Some days, quite a bit of prayerful thoughts and writing go into correspondence. Currently, a challenge for this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit is to not spend much time if any in responding to question or advice asked regarding temporal decisions.
(Ultimately, discussing many details of temporal decisions in daily life is not at all what we are going to be worrying about on our death beds. My mission is of the spiritual for others, not the temporal details that we can figure out, or if not, really won't matter. Live and learn: we learn by making decisions on such things, ourselves.
If it is something dealing with a relationship or how our spiritual lives or the souls of others are impacted, that is different. So it is that the other day I spent time responding to something written to me in an email, that also jiggled what is necessary for my own soul. Perhaps it is good for anyone's soul. It is another aspect of spiritual combat, of dealing with the devil--by not dealing too much, not dallying with every little skirmish of the devil but moving on with God-pivoting quickly and effectively.
I'm going to share some of what I wrote to the one who asked some advice. The topic was of making a temporal, rather mundane purchase, at their phase in life. I share what came out of the thoughts partly because it is a good reminder for this most spinal-headachy-hermit this morning. I can easily think too much, write about (in the more rare verbal encounter) mundanities or decisions quite temporal and which could be handled effectively (and prayerfully, always), then let go. Free our lives for the spiritual, for thinking as God thinks, for that which is above, not below!
"I think we need to do far more God-pivoting. If we know we are under assault, that is one thing; but we must not keep our attention on the things that show up, for there are going to be many every day. We can even start looking for them, and why look for the devil? So it is one thing to recognize we are in spiritual combat, which is really all the time; but it is the next and only holy step, to turn to God, to pivot, and learn to easily cast off the devil's involvements.
"This morning (my prayer started yesterday) I tried to make an act of the will to not wake up and have my first thoughts be how I wanted to be dead...and then thoughts of dismay over the workload here. But the main trigger is the physical pain, waking up like that. However, the habit of wanting to be dead and waking up with that thought, I need to try to stop. See how we feed ourselves on more of the devil just by our own choices of thoughts?
"So let L. go. When you wrote that she said the house they are in has room for a garden and chickens, she did not say they HAVE a garden or chickens. And people often talk aloud or share plans they have for travel, but things come up that they change their minds. So we have to just let those things pass by and not make too much of it in our thoughts, or build more of a case against the persons involved, for what good does that do us, anyway? What good does it do for you to have more negative thoughts, or to now be looking for things that might not be true or seem like stories made up, when it is just people thinking about plans they'd like but then changing their minds?
"I read a bit more in St. Teresa's Way of Perfection. It had to do with suffering and sticking with the spiritual life, and realizing that those people having to be out in the world or being in both worlds, like parish priests have to interact with both the temporal and the spiritual--that it is very hard for them and to pray for them, and someone like me should be very thankful to not have so much to do with the world. Good Lord, dealing with Lowe's cabinet order errors is more than enough for me!
"So we have to get our minds in more positive thoughts about God, as that is the God-pivot we need, to think of things above, not below. It is one thing to recognize who is behind a lot of the stuff [the devil], but we also have to recognize that sometimes, like with me, my own negative thinking needs to be changed first thing upon waking, as example.
"Regardless of any of it, what good does it do me at all to think about it, to compare or to go over the issues that come up? I need to learn to God-pivot a lot faster. It is all right to share the problems that come up each day, but I think it will be better for us to share the problems but then God-pivot to how the problems got solved, or how we dismissed the problems, or changed our thoughts from negative to positive, even if people are doing things wrong.
"And that is something for us to consider, that some of the devil's tricks include getting us to think too much of what the devil is doing, and not God-pivoting fast enough, so that some of what we do or think, then, is from the devil's influence and getting us to be negative ourselves!"
[I spare readers from four, too-lengthy paragraphs of comments and considerations regarding temporal issues the emailer had asked me about or mentioned. I used personal examples to try to relate back with how we can try to overcome, but also I wrote details of how to solve certain temporal aspects that, truly, are not worth sharing and were not worth writing to begin with! It has nothing to do with the soul; what matters is our spiritual progression.
[So this is another thing I must learn as a consecrated Catholic hermit but perhaps more so as a Catholic Christian mystic: stick with that which is above, not with what is below. If something temporal is asked, answer simply--once. The correspondence that responds to too many temporal details--a prayer instead would work wonders. We don't do others or ourselves any favors by dwelling on temporal decisions or problems. Who needs to know more of the cabinet glitch saga? Lowe's manager is now doing his best to solve errors, I think, hope, and pray. I must practice the God-pivot in the ordinary details of life. Think as God thinks, for ourselves, and others: Love and Mercy!]