Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Catholic Hermit: Dis-ease and Un-health

There comes a point when we wake up to realize we are embroiled in dis-ease and un-health.

It is merely the soul's call to deeper conversion and to utilize whatever antibiotics of spirit to promote healing of the soul for return to active spiritual life.

Mercy, am on a third day of an Azyrthromycin round of antibiotics for a sinus problem.  And I am feeling drained physically as well as energy-spent.  But it is not all from physical illness.  I am feeling the need for deeper conversion in a way that faces unhealthy aspects in my life at various levels.

Fr. V. emailed that people become drawn to us for some reason.  He views from a priestly vocation, and that of not a cloistered nor solitary vocation.  I tend to agree that the Lord brings others into our lives for various reasons for everyone involved.  The responsibility and desire in life is for health.

When we become ill, life alters, and we make necessary changes such as more rest, more fluid intake,  change in routine, and sometimes need the benefit of antibiotics, surgery, or other medical interventions.

I consider a young woman named Elizabeth Smart.  She is in the news recently for revealing that when she was kidnapped at age 14 (international news at the time), her captor repeatedly raped her.  She was found nine months later--rescued!  Now a grown woman, Elizabeth Smart has become an advocate for child rape and kidnap victims as well as for the anti-pornography cause.

Her captor was drawn to her after having been hired as a handyman in her childhood home.  He returned later, in the night, to abduct her and keep her as a second "wife" presumably for the rest of his or her earthly life.

I appreciate something Elizabeth shared, that her mother told her the morning after Elizabeth was rescued from her horrific ordeal.  Her mother said that the best revenge against the terrible things her captor did to her was to "be happy."  Elizabeth said she has taken that to heart and makes sure she lives a happy life.  She is bearing good fruit in her advocacy for child victims.  She has continued on with being as positive as possible following such a life-altering, abusive situation.

I'm just musing here, this morning.  My lungs are congested some, as is the head more so.  Yet I also feel a need to be able to "breathe" more freely, spiritually.  I ponder the current juxtaposition of my life and that of those around me who I know and love.  I received a letter from the elderly aunt.  In it she had a quote from a book of revised commentary on quotes of Francis de Sales.  She noticed the book in the laundry room of her retirement/healthcare facility.

My aunt is not a Catholic nor would ever be, but she is trying to reach in, I suppose.  I appreciate it.  She enclosed a paper typed with words of a translation of a Trinitarian liturgical "prayer."  She also mentions a woman who years ago gave her a booklet of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales..  My aunt added to her letter, bits of news of her family of which her daughter, my cousin, had already shared in a phone conversation.

In her letter, the aunt mentions she needs to write more because it requires more focus than talking.  I assume this is her way of saying how uncomfortable she becomes when we have spoken in phone conversations.  The usual has been for her to say there is nothing to report of her own life and to ask what "progress" on the house.  I respond with the litany of on-going obstacles and whatever small tasks accomplished.  It seems quite negative to her, understandably.  So I turn to what to me is more positive--the spiritual, what I am learning from God, and so forth.

I do agree that writing can require focus, as conversing about God requires both to be desirous at the time as well as at a co-level of general understanding.  I found it lovely that my aunt wanted to try to reach in with something spiritual, showing something--I suppose I really am not sure what.  The quote enclosed is this:  "Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength."

Well, we are told by Jesus [see the post before last if you want the Scriptural text] that we must be strong for the spiritual journey, to have strength to enter the narrow gate.

I am just weary enough that it is not easy to long-hand write a letter with my only "place" to do so in the hermitage is on this mattress, on the floor of this tiny cell.  Yet I know I will do just that.  I will longhand write a letter.  I recall one time my aunt commenting that people do not bother to hand-write notes anymore.  I try to bridge the gap; I try to reach back to those who try to reach in.

I was recalling this morning how my spiritual father and I could talk at length about spiritual matters and end up energized, motivated, inspired, for conversing has the advantage of energy flowing between one another.  But it does take both persons to be able to exchange the thoughts and holy inspirations and even at times to spiritually challenge without one or the other disinclined or feeling not in control.

I do think it fair, however, that if we cannot speak of the spiritual with another without feeling as if we are unprepared, then writing more formally is a good idea.  However, we also then are precluding the "gamble" of faith and the Voice of the Holy Spirit breathing, speaking through us.  It is true that sometimes "words" written are as exhausting if not more so, than words spoken.  Yet, words written can be referred to again, later, when the mind is ready.

I don't know, for sure.  The same can be said of conversation.  I consider St. Benedict and his twin sister Scholastica and their last night together on earth.  They never had difficulty speaking of the spiritual and of God for hours on end.  But there probably are not that many people in our lives with whom we can relate in such a way or manner.

Back to dis-ease and un-health, ultimately the conversation exists between the soul and God.  There is no lack of communication; and we are assured that we ourselves are the patients, for God is in perfect health and composition in all aspects!

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

(And I consider right now, prayerfully, the guest to this hermitage over a week ago--the one who did not at all like to refer to God as God.  There is not much freedom with and between us when we have obstacles the use of names to describe the Source of All Being and Energy, the Creator--God!  So we do have much variation in ourselves and among ourselves: healthy, unhealthy, strength and assurance, disease.  Ah, we have health, if we choose, the Great Physician: God!  There's that Name again!)

[Addendum:  The head and sinuses are so packed that I've added Augmentin--what remains of an antibiotic given a year ago for that sinus infection but which did not help--needed a z-pack then.  I may as well avail myself of help at hermitage-hand!  It is also hoped that the z-pack will help the nodules in the lungs--residual infection, they are thought to be.  We'll see if this body can focus on some manual labor today:  This Consecrated Catholic Hermit's Life in the Order of the Present Moment....]

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