Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Catholic Hermit's Scripture Prayer This Day in Lent

I read today's first Mass reading from Deuteronomy and made it my own plea to the Lord God.  I'm into the third week of sinus and lung illness, thinking I've made progress one day to have more coughing the next, with the head still jammed and much weakness in being up to get something to eat and drink.  I know the antibiotic continues to work another five days but am too ill to go into civilization for another doctor visit.

So I ponder what it is the Lord wants of me in this illness of which there is progress even if slow and slight.  And, it is true that the overused elbow and recurring thumb injuring are certainly being rested and are much improved!  So that is a good outcome despite the body's sickness otherwise.

Last night was an amazingly detailed, lucid dream--so real--of being with a friend of years past, driving around an area we each lived with our spouses at the time, yet no longer in that phase in the dream.  There was conversation, and I awoke knowing that if nothing other, I am to pray for this person.  I sent an email as I'd not been in contact for several months.

And today I am reminded once more of how the Lord is in total control of our every moment of each day and night, and what He allows becomes our life and law, of sorts, and there is no changing matters of sickness and trials, of breath and bodily functionality other than to do what little we can and mostly to wait in patience and wonder at His Authority.

We are our most vulnerable when our bodies are hit by illness of one sort or another.  I think of a friend of the past with mental illness, and how her life depended so much on her husband's watchfulness and making sure she got to the doctor, to her shock treatments required weekly, to the taking of her medications, and trying to provides some outings for her including Mass--whatever could help her remain in the mainstream of life when not at all able mentally to cope.

I continue to question if I am doing as the Lord desires, in my current existence--the manual labor prior to this illness.  I have turned to distractions to take me far away in time and place--not bad distractions but perhaps not what He prefers?  I do not know; yet it has caused me to wonder if I will be well enough to finish the work here and to be able to sell, and then if I must turn to more full-time writing rather than attempt another adventure in dwelling and land.  

Or, perhaps the question is more the type of writing, for I am recognizing in some videos I've watched, that great messages and good can come from slightly fictionalized accounts of true life experiences, relating the trials people endure and the triumph of good over evil.

Above all, I consider Lent and finally hearing from my cousin yesterday, as I'd become quite concerned that something had happened untoward.  I'd not heard responses from her in a week and had no other means to contact; so I had to pray and wait, let the need to know slip away with the faith that whatever, God was handling the situation.  Sure enough, she'd been in hospital and through her own Lenten, bodily suffering ordeal.

Everywhere I turn in temporal distraction of news, emails from persons, or the YouTube movies so artfully filmed and dramatized, I see the challenges of Lent unfolding in people's lives--whether or not they realize the spiritual nature of God's manifestation and providence in charge of all details of our temporal and eternal lives and souls.

So I turn again to the prayer recorded in Deuteronomy 3.  I ponder in my heart--surrounded by inflamed lungs--these words of the Israelites who were stripped down to their basic vulnerabilities.  In the silence of solitude, I consider their prayer, carved from the depths of their souls in time of utter need and dependency.  

It is a beautiful prayer, and the words remind that we belong to God's providence for all aspects of our existence--temporal and spiritual, in this world of tangibles and in the mystical realms, as well.

When we have not much other to offer and realize that we truly are nothing to God's all, we can let our lives and souls be the sacrifice--giving up our notions of control even if subconsciously so.

"But with contrite heart and humble spirit
let us be received;
As though it were burnt offerings of rams and bullocks,
or thousands of fat lambs,
So let our sacrifice be in your presence today
as we follow you unreservedly;
for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame.
And now we follow you with our whole heart,
we fear you and we pray to you.
Do not let us be put to shame,
but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.
Deliver us by your wonders,
and bring glory to your name, O Lord."

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