The lovely couple who brings me Holy Communion on Sunday mornings this last time brought also a house blessing kit. I think these are offered for various dioceses or any which desired to participate and distribute them to parishioners.
There is a small bag with a prayer card and instructions on blessing one's house as well as a small piece of chalk. The suggestion is to print over one's door the following: 20+C+M+B+17. It is a centuries-old practice done on Epiphany in times past. There is the year (2017) chalked above the door as well as the initials for each of the three Wise Men's names: Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar.
This morning I awoke with more than usual pain. (Another storm had come through in the night, and it is definite that the weather shifts increase the spinal pain to varying degrees of sickening!) So I rested and thought about today blessing the hermitage, using the little kit. (The other day I noticed a photo of a man from a diocese many states away who had the same or similar kit and idea, and was blessing his house.)
But what came to me in the silence of solitude is to print above my double French doors is this: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. So I will follow this little inner inspiration and do so. I suppose it does not matter as long as the heart and mind and soul are intent upon beseeching the Lord to bless my dwelling. In addition, the reminder of the Jesus Prayer which is taken from the Living Word of Scriptures, will serve me well each time I go through the doors, which is often since the compound miter saw is set up on a stand on the back deck.
I can think of the self-righteous man the Gospels comment upon, who prays with desire to be noticed in the synagogue, and then the man toward the back who beats his chest and begs God to have mercy upon him, a sinner. Jesus points out that the one who cries out from a position of humility and knowing his own sinfulness is the one whose prayers are the better. Something like that. We get the message and lesson.
Well, now to rise, dress, and head up the ladder to continue whatever work I see first to do, out of many tasks! Bits of drywalling, nail-gunning some added stud pieces so that there is backing for slanted ceiling boards to be nailed into something solid--or I can work on reframing the closet door since I have switched plans for the type of doors to be used. There remain plenty of tongue and groove ceiling boards to sand and prime, too!
Daniel, the hermit's young helper, sent a message that he is ill today. God provides in all matters; He's the Boss! Seems true that both Daniel and this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit need a slower-paced day. I am praying for his recovery, as he hopes to come on Friday. If not well, though, I hope he remains home as there are many nasty viruses going around out in the world this time of year.
Before I make this aching, burning spine do any carpentry work, I will pray the blessings printed on the little card in the house blessing kit, and I will chalk above the doors the Jesus Prayer.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!
[I just printed the Jesus prayer and then added the 2017 and Christus mansionem benedicat" which also refer to the C+M+B and mean: May Christ bless this house. Although only Daniel the Nazarene and the couple from the parish will be the human ones to see it besides this hermit, I know that all those on the other side will delight and lend their prayers to this dwelling and all souls who enter herein.]