Saturday, April 15, 2017

Catholic Hermit (and All of Us) Await Resurrection!

Holy Saturday!  Tomorrow is Easter Resurrection!  I'm reminding as many spiritual friends who contact this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit, no matter their message, that we will find great joy and relief tomorrow--after what has been a typically grueling, glorious Lent!

A young woman has worked her way through undergraduate college and then for several years slowly plugging her way through a Master's Degree in Psychological Counseling.  This semester she has but one class, but, oh--what a class!  There is a clash with the professor of some sort.  He speaks in erudite tones, and she is finding him difficult to understand.  The concepts he presents get lost in the frozen zone of her mind that clutches when the professor opens his mouth.

Yes, it is a psychological type of block, but nonetheless, she must pass this course for she only has enough money to pay for the three remaining.  I think she's been working toward this degree for four or more years now.  It is not easy when having to work odd jobs, part-time, live with an uncle in a spare room, upkeep an old car to get to work and the university.  But she is doing it!  She will, despite recent diagnosis of sleep apnea, as well.  Lent!

But Easter Resurrection is to come, and the thought of Jesus rising from the temporal toils and tares, the persecutions and all else that He endured--all for our salvation, for His Father-bestowed mission--it all raises our hopes, for sure!  Jubilation is around the temporal-time corner!  

I confessed sacramentally on Holy Thursday morning. It was the most odd and peculiar confession situation ever in my nearly 22 years of being a Catholic.  I won't go into it, but I'm thankful for the ability to listen and encourage another who needed to and wanted to discuss his group therapy and process toward better health.  It was fascinating even if strange since I'd not been to the parish for nearly seven months. Yet, the Lord places us where He wills and as often as not--not for the reasons or purposes we thought or planned.

I have an entirely new segment of people with weight and other problems to pray for and have great empathy and respect for the crosses they bear--no matter the reasons that landed them in rather extreme circumstances.

I know about landing in extreme circumstances, myself.  Landed next door to a mentally ill woman and her dysfunctional husband and adult sons.  Had to get out when my protective order was coming to an end; and then ended up here--in this fixer upper!

Good Friday was truly good this year.  There were three particular prayer concerns on my mind.  Each involve life or death situations.  The one has to do with potentially a new life being formed in a womb; the other has to do with a single mother diagnosed with cancer and facing surgery, chemo, and radiation.  The third deals with an older woman whose esophagus is riddled with ulcers and whose remaining sighted eye is clouded by a cataract; eye surgery is risky on this one eye remaining with any vision possible.

I could not focus much on the Crucifixion of Jesus yesterday.  This year it has all been so vivid, so real, so intense.  I suppose I should be ashamed that I had to explain to His Real Presence that it was just too much to bear--my mind and emotions could not take it all in this time.  Sorry!  And perhaps with that, somehow I recognized all the more the details and depths to which Jesus lived and died--the betrayal, the rejection, the ridicule, the shame, the cruelty and abuse--and then to calmly resign Himself to the Will of the Father after a night of intense prayer and bloody tears prior to His crucifixion.

I worked on caulking around the ceiling line between trim and walls; I painted a first color coat on a room I'd been mudding and sanding--preparing for smooth and sleek, clean and fresh.  The color is a combination of two paints; I like to experiment as well as use up what I have.  The final result is that of the Body of Christ color--a Host, His Sacred Flesh.

Then I took some time out to watch a humorous but theme-laden YouTube video!  Of all things!  I recalled the years of sorrowful mourning, of watching the Passion of Christ film and in ensuing years the DVD.  Or of spending the night in a chapel in prayer, or other devotions and sacrifices.  But this year, the mourning and sorrows are already here, traipsing alongside Jesus with His Cross and then Simon of Cyrene when he assists Christ with the load.

Yes, I had to balance the intensity of Good Friday with distraction of the temporal lives of human beings, portrayed in film, revealing their broken hearts yet ability to overcome with love, and to then help others.  The film was British and dealt with a woman whose husband had bullied her.  He passed suddenly, and she was freed from abuse.  Yet her son took advantage of her financially and committed her to a nursing home of which she was too young and vibrant to belong.  While there, she helped the others break free, for they were being mistreated, over-medicated, and drained of their finances.

Such a theme was brightened by comedic situations mixed with genuine, thoughtful love.

Well, it was quite a different Good Friday than I've spent in decades.  I was reminded of childhood and of the anticipated joy yet the noon hour slowly moving toward the hour of Jesus' death.  I loved it when we'd have a thunderstorm around 3 p.m.; seemed to be a sign and gift from God to remember the day centuries before when Jesus took our awful sins upon Himself, died, was buried, descended into hell an then rose on the third day--resurrected and alive!

Yesterday it was like that again, the same sense of anticipation, the getting through those three hours by not becoming morosely intense or putting on more sorrow than what is naturally and genuinely given by God--not more than we can bear.  And there was the joy and relief later in the day, and the reality of human beings overcoming hardships and mistreatment, abuse, persecution, through love and the courage God gives us to try to make a difference, to serve others, to right what wrongs we can.  And all in love--the love of God, the mercy and compassion of Christ, the spiritual flame of love of the Holy Spirit.

Today is one of reflecting a bit, then waiting, and in temporal time, receiving a Triduum gift!  It is serendipitous!  Someone had posted lovely, solid cherry upper cabinets and gray Corian countertops--free!  Somehow, I happened to be the first to respond, which surprised me, as people lined up online behind if I did not follow through.  Precious Blood (my used truck) and I drove to the place where a young couple was renovating their lovely home, and they kindly loaded my truck with also some base cabinets they happened to have that match.

I have marvelous plans for these cabinets.  Not in the hermitage, but in the pole barn, as I want to frame in two windows I have from the hermitage renovation--repurpose the windows and make the pole barn a studio.  Yes, someone will so enjoy the property.  

All is coming into place beautifully, although working on a 17' beam is providing quite the challenge where one side is wrapped with drywall and that goes across the base of beam and transitions to wood ceilings.  The beam or the ceiling--whichever--do not butt up evenly in a couple places.  I've been chiseling and beveling drywall, for pity's sake.  I'll see what happens with mudding.

A couple more rather serious prayer intentions came via text message.  I'm aware, even when doing a section of grass mowing, that this dwelling and property are woven thickly, through and through, with prayers!  Hours and days and weeks of prayers and sufferings are in the construction, from the framework to the final coats of paint, outside and inside.  

Prayers are in the gardens and grass; prayers are in the pole barn--up on the roof where a year ago I fell and slid--but not off, thanks be to God!  Prayers are in the crawlspace insulation and plumbed pipes; prayers are in the attic spaces and wall spaces and roofing and mulching and every nail and screw driven.

Well, this is how it is, and should be, for a hermit in a hermitage.  Yet, besides the most strange confession--not at all expecting how it transpired yet am chuckling about it and see the point Jesus was making--I wonder at this unusual Triduum.  I'm thankfully able to let it flow without forcing or trying to live up to any expectations of how I ought to do or be or feel or think.

Somehow it is one of the most meaningful Triduum's yet.  I did look up how to pronounce Triduum, and yes, I've been saying it incorrectly for years.  Tri'-jewem was what it sounds like, with the "i" being soft.. I'd been mentally pronouncing: Tri-dew-um with the "i" being long.  Always fun to learn something new or find correction and be delighted.

I wonder if purgatory is kind of like an on-going Lent?  Mercy, I hope not in a human way, but there is nothing quite like Lent to teach us what God wants us to learn.  Not easy, not meant to be, yet always excellent and better than we could ever figure out for ourselves what our souls need to learn most or in what ways best to learn it.

Easter Resurrection--within hours!

God bless His Real Presence in us!  So grateful, always!

No comments: