The phone rang. It was the spiritual father. He says the Lord has me as a hermit, and I add: a rather extreme form of hermits, as it is turning out.
I have been thinking lately of the man some scholars consider more the first hermit than St. Antony of the Desert. Paul of Thebes--found dead and rather calcified in a cave. He'd not been seen in years, obviously not a Mass attendee, not even walked the miles and miles if he'd lived close enough, to join in once a week with Anthony and a few others out in the desert, living in their separate, distant huts or caves.
Now, it is one thing when one chooses to make one's life increasingly solitary, or to choose to wear distinguishing and noticeable garb, reminiscent of some religious order or other. It is another thing to just be bobbing along, working and praying, and then God chooses the circumstances of the eremitic circumcisions, of sorts, that He chooses, and when He chooses.
For me, they come as a surprise, as I must still very much be tethered to temporal hopes and goals.
Even today, as much as the mind knows the body should get up and go outside and mow, for the outer eyes see the need--the body is besieged with enough pain to imitate flu-like symptoms. Yet, it is not the flu but is physical pain, and the mind must inform the body that it will be as well off, and the emotions and soul will be far better off, if the body gets up and builds up the muscles even a little, with some manual labor.
There are some herb seeds to be planted, old packs from last season. Yes, we will see if half of them grow! The statistics are one thing, but after the call from the spiritual father, I realize I must trust in the Lord for all the answers. The spiritual father confirmed the hermit vocation yet again, but he mostly said he did not know what to think but insisted that I must cash the check he sent, and soon, for his circumstances are also changing, and he wants his money to go to those he wishes to assist.
He also said it all has to do with Lent, and that Easter is tomorrow, and to have a good Easter. But as to the increasing conditions here of more physical pain and the stripping of the family members who had been the temporal, human reason for being here, the spiritual father admitted their leaving is major, definite, and not just a short distance away, but a defined moving away. And the underlying aspects are quite spiritual, in the two worlds--of differing vocations--and even of growing apart in spiritual and material cohesiveness of opinions and thoughts.
So today, what is left of today, the body must still try to rise and exert movement enough to get the blood flowing better, and for the mind to be on top of the physical pain than the physical pain binding the mind. I have thought to God, in the way one thought-flashes communication with Him and He thought-flashes to us, that this is a time now, for the Lord to work miracles here.
As I look around at the situation and work to be done--heavy work in some instances--and all the outdoor work, as well, it will take some miracles. Yes, the spiritual father said one must trust in God alone, and as a hermit in unfolding conditions of stricter separation from the world, and that of also of interior thoughts of the world, he said I must try to finish the house, this hermitage here.
I pray that tomorrow the Lord will ease enough of the bodily pain so that there is a resurrection from the mattress. A friend from afar has offered one of the bedrooms of their empty-nest home, but she added that she doubted I would just give up here. And she also wrote that the hermit vocation in our time period must be one of the most challenging of all time periods to date.
This nothing Catholic Consecrated Hermit agrees.
I'd never have imagined this current circumcision of the very ones who kept on me to move here, to be the ones removed and removing. In a temporal sense, the terms of their moving are nothing short of miraculous--quite the blessing in all ways for them! And the all-tolled sum of good aspects far outweigh the one aspect of ill-temper and bullying of one of the adults (written in some detail in previous post). And even this hermit's finally mentioning it is not good and not necessary, is minor in the full spectrum, especially since the other adult and even the child have commented in the past and are very well aware.
It does stand to spiritual reason, that a hermit with adult children would eventually be pruned by God, from even whatever strands of attachment to family members. However, it is not the same for each hermit who had been married in the past or bore children. There are various examples of it being otherwise for hermits to still have contact and involvement with family members.
Yet there are also many examples of the family members being removed in one form or other, from hermits' lives. Some of it is by death, some by the hermit first having joined a religious order before segueing into hermit vocation, or some by more distance both physically and also loss of shared views, God's callings, spiritual purpose, and life mission.
Like Jesus on the cross, feeling the pain of betrayal and loss, experiencing the reality of his healthy, young life and mission on earth coming to an end--by necessity of His Sonship, His Godship--for our salvation, all of us need to embrace whatever circumcisions, transitions, phases, and progressions.
And if we can see the spiritual view, we will manage well and our souls grow and thrive. The spiritual father, in commenting this is LENT, agreed when this hermit commented that it is hard to believe, but many people in the world right now do not even know or remember it is Lent and are oblivious to the spiritual going on in their lives. To not be aware is to miss out, or to write-off the spiritual and thus God Who Is, and ascribe events as temporal stuff.
At least I am back to more writing of the thoughts. For awhile, the thoughts were paralyzed by a rather pummeled body, mind, heart and spirit!