The Living Word always uplifts and sustains. Follow it; believe; live it. The fruit is always good, from the Living Word of God.
From Galatians, once more, there is wisdom regarding faith versus the "law."
I've been awakened three times in the night with much physical pain. This desert is not positive for my body, with weather shifts causing pressures of some sort within and affecting the spine, causing pressure on damaged nerves, radiating pain throughout the body.
However, in faith, this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit continues the life of prayer for so many people, so many souls, with trials and struggles beyond what my mere body sustains. It is only pain; but faith in God Who Is Love--and faith in what Jesus and His apostles teach us through His Living Word--sustains us beyond anything else of our temporal existences.
I'm going to head out for errands, praying the body will have the stamina for driving to civilization. I am going to get an external "clean up". I will do what I can to put others more at ease with my visage; I will try to protect them from adverse opinions for we are human and do have opinions regardless of how hard we may try not to form them.
A hair cut is in the day ahead, we hope; and I will drive a farther distance to a young woman who over a year ago did a masterful job. Doing this external act, on my part, is a sacrifice in sitting, added pain in driving, cost, and effort. This hermit must blend in more, and outer appearances will help promote the blending. It seems odd that a hermit must conform as an act of charity! Ha ha!
But within my mind and heart, I will take these Living Words with me today. Christ through the Spirit through St. Paul reminds me of the critical element of soul existence: faith.
Earlier today, I emailed a young wife and mother who thankfully now is in therapy with a long-experienced clinical psychologist, on site, face-to-face. It was past due, the need for professional help. Much of her issues stem from being the eldest of a very large, Catholic family in which her mother plays a pivotal role in too much responsibility placed upon the woman when she was a child, and who instilled some aspects of Catholicism rather heavy-laden with adherence to "law"--and much of that interpreted and enforced through ample guilt, heaviness, fear, and foment.
I have had to remove myself to a great extent from a lot of communication for my role now with the young woman is that of encourager and uplifter, of injecting some humor and "lightness", to shift away from the previously serious conversations and reading materials. She needs to turn to the doctor without asking me advice, for this time of delving into her past and then beginning the healing, rebuilding process, is necessary without another person adding "two bits".
I've also suggested we not attempt reading some of the books--excellent but deep and intense--or of delving into serious topics if we even have an occasional phone visit. Rather, that we breathe a word or two of the Living Word--a Word or two that uplifts, encourages, brings Light and Love to the sufferings that can make life seem burdensome. Enough of that; later on, perhaps seriousness may be stimulating. Now, not so much. Let Jesus lift, soothe, and carry us with sweet simplicity.
I pray for all of us to reflect upon the beauty, truth, and goodness of sheer faith, of delight in light, in love, in sweetness, in laughter and positivity that comes from enjoying life regardless the trials that come for anyone of us, dotted in the landscape of our lives. Jesus has provided for us redemption by faith.
"Scripture, which saw in advance that God
would justify the Gentiles by faith,
foretold the good news to Abraham, saying,
'Through you shall all the nations be blessed.'
Consequently, those who have faith are blessed
along with Abraham who had faith.
For all who depend on works of the law are under a curse;
for it is written, 'Cursed be everyone
who does not persevere in doing all the things
written in the book of the law.'
And that no one is justified before God by the law is clear,
for the one who is righteous by faith will live."
Yes, that all of us be righteous by faith, and live--this is my prayer for all of us.