this parish where the Mass attendance is rather sketchy, and the people not actually desiring a proactive priest, on fire for the spiritual life.  They had run out a very holy priest who had been there a year; part of their issue was that priest tried to develop Adoration as well as other spiritually enlivening programs and opportunities.  Too holy!

So, that is how it is for now, and this hermit is accepting all as from the Hands of God.  The spiritual father happened to call--a rare event as he mostly writes--while the hermit was awaiting word back from the request that it receive Communion, brought by the deputy.  The spiritual father had good news: he had returned to more spiritual reading, himself, and was focusing on the Four Last Things.  So, too, his spiritual child, this hermit, has returned to more spiritual reading, continuing on with the sermons of Pseudo-Macarius, Scripture, and once can locate the iPad charge cord, will continue reading the biography of St. Gemma Galgani.

It is rather a sad state of affairs that the healthy priest's adherence to canonical laws, as his secretary put it, will keep the hermit from Holy Communion once a week. (The hermit's pain level alone would be enough to dispense it of sitting through Mass, although the hermit tries never to allow the pain to totally debilitate it when it came to Mass attendance.)  However, the irony of the situation must cause this hermit to praise God rather than to succumb to despair.  The devil was indeed working on the despairing aspect, for certain.  Just too many consolations came; and the hermit needs to cling to those and to keep its eyes on Jesus.

The sinus infection is starting to make improvement.  The hermit switched to a stronger antibiotic.  There has been much prayer and penance--many offerings made on behalf of the priest that is being denied help from the diocese even though they know he has troubles.  How cruel is that?  And the parishioners who remain in the parish, thankfully content enough, are missing out on much, but the Lord will take care of them, for sure.  God bless them for those who pick up the work pieces and keep the place running.  

This hermit will be obedient to its spiritual father and not return, not attempt to talk with or help the priest other than in prayer and penances offered, and will not contact the diocese.  The spiritual father was right:  They know the problems and are choosing to ignore them.  So much like a lot of organizations in the secular world, is that attitude and non-action!  In school administration it was called "the dance of the lemons" when a bad administrator or teacher would be moved from place to place until finally a spot was found where they could languish and the people (usually poor or less educated) would accept the low quality, and the school would sink lower yet.

So there is much for this rather saddened nothing consecrated Catholic hermit to pray about--and praise God about. At least there are answers, even if in the negative.  Don't go to that parish to Mass; not going to be allowed Communion from a valid parish Mass.  And, in the concrete answers even if neither would be what the hermit would hope and dream for in and for the good of the Church--the hermit can take heart and joy in the fact that they are answers.  The net was cast a couple of times in different directions, and the net came up with those answers.

A despairing thought came this morning:  Will this hermit ever get this hermitage in salable condition and be able to depart this desert, this place of true and solid exile?  Ever?  Well, the hermit knows not.  All it can do is get its pained body up and dressed and try to keep painting on the outside of the house.

Fr. Vincent has called from Nigeria to hear what is going on, but the call got lost somewhere between this desert and his desert in Nigeria.

So, we carry forth.  This nothing consecrated Catholic hermit will continue to pray and pray and offer sacrifices and praise for all these situations and persons involved, and for the temporal Catholic world (what one hermit priest calls the secular church) and for the mystical Catholic world, and for all Christian Churches and all Christians everywhere.  This hermit is going to try all the harder to live its vocation not only as a consecrated Catholic hermit, but as a Christian hermit--and a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ!  

Am looking at HIM.

God bless His Real Presence in us!  God save us all and protect us, and may His truth and light be shining through any rubble we get ourselves into.  Yes, little children, let us love one another.  Remember that God Is Love!

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