Amazing, it is, that our contacts and interactions, our intake, forms our unfolding. And for those of us who believe in His Real Presence and have our faith in His Living Word, in all dimensions and Persons of the Trinity, it is He Who unfolds our unfoldings.
Liver pain level up this morning, but this is not my identity nor my bondage even if wedded to the cross. Rather, I consider the shift occurring. As a consecrated Catholic hermit the shift shifts as a soul. This is important, to shift as a soul and allow the unfoldings.
Another bit of correspondence arrived on top of the previous which spurred the posts on a hermit's correspondence. More, they are about "marriage." To what, to whom, to which are we wed? And is the union freeing, or is it binding in a type of bondage--not fruitful, not progressing, not free?
Yesterday in confession I happened to mention the God-pivot. The priest immediately was taken with the term and asked permission to use it, to borrow it. Of course! It is not mine to keep but was lent me, unfolded to me, by His Real Presence as an insight, an instruction to be used in unfoldings.
One aspect of God-pivoting is to utilize what occurs in our every present moments. This morning, my most dominant temporal companion--pain--held me on the mattress seeking distraction of a positive type. I noticed a documentary on the giftedness of a songwriter of whom I've read and listened to output of his life-time, musical unfoldings.
The man attributes in several filmed and taped conversations, his musical genius, to God's using him as an instrument. God unfolds the composer, the musician; and the documentary follows the shifts in progression of the musician composer's artistry.
So I begin to grasp the shift occurring in my own unfolding and the specialization as the unfolding soul of a consecrated Catholic hermit--the artistry of a hermit, freed from the bondage of traditions, perhaps, but more so from the fluctuations of temporal marriages that contain elements of control and imprisonment: physical elements, issues, thoughts, words, actions, situations, emotions, spirit.
Each aspect can be an unhealthy, earthly marriage or can become an espousal-turned-betrothal entering into wedded union that freely shifts the soul, that shifts the unfoldings of God to a more fruitful artistic rendering to be explored, created, produced, and shared.
So it is with the more recent email of one who this consecrated Catholic hermit can read the expressions of that which binds the person. The descriptions vary; but the bondage is there. And also there is the great desire to be freed from the bondage of disease-ridden unions at all levels both temporal and spiritual.
The earlier email from another contained the same themes yet with different details. These also contained the undercurrent of frustration, confusion yet submission to the weariness, of imprisonment.
A difference between bondage and marriage resides in the soul's ability to divorce itself from that which hinders of the temporal and to progress into union with the Divine. It is a creative process involving, requiring, the creative fusion and spark of the Creator.
Yes, the one even asked of me, how can she become a contemplative? How can she learn contemplative prayer?
This is a pivotal question that is easily answered. Pray and ask God to give the grace of contemplation. And then do all one can to divorce the bad marriages that have accumulated in one's life. This does not mean to literally divorce a human spouse in a temporal, legal action. Rather, the divorce comes as an action within our minds, hearts, and souls. We let go of bondage of whatever types we can realize in truth, that we have been submissive to--all that is not of Christ, the Way, the Truth, the Life.
This has started to read or sound like a lot of words. The reality is within the words and meaning, and within my soul I am catching a glimpse of the shift God shifts within my soul. It has to do with the artistry of a hermit, for me. It could be a soul shift within the artistry of whatever vocation God is unfolding in any one of us.
I now understand more why the Lord has called me here to the desert as well as to the break-up necessary between my conflict with chronic, temporal pain to be wedded to something more, not of the temporal but of the spiritual, the mystical, a union with God.
I fathom why that which is written to me of temporal marital disease or of strife with too much focus on the rules and traditions that go on in any culture once- or twice-removed from the spiritual reality--such as too much focus on traditions and politicizing or routinizing the Church--I fathom why all that begins to sicken the gut and to be a form of unhealthy bondage.
It is time to simply stop responding individually to each plaint of frustration that we individuals wed ourselves into and of which we become hapless prisoners, unable to progress out of inarticulate and inartistic forms that imprison rather than procreate and generate, evolving our minds, hearts, and spirits beyond what our dying bodies can unfold.
My answers to the questions asked, my comments as to their frustrations, are the answers and comments that I must pose and answer from my own frustrations. I will attempt writing them here rather than wearing out with individual responses and reactions. The themes are all the same--our unhealthy bondage in marriages of body, mind, emotion and spirit of all sorts and types. Only the details vary.
Someone recently called and commented that her adult daughter was receiving much-needed counseling from a pastor of a small, Protestant church. He tells the woman, reared a Catholic, that the Catholic Church is a cult. The mother who called me was upset by this, thinking it untrue, of course.
I responded that we Catholics do and say that which is cult-like, often enough. If not, why would humanity from the reformation (and perhaps prior) have that notion? It is not just the devil making it up. We have become imprisoned by too much focus on the temporal rules and developed traditions and laws, then given them a twist to suit our wills and wants. The result can seem cult-like, for it can become that depending upon the individual perspective.
We can break that bond, as well, by being followers of Christ more than emphasizers and blind followers of embellished rules or by refusing to allow ourselves to spiritually progress but rather remain in some of our own unhealthy wedded state to our perceptions of laws of minds. We can God-pivot. We can wed ourselves to God's law, the law of love and to more carefully follow the Gospel Rule of Life.
As for my own circumstances of the various bad "marriages", including my imprisonment to the more negative recognition of temporal, chronic pain, I now turn to His Real Presence to shift my shiftings and unfold my unfoldings within my soul, in the vehicle of my eremitic vocation. Just because the vocation has been professed and avowed for nearly 16 years does not mean that the artistry of God's creative power has been fully realized or consummated.
Yet it is another reason why I must live and think and be in the Order of the Present Moment and to specialize in His Real Presence, not be a generalist nor a disease-dancing spouse to temporal distractions of my own details or those of others. We must think of things above, not of that which is below, no matter what is below nor of our bodies being wed to earth for now. Our minds, hearts, and spirits can be wed to God. Our soul shift and unfoldings will be His and belong to no other.