Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Catholic Hermit: Graces for a Hermit

A reader has inquired about what graces there are for a hermit.  As a privately professed, consecrated, Catholic hermit, I must admit that I have never considered that there are graces for hermits that are any different than graces for other vocations in the Consecrated Life of the Church, or for lay persons in the married or single state. 

I simply have never considered that a hermit might have graces given that others may not receive or that others may have in more abundance, or at least available to them in more abundance.  I don't even think in terms of being granted graces for it is a grace that we are allowed to be born, have souls placed in a body, can live, can strive to follow Christ, can love, will die, and may be granted eternal life.

It seems to me that all souls may conceivably receive the same amount or type of graces from God.

What I do think, and have recently considered it in greater urgency for myself, is that as a consecrated Catholic hermit, more is expected of me in responsibility to live my eremitic vocation to a better and higher degree than what I have in the past year, month, day, or even past moment.

With religious vocations of any type--holy orders, religious monk or nun, consecrated hermit, virgin, widow or widower, those in secular institutes, lay persons in married vocation or single state of life--I think we each have varying degrees and foci to be striving to live increasingly a more spiritually rich and purer life.

With religious vocations, there are certain expectations and responsibilities to be considered in the vows we profess and in the parameters as set forth by the Catholic Church as well as very much so in the Living Word of God.  I have mentioned before that I came to the understanding that the perfect rule of life is the Gospel Rule.

Besides the Gospel Rule, various vocations include other rules and laws.  Married persons have certain "rules" expected to be followed--fidelity to one another, as an example.  

Being a Christian--without even considering various vocations--much is expected of us!  Yes, as Christians we have responsibilities such as faith, hope, and love and to follow Jesus Christ in our daily lives.  We may receive graces from God, of course; and we do!  He is so generous to His children!

The Lord God gives graces, sometimes proffered through and dispensed to us by His Mother, Mary.  And I don't consider that it is God's thought for us to think about what graces any of us might receive or ought receive, or typically do receive be we hermit, monk, nun, husband, wife--lay or consecrated or religious states of life.

The motivation, of course, is not to receive or expect graces, nor to consider that God gives certain ones to some or others.  Graces are gifts, and the best are the unexpected surprises, or so it seems to me.  Or not to receive any grace in particular but simply to recognize that God is carrying us along, like the weighty crosses we can be--leaning or stretched across His Back and Shoulder.

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