Sunday, January 15, 2017

Catholic Hermit Calling Upon John the Baptist

Somehow early morning, as in 4 a.m. or so, this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit awoke with oodles of pain in the liver area.  Could not get back to sleep but rested.  

I read the Gospel for today's Mass.  Ah, John the Baptist!  Such humility and focus of life mission and God's will for his life, what purpose he had and still has.

Am recalling a time when there were messages from St. John the Baptist to me of which Dr. H. tape recorded.  But something like that one does never forget, one who experiences such a blessed gift.  John the Baptist had plenty of wisdom and encouragement for me nearly 30 years ago.  And Dr. H. had some questions to ask him, as well.

One aspect that helps today is that of how he know how to go on before, and knows how it feels being different, and that he has great warmth for me, myself being called to a different kind of life.  But also, John spoke of how I can learn from the animals and plants of nature, how one cycle ends and another begins, over  and over.  He explained it as a type of spiritual metamorphosis, our lives of body and spirit, of soul; and that it takes great faith simply keep going. 

Yes, he emphasized toward the end of his exhortation and lesson, to "simply keep going!"  He said it is a simple matter to simply keep going.

Today I am trying to just keep going.  The lovely parish couple arrived with Holy Communion.  I had not even dressed yet, but that is all right.  Old, gray flannels with heat-thermal neck-to-ankles underneath are more modest than my usual habit: paint-and-caulk smeared jeans and a gray Army shirt (gift years ago from an adult daughter who was a military intelligence sergeant and Arabic linguist.)

So the couple and I chatted a bit, as some memories have been stirred.  And I inquired of their lives, and will be praying for their children and children's children.  A tree in the garden was noted for they'd like one of its type.  Happens to be a rather rare Chamaecyparis nootkentasis 'Van den Aker.'
I supplied the correct name of which initially I could barely recall the family let alone the cultivar specific name.

If they cannot locate one to purchase, as they would like, I offered this one as a gift.  I mentioned how it would already be quite tall for them, too!  Come spring I will be needing to sell off whatever trees people may desire, and then I will replace "holes" in the landscape with ones not chosen.  The lovely gardens of the past will never be again; and the trees have grown beyond their miniature and dwarf dimensions, in several cases.

More sanding and priming of tongue-and-groove boards, the 12-footers; and then up the ladder to hang a bit of drywall.  Then to the pole barn to rip the tongue off a board and rip a partial board to finish the closet's slanted wall-ceiling.  While donning the safety goggles by the table saw, I praised the Lord in all He has taught me in the past nearly four years of necessity in learning construction skills.  Familiarity with a variety of power tools has ended up being a requisite as well as blessing.

The finances have come to a point in which it will not be long before I must depart, finished or not.  Yet I consider John the Baptist and his freedom from attachment, his going about the desert and then preaching and baptizing by water those who came to hear the spiritual messages and warnings to repent.  I thought of how it was for John to be different, to be veritably a hermit-type in his vocation and life mission.

I am warmed with the reminder he had for me that he understands how I feel and that he has warmth for me in our kindred likeness in some regards. And perhaps, I think today, there is more kindred spirit between us than not.  And so I will get back to the tiny tasks of this and that in this hermitage while pondering John the Baptist and our likenesses, for perhaps there will be insight into greater purpose in my own present moment and what is to come.

For one thing, I am to write, and I am to write more and other than I have been in my blogs.  The transition from my time of preparation and wandering in the desert, the physical labor of carpentry and such will simmer and perhaps close off, and then there will be something other the Lord will have.  Another place, another opportunity, another adventure, another cycle of nature both temporal and mystical.

God bless His Real Presence in us!  All the more, love is the key for thinking with the heart!

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