I love the Gospel of John. Within, yesterday's Mass Gospel including the Lazarus event with Martha and Mary, and Jesus' bringing Lazarus back from death.
When Jesus looks to the heavens (and I imagine Him lifting His hands up, as well), it reminds me of St. Godric of Finchale who in instances of praise would lift up his hands or objects in them, and thank God for all blessings.
Yesterday when the couple brought me Communion and read the Gospel message, the image of Jesus looking to the heavens had me later remembering when I was under this old place here in two feet or less of crawlspace, trying to get some odd-angled plumbing pipe configuration to fit. I had one pipe remaining to connect to another, and I could not get them to come together properly.
So I lifted up one piece enough--few inches as not enough head- or arm-room for more, and I praised God. "Lord, I know you can easily fit these pipes together, and I praise You and thank You for all You provide for me in all matters temporal and spiritual!" I made one more attempt with the pipes, and they fit right together, easily.
Gestures with faith, hope, and love surely please God. And once more, we can look to Jesus to see how to think, speak, act, and "be". Jesus looks to the heavens and to His Father. He weeps with compassion for and with others. He speaks to God the Father in loving, sonly, familiar terms. He listens to God; He listens to people. He is amazed and at times even exasperated with the repetition required for such as His disciples to begin to understand something He teaches...and sometimes tells them they will only understand later.
Well, this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit has done something not done in nearly 33 years. Yesterday morning after taking the Doxycycline twice a day for seven days without much issue, was unable to keep the little antibiotic down. Was so unused to the signals of upchucking, I barely made it to the bathroom. Again, this morning, lost another pill. Am awaiting call back from medical personnel on what to try otherwise. Nausea is a side-effect, but I lift my head to God in Heaven and thank Him for the seven days of having antibiotic benefit. Still have four more days, and I do need more help as the sinuses and lungs are not well yet despite massive improvement.
I've been listing some things to sell which is time consuming, and I've sold three items: dishes, PVC pipe, and a door. Cutting the prices way down, and still it will take awhile with much more to dispense with. Praising God that I have a few more months financially, and otherwise if He wills, to keep selling off and also working on finishing the place.
We never know the day nor hour (nor minute) ahead of us, nor when we will befall some major shift in circumstances. I'd not be surprised if the Lord takes me a bit further here and then yet says, "Now you must give in and give up, walk away temporally stripped." Friends think surely the Lord will not want me beholden to family members, although a friend has already offered that I could live with her.
Now, that would alter the hermit's solitary life; yet we know that most hermits end up not having total solitude in living conditions as they age or at least in final sickness and passing. Practical considerations affect hermits as they do anyone. But a consecrated Catholic hermit, living out what the Church requires of privately and publicly professed alike, remain as hidden from the eyes of men in the silence of solitude, as much as God individually forms of any particular hermit's vocational circumstances.
In other words, above all else, a Catholic hermit ought look to God the Father in Heaven, and of course follow Jesus in all aspects that He looked to His Father in all things--as One in the Father and the Holy Spirit--God made Man, born to Mary, lived, died, and resurrected from the dead, descended into hell and ascended into Heaven where He is with the Father and Holy Spirit in triune oneness.
So, to, must we consider remaining in Christ's love, living and dying to ourselves, seeking always divine union with the Holy Trinity. Looking to heaven as Jesus did while on earth--in gesture, visual, and spiritual modalities--is a tiny effort we can make within our minds, hearts, and souls as well as with bodily gesture. Small yet mighty in focus and love of God, we can gift ourselves to Him daily.
Well, yesterday as the couple who brings this hermit His Real Presence in the tangible Host, they were thankful that my infected sinuses and lungs had improved in the week. I mentioned it is like Lazarus--that Jesus had come to call me from the tomb, to come out and begin anew, leave my pj's and gravity of illness behind. We had a chuckle over that, but how true indeed is Jesus' efforts with us in all types of situations.
The Living Word applies to us and us to the Living Word in vast ways and means if we take time or have the inclination and desire to notice the infinite connections with the Lord in all aspects of our existences.
God bless His Real Presence in us!