This nothing consecrated mystic Catholic hermit is airlifted out of the harsh desert conditions. Ah, the warmth and comforts of middle-class, loving, convenient existence!
It was none too soon to be given an airline ticket. It was none too easy to get my mind and body into a mode of thinking and doing in order to drive to civilization to locate a parking lot suitable with shuttle to airport. Off I went, into the calm, blue yonder! Am just now adapting with back pain half-way under control. Had an actual hot shower; can walk on finished floors in warm socks was given.
Did I mention that my eyesight is having difficulties? Am praising the Lord that the "lightning flashes" I have been seeing in peripheral vision caused me to find an ophthalmologist who discovered vision damage and the settling in of glaucoma. Still have the flashes of light when turn my neck left or right, and my vision is diminished, but it seems to fluctuate. Hermits, like anyone else blessed enough to have health insurance or in my case now, Medicare, do well to try to keep up with bodily ailments of secondary nature--those aspects that if left to go untended will only make existence more difficult living in solitude.
Finally, last night, I had dreams of houses. The main dilemma (oh, if only that it was real!) was that I had two homes I'd inherited for which I needed to decide which to sell. In fact, I have one "home" that is in such state of renovation as to not be near salable and of which the conditions became so harsh that I needed a reprieve, even if a brief one. Within the dream in which my fortune seemed difficult in having to decide which home (both were my parents' homes when they were alive and of course sold by them years ago: a lake house and a house in a town, each comfortable and lovely), was the more gripping and actual theme of rejection.
A long time friend and doctor, in the dream, was speaking with me but then later in the dream rejected speaking with me again. Catholic parishioners and priest in the dream rejected me outright. They were making the decision of which house to sell (and presumably I'd simply live in the remaining house) quite easy: They did not want me to live among them nor be a part of their Catholic community, so desired me to sell the house in the town.
When I awoke, I laughed at how within a dream a decision of which home of two that in the dream one had been given, was such a major conflict in deciding! Mercy! O happy fault, huh? I quickly realized my true dilemma in the renovation of the old farmhouse I am struggling with in the temporal realm.
Then I marveled at how the Lord is trying to heal my mind and emotions and soul by means of reminding me of the essence of rejections. They are real enough, and that may have been in response to my looking up Catholic parishes in the area of which I am briefly staying for respite. Amazing after what I've experienced in rejections from Catholic parishioners and priests (boils down to fear of mystical experience and judging critically my essence as a mystic)--and that I'd still desire to be part of a parish or entertain thoughts of trying yet again to visit a Catholic parish.
I quickly regained a sense of humor and perspective in the aspects of the dream. It is Gaudete Sunday! Rejoice!
The second reading of Mass for this Third Sunday of Advent (James 5: 9-10) quickly convicted my temporal, everyday flaws, especially as of late. "Do not complain about one another, that you may not be judged."
Lord, have mercy on my soul! I have complained plenty...about stresses of living conditions, being too cold day and night, and especially about others. I have complained of a couple medical doctors, of some relatives, of a friend or two with whom I needed far more patience.
As to the harsh living conditions, higher level physical pain, and financial strain of this Catholic mystic hermit, St. James reminds me to take the prophets as an example of hardship and patience. Yes, they suffered mightily in harsh living conditions, in physical pain, in financial strain (undoubtedly as they had little to nothing of temporal comforts), and the prophets especially suffered persecution from their fellow humans--including those of their own faith communities.
It is as if the Lord, also through James' letter in the Living Word of God, wanted to impart to this weary, sick-with-pain of various types hermit mystic, the solution (and why) to my dilemmas of which the nights' dreaming presented in allegory sequences.
Make your heart firm. Why? Because the coming of the Lord is at hand--soon, even now, at hand in this present moment!
Yes, already I was subconsciously and even consciously dreading the return to my life of greater suffering. I am in two days to return to the harsh conditions of exile, of desert life, of the cold winter solitude, to the massive amount of manual labor yet needed in order to be redeemed from financial disaster as well as the weather conditions that threaten my ability to manage high levels of chronic pain from a severely impinged spine. It will be a few months before temporal climate conditions improve.
In the meantime, however, my soul is at far worse risk with the complaining I've done for which I will be and am being judged. I must make my heart firm. I must take the prophets as example of hardship and patience.
Rejoice that the Lord has given me this present moment, at least, to strive in what He desires and asks of me! I pray for the strength and discipline to make my heart firm, to stop complaining, to stop judging within the complaints, and to consider the prophets and their example of enduring hardship and of their great patience.
Rejoice! There is time yet given to learn and to place checks upon my flaws! There is healing of mind, heart, and soul damage and the imparting of strength occurring, as well, that the Lord is securing within me during the night and less noticed during the daylight hours. God bless His Real Presence in us!