Sunday, September 18, 2016

Catholic Hermit Ponders Perseverance

Well, for a few days this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit has been on the mattress more than not, at least not able to get up until noon.  Just way too much pain going on in the body, with the addition of allergies lending to the admixture of fatigue and sufferings.  

However, I do get up.  Yesterday it took a phone call from a woman who calls on rare occasion; and when she calls, I immediately know that the Lord is signaling me.  I had just been thinking of the woman for she had hip replacement three weeks ago.  I was considering calling her, but when the pain is very high, the emotions are jagged--shards of emotions.  

But she called me, and I answered, and she could detect the weariness and emotional drain-out.  I got a grip, though, and part-way through the conversation took a pain med.  Ironically--and we did laugh--at the end of the conversation when I asked her if she could tell I seemed much better, she said she'd taken a pain med, also.  This is a breakthrough for her, as I knew this from knowing her and she admitted it on the phone:  she used to be anti-pain medication, or much medication of any type at all.

I figure then she was in the mode I'd been in about twenty or more years ago--wanting to gut it out more and also to try every natural and homeopathic herb and concoction conceivable for pain management.  None of the herbs and unctions helped--just cost a lot.  However, there are several vitamins and minerals and a handful of supplements that do help in a small way, and when pain is sucking the life out of one's body, a "small way" means a lot.  And they do add up.

We did exchange some prayer requests for others.  I had one from a woman at Mass a week ago.  She introduced herself afterward as "the one who was trying to awaken" me during Mass.  I found this amazingly polite and kindly--and also courageous on her part.  It has been unheard of heretofore, and I was grateful.  All other such incidents of people trying to rouse by shaking, shoving, pinching, lifting up, or pulling have always in the past resulted in those persons withdrawing--especially the ones with mal intent. 

So I asked the woman who introduced herself and said she was the one (until someone told her I was all right in Mass) if she had a prayer need.  For there was no stench and no sense of her approaching me when in the mystical state in Mass--no sense that she had any foulness of soul nor was irritated by my deadness (as some in the past certainly have been).

Indeed she did have a prayer need!  I explained that the Lord surely had some reason for our encounter, and she said her grand-nephew was born six weeks prior--without the ability of his body to metabolize food!  Mercy, Lord!  So that was one prayer concern I shared with my friend who called yesterday.  Please pray for little Pierce.

Well, there have been some major prayer concerns this week including one that was not answered in the way we humans had wanted.  But faith is enriched when our desires are not met as we wish.  That is, faith, hope and love of God are enriched if we grasp the goodness of God's saying "no" at times. He always has His reasons, and they always have to do more with our souls than our temporal existences.

So this Scripture from yesterday's Mass reading of the Gospel, Luke 8:15, hit home the beauty, truth, and goodness of perseverance.  Yes, our perseverance may end up with temporal aspects not seemingly bearing the fruit that we want or intended.  But it seems the Lord says:  Never mind that!

For example, I am trying to persevere against the physical and health odds here, solo, in very heavy manual labor and tasks that I've never attempted before and have very little knowledge of how to do any of it.  I keep pushing on--barely, I admit--even though I do not like it and am tired, and wish I could just get out from under all this work that is piling up with my body unable to keep up.  

So it may end up temporally not so fruitful, as in I may not be able to finish and sell this place, or I may become even more ill and pass on (which would be fine with me) in here.  Yet, there seems nothing to do but to persevere at whatever pace I can make my body and very much my mind push onward.  

I wonder that I am persevering with this work when I could be writing more spiritually, or doing more for human beings--not, such as today, trying to trim down a stud that is out 3/8" too far from the other studs.  Am using a power saw for that, and it is very slow go, as in inches at a time.  I'm half-way down the stud at this point.

But the temporal realities are that I will need income to support my existence for however long I am to live on this earth, and the money is in this place for my income is not substantial enough to walk away from the investment.  Yes, we hermits must in our day and age, have places to live and pay our way in all aspects, including purchasing health insurance, food, pay utilities, have a vehicle, pay taxes, pay medical costs beyond the insurance coverage, and so forth.

Anyway, my point is that we may not know if our persevering is going to bear good fruit in any tangible way.  It may not.  A couple trying to conceive a child and persevere through all processes known to man at this time, may have tangible fruit of their perseverance in a baby conceived, or may not.  This persevering, like many that are literally life-or-death efforts, is of course life-critical compared to my little example of struggling with pain or trying to keep the body getting up and working on that which is hardly as important as many other potential fruits of persevering.

Yet there is far more in persevering than tangibles, far more to fruit in the way we may think of bearing fruit.

It may be that the fruit of perseverance is intangible, spiritual, even mystical.  The fruit may be increased virtues, particularly that of humility.  The fruit may be some entirely different outcome than we ever considered.  God knows. But it is true that He rewards perseverance at various levels of existence, of body, mind, heart and soul.

Here's the Scripture that yesterday captivated the present moment.  Today I continue on with this Living Word, begging the Lord to help me to persevere. I am today "generously" groveling for His help....  I need to remember to do so with a good heart--embracing His Word, persevering and bearing fruit of whatever kind and type the Lord wills to gift.

"But as for the seed that fell on rich soil,
they are the ones who, when they have heard the word,
embrace it with a generous and good heart,
and bear fruit through perseverance."

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