Thursday, October 6, 2016

Catholic Hermit Pivoting

Now, that the ruminating must heed Jesus' warning to not look at what is left behind, this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit must pivot.  (My spiritual father thinks the loss of past zeal is a "phase."  But I consider it also a result of desire to escape the immense work load, of bodily pain, of fatigue and aging, of temptation for relief by "escape" with distractions--all of which affect the spiritual in the phases of eremitic life...or any life vocation!)

The temptation to flee Mass and find an evangelical church in which the mystical ecstasy will not occur, in which I can hide or try to hide my mystical personhood--that is not really a solution if I trust in the mystical experiences, the visions, the locutions, the dreams that brought me into the Catholic Church over 21 years ago.

And the challenges I face are not the fault of any church or group, but it has stung that I trusted a Catholic real estate agent, and the inspector she solicited, and the contractor she recommended so highly.  And I cannot blame Catholics for being awkward or strained, or skeptical or judging, or opinionated or curious about a person who is in a deep, altered state during Mass.

Perhaps it is better this way!  Otherwise I might be more involved, more approachable in a normal sense, asked to be involved in parish life--and then as has been the case, I would be shown things, I would see with inner sight the good, the bad, the ugly.  Then I'd have to discern if I should "do the right thing" or ignore.

Yes, in this consideration, it is best to be, as it were, crucified during Mass, totally nailed to a cross of sorts, and united with Jesus in a profound way even if can cause awkwardness.  And, when I consider those people called mystics, those who I've come to know through their writings and in some cases through their appearing to me in corporeal visions and locutions, their lives teach me a way to exist.

Each of them had a niche in which they existed, such as Bruno, such as John of the Cross, such as the more austere of the hermits, such as those in convents who were hidden away--seemingly cruelly so but I grasp it was for their ultimate protection.  And, it always provided more closeness with Jesus, the Intimate Spouse of mystics.

There is no fleeing for this hermit here.  There is no holy escaping.  Looking back is not fruitful.  The current escape in music and even some news videos (the former healing and the latter providing prayer intentions), in looking through this laptop portal to the world--watching a British mystery quite easy to forget--these are escapes that are a phase, as well.  Somehow, it has helped distract from physical pain; but it has not particularly lifted my soul, or so I don't think.  

The reality is, regarding escaping pain or otherwise is that I'm too exhausted to flee at this phase of spiritual life or temporal life, either one or both!

This portion of Living Word from Galatians reminds me all over again of the folly of the flesh, the temporal glut of the law of minds.  It is the Spirit to Whom I must turn, to Whom I must escape.  Perhaps there is more Spirit in beautiful harmonies and English countryside scenes than tiny-print pages of Canon Law.

I don't know.  But the Living Word calls to me in the gloomy evening dankness of this desert October clime.

St. Paul, inspired by the Spirit in these words, asks the pivotal questions:

"I want to learn only this from you:
did you receive the Spirit from the works of the law,
or from faith in what you heard?
Are so so stupid?
After beginning with the Spirit,
are you now ending with the flesh?
Did you experience so many things in vain?--
if indeed it was in vain.
Does, then, the one who supplies the Spirit to you
and works mighty deeds among you
do so from works of the law
or from faith in what you heard?"

I will ponder these questions and attempt to answer the Spirit.
'Tis time to pivot.

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