Sunday, January 3, 2016

A Hermit's Solitude

"Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you." (Is 60:1)

It may seem far-flung faith to think it, but it seems His Real Presence is curtailing this consecrated hermit's interaction with others to nearly nil.  There are two occurrences which give the clues.

One is the family member who so desired and influenced the hermit's move to the area in which they had moved.  Even if the husband were to get another job some day, they said they would stay in the area.  Now, of course, a new job is needed, and they so hope to move elsewhere.

Thus, I have pondered on this reality; and I do pray that they are able to move where they'd prefer being, as it turns out.  I don't blame them.  It was unrealistic for me to consider such a promise as viably realistic.  Things happen.  
So that is one clue:  The Lord is arranging for this hermit to be without family contact in a more actual, lived way.  In time of extreme illness or need of assistance, or a place to go if power is out or a break from what seemed already far more solitude and silence than in past location: being able to travel to what I call "civilization" has been wonderful.  So we are simply heading into a phase in which that option and luxury is likely not going to be the case.  Of course, we do not know for sure, yet.  But it is their desire and of benefit financially, personally, emotionally, for them to return to where they had lived previously.

"Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you."

This hermit's upper-level, spinal headache continues.  Pain medication and additional Excedrin do not kick it out; but for a brief time (such as now), it is lessened and am able think a bit to express thoughts.  I cannot blame the cabinet combat, as that is going to be resolved even if it might take awhile. Don the cabinet employee is coming with Jerry the company rep (who has had yet another surgery but will be back to work) to take photographs and to assess if the cabinets can be remedied of the increasingly unfolding flaws.  No longer is this a battle but a more positive working together to get the problems solved: not stressful now.

I also cannot blame the dwindling finances as a super stress.  Yesterday in the mail came (finally!) the mortgage company's revised monthly payment.  This hermit's low income qualified for some relief.  There is also a refund check for overages, and that will help with the monthly money drain for a couple months.  More time to keep working on the place before having to bail.  What an uplift!  God provides!

"Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you."

Then came an extraneous thought.  A couple weeks ago this hermit ran out of vitamin B-6 supplement.  Doctors have recommended various higher doses of certain vitamins to help the body replenish.  Chronic pain which is at high levels, even with pain relievers, can strip the brain of various chemicals which help combat pain--seratonin, dopamine, endorphins, etc.  I had decided not to purchase more B-6 due to financial considerations but also thinking surely would not make much bodily difference.

But perhaps it has!  Researched B-6, as had forgotten specifics as to why I was taking more than what we usually need or receive in our daily diet and multi-vitamin.  Discovered that B-6 helps increase seratonin levels and improves nerve health, and lack results in headache among other symptoms.  With the refund check as a boost to financial hope, B-6 will come in a week.  Might take a couple weeks of taking it to know if it helps.  Somehow, given the inner thought of it yesterday, I think it will.

Regardless, with the increased spinal headache, the mind and emotions have been erratic with pain!  This hermit had become un-done, of sorts.  Part of the contact with others, few though they be, was online.  Yet increasingly, what I would write on a social media site linked with some family and personal friends, became not so fruitful.  The words and thoughts were not who I am nor He Who I need to represent.  

"Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you."

And all the more, I noticed that others' posts and photographs were not at all anything relating to the reality of how I live, think, perceive, feel.  Not just with a life of high-level physical pain--also, spiritually, I am on a different wave-length; and vocationally am in a less-relatable position than what most others are, as well.  

The situation was not particularly reflecting good fruit within me for them, nor was it producing good fruit for me.  It was just kind of neutral to negative.  Yes, I could fake it and not be myself (although with the spinal headaches--not so possible); but the whole thing came down to realizing neutral-to-negative is not positive.

So off that online connection with a few others.  That is the second situation which mercifully curtails my wandering off into "the world" even if a "screened" world of internet, and a sub-world within that world known as FaceBook,  and a tiny group of friends in that sub-world, at that.  The spiritual contacts--we correspond or speak via telephone from time to time.

These are but two of the adjustments that this hermit must accept and cooperate fully.  In each situation, I had considered pushing my way through and gripping on to those more worldly bits of human contact and dependency.  Do you know how many of the many FB "friends" want to keep up with the more spiritual contact and exchanges?  One!  

Dear friends in Christ Jesus, not many folks out there in the active life are that interested in the musings and spiritual perspectives of a nothing consecrated Catholic hermit!  If you are a hermit of any stripe or pattern, this truth is a humbling and necessary reality. 

"Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines around you."

Onward.  The family member suggested I sell this place, my Te Deum Hermitage, "as is," and move with them, live with them.  Such a loving offer!  But I am weary of moving and even now (and most often) in way too much pain to consider it; and the greatest reason for declining is that whatever next, the Lord is going to need to make the "whatever" quite clear.   

If the body totally gives out, that is clear.  If the money is totally gone, that is clear.  If various older, prayerful friends think it a wise decision, that helps make it clear.  If my spiritual father think it God's will, that helps make it clear.  If God tells me in wisely discerned dream, vision, locution--that is clear.

"Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines around you."

As to the social media curtailment, at first this hermit thought to keep writing authentically from within this "place" as hermit, as mystic, as suffering servant.  Give those out in the world with active careers and families and social events and picture-perfect photos of home, hearth, travels and pain-free perspectives--a glimpse of something other.  Give them a reminder of the spiritual, of His Real Presence active and working in our daily lives, in our pain, in our trials, in our hopes.

All that did was to cause those others to feel uncomfortable, to be concerned that this friend (me!) of whom most of the friends and relatives do not quite grasp what is a mystic and what is a consecrated hermit--had finally "lost it"!  Best to just let it go.  "Deactivate" is the term--after posting an explanation I'd no longer be attempting that mode of contact.  Any of the FB "friends" are free to personally email or phone call.  I extended that sincere invitation.  

Social media is the way of the active world's present moment; and it is convenient and simple and savvy.  Even of the religiously bent, such sites leave little room for other than brief Christian quotes--platitudes, seem prevalent. But for this hermit, here now, that genre, that modality, is not to be, at least for now and perhaps not for the earthly duration.  

A hermit's solitude is formed by God, directed by God, and He knows just when, what, and how much to progress a hermit into more solitude so that solitude in Him will be always sweet, embraceable, and understandable as distinctly and clearly coming from Him.

"Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you."

This is true for all God's children, actually.  He always guides and forms and gradually progresses our souls by affecting aspects of our lives.  For some, their work, family and life activities and involvements include increased activity and communication with others--less solitude.  For others it might be an enforced change of job, housing, and need to relocate.

When these situations occur without our making it happen of ourselves, we can appreciate how God is at work in us--not us pushing our way upon the world and those in it, not by our "calling the shots."

Had this hermit just decided to cut off from family or cut off from a few online contacts, it would be my sole doing and out of some self-motive or emotion.   When His Real Presence hones my circumstances with aspects beyond my control or envisioning them in the first place (contrary to my own notions of what would be good or purposeful and within His will) the whole effect is changed from forcing and battling--to humbly accepting and beginning to see God's point and purpose.

"Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you."

And His point and purpose can change in our lives, as we progress from phase to phase, no matter our vocations and circumstances.  Perhaps He will have this hermit live with family or near them again.  Sometimes, yes, the curtailments and honing are just to see if we will humbly accept and cooperate....

For now, this spinal headachy, consecrated hermit is accepting the deeper degree of solitude.  Faith is being stretched, for sure.

And have you noticed that I do not repeat "Catholic"--as in consecrated "Catholic" hermit?  This is another evolvement.  Perhaps I'll write more in explanation or perhaps not.  The essence is that the soul is expanding beyond minds' connotation and denotation of the word, capitalized: Catholic.  

The shift has nothing to do with being or not being a "Catholic" as in church designation.  It is more subtle, more within, more His Real Presence, more Christ and Christian; and it flows into a truer reality of the following-of-Christ-Head-and-Body rather than the tangible and temporal attributes associated with a word such as "Catholic."

It does not mean that this hermit is not "Catholic" as in Catholic Church confirmed and avowed, for I am. Nor does it mean that this hermit is associated with some other term applied to some other church denomination.  It has to do with treading with Christ and those other followers of Christ who climbed the stairway to heaven in Christendom's history and who reached that tread in the stairs which steps beyond what a term means in the mind or the temporal world.  

For those of you who kind of grasp this--good for you!  For those who do not--that is all right, as well.

"Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you."

God bless His Real Presence in us!  Let us love one another, little children; and let us love God above all else!

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