Still quite ill but yesterday and today am seeing hints of improvement. Friday was wishing I could be in a hospital receiving care and nebulizer treatments for the lungs. Yesterday morning hope was weak; but the Lord knows I need much patience, and thus another Lenten lesson for this phase. The coughing is a bit less although am unable to be up from the mattress other than to get hot ginger water or heat up soup to eat, returning to mattress to do so.
The couple who brings Holy Communion each Sunday morning is away for the month. There is no one else to call upon here, but increasingly this has been a good aspect of my hermit life evolvement to rely increasingly upon the Lord in tangible ways.
Yet, this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit is truly a disappointment to God in my weak living out of a more fervent spiritual life. Somehow the need for distraction is keen--perhaps in offset to the financial stress and daily hardships and of all the mountains of work and renovation mess ever tangibly visible.
So the past day I watched more YouTube movies and a documentary. I chose British films, and those which are ponderous, beautifully meaningful and of people sorting out relationships and coming to the essence of love despite imperfections and the effects of sin upon all humans. The day prior I coughed nearly non-stop, wearing out the back, the lungs, and concerned I'd crack some ribs.
Then despair thumped on me a bit, taunting that I'd not likely finish the renovations or be able to sell yet this summer. But I recognized the one thumping, the devil, and I turned to Scriptures and a couple more pages of St. Bernard's first sermon on the Song of Songs.
The Scriptures I began reading (besides the daily Mass readings) are the Book of Proverbs. St. Bernard recommends a reading or re-reading of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes before continuing on much with his sermon reflections on Song of Songs. However, I am dabbling with both, for yes, I lack patience and become eager to taste more of what Bernard has to teach about love of God in Himself and love of others as God loves.
As I read the first few chapters of Proverbs, it came clear to me that while I desire to live a holy life, I now lack the discipline I used to have, or at least had more spiritual discipline, it seems, as I do now. Perhaps I am very tired, or else I appreciate the diversions and distractions of temporal visuals and accounts of people's lives, as most of the films are versions of real life experiences and of lives lived historically and most often triumphantly in the end, despite great obstacles.
Then I come back to this place, this time, this experience, and I realize I have not done anything terrible lately, although the Holy Spirit and my angel Beth remind me of times past that pop into the conscious, in which I chose to do things out of weakness or in desiring to fit in with another, to be accepted, I suppose, in a weak way.
Well, a friend has suggested in an email that had I not tried to work so much when the daughter was here weekend last, I'd not have needed the antibiotics. Rather, I have concluded it was my pride and desire to be as many others who are able to throw off sinus and lung infections with home remedies and over-the-counter medications--most able to continue off to work daily.
The friend is like that--keeps going to work, resists going to a doctor, even thinks antibiotics are harmful in some ways to the body. However, we do tend to know our bodies, and I have not been one to throw off sinus and lung issues without antibiotics. In fact, the times I've put off getting a prescription, the longer and worse I have been ill. I should have gone to the doctor sooner than later, this time; but I don't think it will go on for a month as it did two years ago when two courses of antibiotics were finally required.
So pride can get in the way even when ill, and cause us to be our own undoing. My lungs have nodules in them as it is--not malignant at this point but can become so, I've read. However, for now, the benign nodules are most likely from residual lung infection, and I consider the month-long illness two years ago to be the culprit--as well as the living conditions in a construction zone.
My spiritual father wrote another letter. I so cherish them. He also observed the mournful tone of many priests and of those in other programs on EWTN. He suggests, though, that the mournfulness has to do with the serious aspects of human lives that are revealed to the priests, and surely it would take much faith and loving union with God to rise beyond the horrible elements that people confess, day after day, and that priests take into their ears, minds, hearts and even their souls.
Yet, I maintain that I had become mournful, myself; and I still wonder if an element of mournfulness is learned or taken upon oneself, as a type of way of being that is promulgated by example over time. Or perhaps there is a certain attitude, affect, and external posture that seems to many how it should be when speaking of God or celebrating Mass, or that seems more reverent and holy? Maybe being in front of a camera heightens this effect, or being in front of a group?
I don't know, other than my spiritual father and I agree that there is enough of mournfulness and love of God and being a Christian and Catholic ought be not grave but celebratory and brightly lit with promise and hope and faith and much, much love.
I recall Elizabeth of the Trinity's clarion call, resounding St. Paul's "praise of glory!" I consider my own motto, given me by Mary and the Holy Spirit a couple decades ago: Just adore Him! This was not stated to me in mournful tones, dragging out the words as a dirgeful and adagio just... adore...Him. No, it was spoken to me triumphantly, with a tonal upsweep, spirited delight, and staccato simplicity: just! adore! Him!
Today's Gospel reading has several spoken lines of Jesus that intrigue me. This one I also desire very much for myself, as I've been drinking hot ginger water and Vitamin C enhanced water, and I'm still needing the temporal body flushed clean of illness. So I will just adore His Living Words, beginning with these recorded in John 4 that Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman at the site of Jacob's well, and that He speaks to each of us every day that we read or think of them:
"Everyone who drinks this [temporal] water will be thirsty again;
but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst;
the water I shall give will become in him
a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
Yes, I do so much want the water Jesus shall give me; I thirst for it and promise to drink as best a human can drink the ethereal, the numinous, the mystical, the spiritual and yet be so utterly and imperfectly human. In faith, though, the living water of Jesus will truly, somehow, become a spring of water that floats us into life for all eternity.
There will be no coughing in heaven, no nodules in lungs, no sinus infections, no need for antibiotics when home remedies do not suffice. But the water Jesus gives us to drink in essence of His love and providence, of the spiritual realm and spiritual purpose, will provide for us all that we require.
God bless His Real Presence in us, and praise Jesus for the water He offers to give us!