Thursday, March 3, 2016

Lots to Consider, Hermit and Soul

Whether or not a consecrated Catholic hermit or a consecrated soul (as all souls are indeed consecrated by God if we but ask and love Him), there are always many aspects of life to consider.

For the past several days, the physical pain has been such that I have not been able to do much of anything.  I have tried to function, such as made a couple batches of Temperance Sea-salted Caramels as samples for test-marketing.  And the two batches are because I was in enough pain that I used half the amount of fresh brown sugar, by mistake, on the first batch.

I barely remember that day; pain tends to blur events and life itself other than a stand-out detail such as caramels that are too hard (but still tasty!).

In the early morning hours, whenever awakened with the pain, I read the Living Word for that day's Mass readings.  Do I remember much?  Not always and not mostly when the pain is at this level.

I try to pray for those who come to mind, and lately I've been using the laptop with me on the mattress, and I have drifted into current events. There are many people for whom to pray; and these include the very great needs of politicians and those running for office, as well as the many media pundits reporting on all aspects, particularly the more scandalous tidbits.

The current election cycle in this country--for the presidential candidates--has been unusually rife with scandalous tidbits.  And if not so scandalous, count on the pundits to make more of the talking points or twist words and platforms with misrepresentation and personal bias.

It really is not much different than how we humans respond and interact at times with one another, especially if there is some kind of envy involved, or a perception or weak point in thinking that our sense of power and prestige and position is in some manner threatened.  It is hard to fathom how everyday individuals might have such misperceptions and skewed feelings, but these are very real indeed.

The perceptions (or misperceptions) are birthed by pride; and pride fills, fleshes out, plumps people who have within them vacuous spaces, emptiness, and insecurities.  Thus, they think they need power, prestige, and position to fill in the cavities of their minds, hearts, and souls.  

It is just as well to face our emptiness and ask the Lord to fill us with whatever He wills.  Filling emptiness with pride never satisfies ourselves, others, or God. Pride can be like air-filled pockets in water pipes: When we turn on the water, expecting water flow, instead we get hiccups and belches of air-spitting bursts and unexpected water splats.  

[I use this metaphor to visualize the unattractive, unexpected spittle-blasts of what happens in water pipes when air is backed up due to the recent experience in learning how to install a water heater.  So it is for our souls when emptied of God and His Holy Will for us.  Pride takes up the space vacated.  Under the house I had turned off not only the hot water line but also the main water line and emptied the old, rusted out tank which had a hidden, slow leak. I plumbed and wired the new tank (needed help sliding the heavy, new tank down into the dug-out cellar space just as we need His help replacing pride with His powerful presence). I next turned on the hot and cold water lines to fill the tank and thought all was well.  I was not prepared for what occurred with the indoor plumbing when I later expecting water-flow from sink and water-flow into toilet!  More rather frantic phone calls to plumber mentors at Lowe's taught that when emptying a water tank, so much air is sucked from all the water pipes in a dwelling that it takes leaving faucets on for quite awhile in order for the air mixed with remnants of water to gasp and spit forth until the vacuous emptiness is filled with fresh water.  Isn't it divinely potent how the Holy Spirit powerfully flows forth all aspects in our everyday experience into teaching moments in the spiritual life of our souls?]

Just as potent for my own soul, I am learning much by observing the presidential candidate race.  I am learning from those who are running for political office as well as from those media pundits who report on the candidates and on the process.  One major aspect I am learning is the importance of developing a thick skin.  And of persevering, not swerving from the goal and tasks at hand to reach the goal.

For a consecrated Catholic hermit, that goal is, of course, to live my vows and the Gospel rule of life, in the silence of solitude, in deep prayer and praise, for souls and for the good of the Church, the Body of Christ.  And that goal, of course, is also one for many souls out there in whatever vocations, although the particular vows and rule of life and means surrounding the conditions therein, will vary.

God bless His Real Presence in us!  Little children, let us love God above all things and one another as ourselves.

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