This morning's first reading from 2 Timothy focuses purpose in this short excerpt:
"but bear your share of hardship for the Gospel
with the strength that comes from God."
This sickening, totally debilitating, upper left back muscle pain persists. Yet there is slight progress. I was able to sleep in the night and even awoke with left arm moved in a position that has not at all been possible prior. It was the pain that awoke me, but even a day ago could not have moved the arm like that.
By early evening, yesterday, the thought came to me that perhaps the Lord is not wanting me to consider trying to finish the hermitage and move elsewhere--not this summer nor in the fall. Perhaps He wills me to remain here indefinitely, until the money runs dry or I die.
With that thought, I made an offering to God, telling Him that I agree to remain here if that is what He wills. I do not yet know His Mind as mine. My thoughts continue to be in my mind--my ideas--yet I also recognize at times those of His ideas, His insights, His thoughts. With this one, though, the thought that perhaps God's physically truncating me so totally every couple of weeks recently and for months in the winter, is to ask of me to cease my plans to finish and be on my way--yes, perhaps that is God's thought.
I do not know, though. It could also be that the Lord is asking of me to give up the work efforts and to try to bail out. Yet, if that is the case, then He'd give me the physical ability to take the necessary steps to even pack up enough to try to market it "as is." Regardless, there is nothing more to thinking about possibilities than to give the offering I gave, that I am willing to remain here if that is His will.
When we are in process of His Mind replacing our intellects, our thoughts and ideas, His will has to have already replaced our wills. But we then are aware that our minds must be replaced by His Mind. In the intervening space of time and experiences of His Will yet still our minds, we live thus with not knowing definitively as we learn to discern, what are His Insights and what remain our thoughts.
In such circumstances of spiritual transition and progression, we must simply be quite open to making offerings of our daily moments and details, of any idea or notion, to Him. We must repeat the offering of that which might be His Idea, His Thought--agree to it. Let go of the thoughts and ideas that are probably our own, or at least could be our own notions and reflections.
It is a humbling stance, all this. Soon we recognize that plans and ideas do not really matter all that much--other than that we go along with the flow of events, not really knowing yet for sure other than to be sure that the Lord's will is unfolding in us, as it is His will now, not ours. And the thoughts will either be His Mind replacing ours, or it will yet be our ideas trying to make themselves known in a false position of prominence.
Best not to fret about which is what. Rather, just take the thoughts and agree to that which we had not wanted in what may have been our own ideas or that of others--that which have seemed most logical and practical. In this instance it has seemed most prudent to get this place finished and sell and move. There are no obvious, practical reasons to remain in an area in which there are no close contacts, very little financial security, much manual labor involved as well as temporal responsibilities.
I suppose it was the very thought which could be His Insight, of viewing the opposite consideration, that makes it seem all the more likely His Mind giving the thought to offer to remain here, to stop trying to finish the place sooner than later, to just let the current episode of physical incapacitation gradually evolve daily, nightly, and let go of temporal goals.
Just keeping whatever possible of the vegetables, fruits, trees, and flowers watered is monumental. Each step the body takes is a jolt of sickening pain, yet perhaps today, somehow, the body will be able to get into truck bed and most carefully try to shove off the mulch...maybe even drive the mile or less to get the PVC pipes the woman still has, so that at some point in future I can put them together as supports for bird netting over the berry bushes here.
Yes, it seems a small and insignificant detail. I have considered that perhaps the Lord is saying "no" to even that plan, although it would be lovely to have some fruit from the bushes this year. The birds already have helped themselves to plenty, and crows took out all but 3 shoots. I've replanted the entire corn crop nearly two weeks ago.
Discerning His Mind and Insights from what are yet my thoughts, is definitely a process. Amidst the pain yesterday, I ended up disengaging from suffering and from suffering the thoughts themselves, by distracting with a British series on YouTube. News came of some awful situation with a person I've known in the past, who has been shockingly arrested.
This morning I consider the above Scripture and send it in Spirit to the woman undergoing quite painful tests, probably right now, and which will provide answers to a situation which is of dire consequence in her life--of something she and her husband desire deeply, something quite emotionally real and vital.
Many other prayers for souls become interwoven with the immense physical pain of this body. Yesterday in the suffering, I literally was lifted out of the day in the filmed drama series by the lovely scenery of England and once again the lilting British accents, and observed lives being lived out through the lens of a camera, plot and action unfolding from excellent actors and actresses guided by a talented director.
Really, in a form of our own reality, His Real Presence directs our lives, our actions, our scripts in daily life. So it is, also, perhaps a help to me in the silence of solitude, to grasp that His Mind is rather like the script such as the program I watched which helped take me in the present moment out of the sickening pain and into other lives elsewhere--scripted lives with their developed and written out lines and situations.
Today brings more of the script that His Real Presence has written for this hamstrung, consecrated Catholic hermit. Time seems timeless, and I will follow His script, increasingly aware of that which is His script, not my lines but His lines, created and scripted out for me, as He does for everyone. We simply are not that aware, though, nor maybe have given up our own wills yet, let alone our own minds, our own attempts at writing our own lines, trying to make up our own situations, acting out our own dramas.
God bless His Real Presence in us! Little children, let us love God above all things and one another as Jesus loves us! Bear all our hardships with the strength that comes from God, for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Just think of it: the Gospel is the script given us to speak, act, live out each present moment with the Spirit abiding in us and by His Living Word!