A couple or so days ago, this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit's window to the world broke. The main window, that is, broke and has been sent off for repair.
Now I am using a very small window, in which writing is difficult as is viewing the world out there. Yet I still am very aware of the latest terrorist horror in addition to other news. I am praying with all my heart, mind, painful body, and God's will that replaced mine awhile back.
There was a phase earlier in my hermit vocation in which I'd read a biography of Catholic hermit, Russian Orthodox if I recall correctly, who died in the late 1930's or thereabout. He never looked at a newspaper.
I have always felt most attracted to the humility of the Carthusians. I love that they write anonymously, only signing a book as "by a Carthusian." They hear of news through their prior or prioress who has access to newspapers and now Internet. They post what in the world needs prayer so the hermits can pray for these events and the souls involved. The hermits see the prayer needs listed when they go to Mass once a day.
For awhile, perhaps in my 6th through 9th years in my nearly 16 years as a consecrated Catholic eremite, I did not pay attention to news. I prayed for those bits of news of which others either informed me for prayer, or that I heard in the prayer concerns at daily Mass.
But since then I have more relied upon my window to the world, a laptop, to inform me. Daily mass has not been feasible, nor do I have daily contact with people who let me know of the world news. The contacts I have are few, and of those, they are spiritual needs, their personal, practical needs, or my own contact such as with Lowes in the ongoing cabinet fiascos.
Thus, I have let my laptop, and now this small pad which I find difficult to write with or view through, to be my window to the world. I have no prior or prioress to skim through the news. So I do so, perhaps sometimes spending too much of my rest breaks engaged in watching the short video clips or noticing headlines. I am most drawn to the lives of people who are suffering, and I pray for them.
I offer my I creased physical pain and the austerity of my living conditions, as prayer. I offer thoughts of the people all over the world, strangers who become known in rather startling intimacy, once they become noted in national and I ternational news. These people,mthese souls, then become aggregates of the larger soul, the vast collections of souls represented by the individual examples of those featured in news clips and headlines.
I'm praying to be living by the Spirit, no longer under the law, in my Eremitic vocation, this comes down to allowing His Real Presence and the Gospel Rule of Life, the platform of the Nine S's*, and the parameters of my vows as set forth in the Church as being one in and of Her Consecrated Life. If the Lord prefers not the perusal of news, He will let me know. If He prefers not the window to the world being a laptop and Internet, He will let me know.
I do note from the experience of earlier hermit years, that there was an element of suspense and surprise when I relied upon whatever news or prayer needs coming happen chance from Mass or daily encounters which were more prevalent when not in the desert exile phase, as is now. But now I sense a deeper connection and perhaps richer prayer in Union with the souls out there in the world and all souls the sufferings represent as well as the victories of souls who rise above the sorrows and tragedies, either in life or through passing over to victory in heaven.
*Nine S's: silence, solitude, slowness, suffering, selflessness, stability, stillness, simplicity, serenity.