Prior to confession, prior to Mass, this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit was praying over the failings and sins as of late. Thoughts of escaping hovered; but then the Lord entered in with His Thoughts. Change the perspective! Escaping instead can be perceived and realized as seeking!
Something of the slogged wastes of energy and time, of suffering not so well, of insular thoughts, of much expended regarding notions and desires to escape. Escape suffering, escape the mess of surroundings, escape the work load, escape, escape vocation upgrades, escape deeper conversion. But the priest was excellent in praying and suggestions, and during Mass, more answers came.
Seek the Lord in all that is humble. You will find Him in humility, lowliness, in the least of all. Seek and ye shall find...Him in the midst of hardships, suffering, ordinariness, commonplace, the humble of and in everything and everyone.
Jesus meek and humble of heart. Make my heart like unto Thine.
So, I am refreshed and renewed from the healing and miraculous "waters" of Mass. The sense of escaping has given way to seeking. The effort of seeking has given way to the hope and faith and blessed assurance in finding. And I will find Him in all that is humble.
And I must be humble, for a vocational habit and downfall for hermits is that of becoming insular and self-inundated, of not remembering that distinction of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy that can be offered in prayer but also in the few physical encounters with people...and through the more frequent written communications. In prayer, though, resides a bulk of gifting and loving others.
Prior to Mass three parishioners were sharing that one was trying to find out who is St. Gerard. I was right behind them, and I could not help but easily hear their query. So I smiled and answered. After Mass, after thanking the priest for his gifting the parish with spiritual uplift and direction, the woman who was seeking to find out who is St. Gerard came up and said, "This is the only person in the parish who we could find to tell us who is St. Gerard."
Well, I am sure there were others in the parish who would know, but she spoke with what I sensed the purpose of trying to make conversation, of opening the bridge of communication since during Mass, per usual, I was in the mystical state--slumped, I suppose is how it must seem. But people are adapting nicely. Much surely depends on a priest who is inspiring with loving kindness. Leaders set the tone, after all.
I truly thanked the woman for bringing up St. Gerard, for I so needed the reminder to simply enjoy the fun of these real people who lived, suffered, were persecuted or whatever but had gifts that they shared with others and even now are around to help us. It is fun to consider them, and I'd forgotten a lot of the fun aspects of the Church.
She shared about a friend who had given her the St. Gerard momento--her friend suffering from cancer. Now, here is someone for which to pray, and the woman had mentioned she and others had a little rummage sale to make money to gift the woman for use with medical bills or whatever. I have become so used to few opportunities with people on the spur of the moment like that! But if I see the woman next week, I will donate for her ill friend some of the generosity given me from the roadside table contributions. Regardless, I can pray for both women and all suffering cancer.
And thinking of St. Gerard Majella reminds me to ask his help as a favor for a woman and her husband hoping to conceive against some medical odds not in their favor.
Shifting away from thoughts of escaping and efforts of distracting myself as a form of escaping, I now know that a different perspective on escape is more aptly expressed as "seeking." And seeking Jesus in all that is humble helps me accept that my living conditions are humble; my health is humbling; my pathetic attempts when the perspective escaping is humbling if not humiliating as well. (There is something good in the humble circumstances of seeing ourselves in the positive light of justly-placed humiliation.)
What is the rush on finishing that which my body, mind, heart, and spirit must humbly accept as major work load for someone with chronic pain, lung and liver nodules and cysts, sinus problems, and old age creeping in? The process will progress in the balance of seeking Him in all humility and finding Him in all that is humble.
Mercy, how self-preoccupied this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit had become. It crept in with the shift in weather, and then some.... Praise His Real Presence for the visions of fruit during Mass and the refreshing miracles of each Sacrament in the Sacrifice of the Mass. No escaping; instead it is seeking...Him wherever humility exists and humble is found.