Monday, December 21, 2015

A Hermit Believes!

When reading this morning's Scriptures from daily Mass, the Gospel includes Mary's kinswoman's words of joyful proclamation.  It is truly a statement of great faith, that Elizabeth exclaims in exultation when the Virgin Mary arrives to assist Elizabeth in the last month or more of pregnancy.

Elizabeth who had been unable to conceive previously, was soon to deliver a baby boy who the world would forever know as John the Baptist.  Elizabeth was given a "sign"; the infant leapt in her womb when Mary stood before Elizabeth upon meeting--Mary who was carrying in her womb, Jesus the Christ.

These final lines documented in the Gospel carry import for any human being.

Blessed are you who believed 
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled."

This morning, here in my unfinished, chilly hermitage, I pondered these words in my heart (as can be said truly) while making more Fortitude Fudge.  The kitchen is nearly complete, at least, and how lovely the quart countertops--cold and clean and just right for pans of fudge to set up properly.  

But the pain level of the body has been not setting up well within this hermit, and that means the emotions try to outbalance the mind, and the spirits risk faltering.  As in the spiritual ascent, managing pain is my forever-on earth contest; it may not be an achieved conquest in life.  I don't know.

I do know that in order to believe what is spoken to us by the Lord, we must listen.  We must listen to what the Lord is speaking to us.  And then we must have faith and great belief that what He says will be fulfilled.

The Lord may tell us messages through Scripture--broad as well as specific promises of our salvation, teachings that help us in daily life applications, example through His own life lived on earth.  The Lord may also tell us messages through angels--our guardian angel as well as various messenger angels depending upon the purpose and goal of the message.  

The Lord may speak to us in exterior and interior "words".  These are words that come so quickly and spontaneously, that we hear with inner ear mostly but sometimes outer ear--that we have to believe just in the fact that we heard some words that have special meaning in some way or other in our lives.  

The Lord may utilize other people to speak to us.  Sometimes these messages are difficult to accept, depending upon our degree of love and acceptance of the other person.  Yet, we ought examine all messages no matter the messenger, and discern truth, raw, unfiltered, or even falsely flattering the messages may be.

It is not always so easy to believe what is spoken to us by the Lord is going to be fulfilled.  But blessed are we if we do, or even if we try to believe, or even if we want to try to believe.  The Lord takes us where we are in our abilities to believe His messages and His fulfillment of His Words. 

(Perhaps the reason the angel told Zechariah that because he questioned the angel's message that Elizabeth would bear a son in their later years, Zechariah would be struck mute.  Zechariah, being a priest and older in years would be expected to have ability to believe an angel's message from God.)

This morning I've been pondering once again some messages from God and my weakness of belief.  I want to believe--such as messages about suffering, messages about it pleasing Him when I converted to Catholicism, messages even recently--such as to look at Him--or that He would guide my every step and path, or the message He delivered through my late mother, last spring in a dream:  You will have a place (and the means will be there).

I have faltered in belief on many levels.  Francisco just arrived and fixed the French doors.  As I see now, in hindsight, I could have fixed them with shims; but I did not know for sure if that would be the correct solution.  So I waited for a couple or three weeks, made several phone calls to remind the busy Raphael, as I also thought there was a leak in the pole barn roof.  When ill with the severe pain siege, the concerns increased as to how on earth would I be able to keep working on this place, finish it, have it salable as finances keep hitting new low's, and rock bottom is not far off.

What concerns did Mary have if any?  At first when the angel appeared and spoke God's message to her, she asked the angel "How can this be, for I have had no relations with a man?" She was not struck mute because of her wondering, her questioning.  Perhaps the quickening of the Holy Spirit in her body, how the Holy Spirit came over her, helped assuage what doubts might have come to a young woman hearing such news from an angel.

So it is that we must consider our degree of spiritual development, our ages, our attention given to listening to whatever God speaks and in whatever means He speaks to us His messages.  We must consider our availability to listening, as well.

As for me, a hermit of the 21st century who questions some aspects of the world in all its variations of groups of humanity, I need to very much question my own faith, and if I am truly believing, and if what I am believing is worthy of belief.  That means, am I centering my belief in His Real Presence, in His Law of Love, or am I trying to believe in other people, or myself, or in tangible and temporal aspects?

This hermit believes!  Yet, very much I must always add:  Lord, help my unbelief!

"Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled."

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