Merciful Heavens! Allowing God to have full reign in all plans for Lent brings forth the unexpected each day, each hour, each moment.
It has become scorchingly painful for this Nothing Consecrated, Catholic Hermit! [Am capitalizing each of the previous four words because each has emphasis and totality of meaning, thought, truth that can stand alone.]
It has been so painful that I have not written for awhile. I have not been able to call the handful of contacts; emotions have been excoriating. Physical pain has been burning and exhausting.
"The Lord gives, the Lord takes away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord!" These words attributed to the prophet Job, with their obvious meaning, I have uttered aloud repeatedly in the silence of solitude in Te Deum Hermitage. And there have been times of great grieving, of sobbing, of calling out to His Real Presence the sorrows of leave-taking and the (faithless) pressure of total unknowns going forward.
He is pruning my branches in ways I had considered in advance; but the pain of adapting and adjusting to the immediate, effective pruning has leveled me as much as physical pain can also reduce.
The son-in-law got a job elsewhere. He, his wife, their young son will be leaving in two weeks. The details of the job offer are such that it is more than obvious the Lord has blessed them mightily; and the son-in-law did need a job after four months of his being let go from previous employment. In that I am praising God for the good fortune and His making clear the path for their move.
However, before this hermit agreed three years ago to move to live closer to them, the conversation took place: What happens if he gets another job? With giving up so much from whence I came, going to a place where I knew no one and would have increased risks, I felt I needed an answer. With my health as it is I said I could not follow them around the country; but my vulnerability, also, health-wise, makes it best that I have some contact, some support system. (Or thus, at the time, we agreed.)
The daughter assured they would remain in this area, would apply for jobs in this area. They had lived here a year and loved it...then. But things change, and what the Psalmist advises is so very, very true even if our hearts and minds want to think that those closest to us will not renege on promises made.
"Trust not in princes, trust not in men; trust only in the Lord Thy God."
So it has come to pass that they wanted to leave the area after nearly four years, and the bulk of job applications were elsewhere. When a finger-count of interviews were in this area, the complaint arose from the daughter, "Why is he even applying here when we want to move away?"
Regardless of all the tangibles and temporal aspects, there is NO way that I cannot view the timing, their house selling and closing, the generous conditions of the job offer--as anything less than the blessing of Divine Will.
And that leaves this Nothing Consecrated Catholic Hermit more stripped than ever in its life. Ever. And, in the mail came three enveloping disappointments of financial, further demise. It nearly is too much to bear. Nearly.
I have no idea how I will fare. I have been trying to continue on with working on this hermitage, hoping to get it salable before I totally run out of funds or the body gives out. There is no one I can turn to in the human race. The bodily pain levels preclude outside employment. I'm fortunate to be able to do an hour or two or three here and there--but not when the weather shifts, causing worse pain.
I turn to His Living Word. This morning's first Mass reading from Isaiah offers these truths--impactful, powerful, hopeful, intriguing:
"Remember not the events of the past,
the things of long ago consider not,
see, I am doing something new!
Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?"
I turn to His Real Presence, the Virgin Mary, my angel Beth, those who love me from the other side. There is no one else, no place, no remedy of the temporal or tangible, that I know of.
This afternoon while trying to drywall mud a slanted ceiling, a sloppy glop of mud fell into an opened right eye. The blinding PAIN! The painful BURNING! Tears helped some. By the grace of God I remembered a bottle of water within reach, for the only other water source was down the ladder and into the kitchen (no stairs, yet). The eye will heal, the effects of drywall mud will wash out over time. Already I can see a blurry view from it, thankfully so.
It reminds me of Jesus our Lord mixing His spittle with dirt and dabbing it onto the blind man's eyes. Is He doing likewise with me? Will I henceforth see more clearly the path ahead, the outer and inner, my soul and the souls of others, His Divine Will, God's Face?
The electrical power here was out for several hours. But thanks be to God, it has returned before darkness and night's dropping temps. This is a hermit's desert life: the silence of solitude, the sacrifice of praise amidst a plenitude of penance.
Lent is progressing for this hermit who definitely did not need to write out any self-conjured plans ahead of time. There is more than enough present moment penance. God procures the best and perfect shake-down and take-down, dust to dust, ashes to ashes!
God bless His Real Presence in us! Little children, let us love God above all things and one another as our selves. God bless Lent!