In addition to balancing the beauty and goodness with life with simply and humbly enjoying life that God creates and gives, this nothing Catholic hermit is today beginning once again doing more spiritual reading.
A spiritual friend across the miles had inquired late last summer what might be a good book, and she had an interest in St. John of the Cross. The volume I highly recommend is that translated and edited by Kieran Kavanaugh, the title: The Collected Works of John of the Cross.
The friend had another book she wanted to finish, and being a busy working wife, a mother of adult children, and friend to many, it has taken her these months. I so understand--and I'm not a spouse to a human nor with adult children nearby, nor working a job out in the world in which I encounter many people. Even so, I have been spiritually lazy--acedia, it is!--and also tired, and as mentioned, needing a type of natural balance including humor and visual beauty, to the intensity that can enter into a hermit's daily and nightly existence.
My mind has been on various, serious prayer intentions sent my way. My mind has had to focus on learning construction skills and dealing with temporal hardships and financial concerns, as well as age and pain continue to march through the every present moments of temporal human existence.
But today the friend and I had set for beginning to read The Collected Works of John of the Cross. I've read much of it but re-reading will seem as if the first time, I suspect! So much construction, plumbing, electrical, and various other new "tricks" this Old Goat has had to learn in the past four years! It seems that other knowledge has been shoved aside or even booted out of the brain! I realize this is not the case, but it is at minimum stored in some vault as if locked away for eons.
I suggested that the friend, being far more busy with responsibilities to here-and-now people in her daily life, determine our reading plan and schedule. She emailed that we will read two pages a day. This is fine with me; it is not the number of pages nor even if we go by sections or ideas.
What does it matter? We will read two pages a day and find what we will find in our slow absorption of a man who lived his life in insightful and inspired holiness when on earth. He continues to this day interacting in the lives of those of us who desire his acquaintance and spiritual guidance.
As a long-time friend reminds in emails regarding this hermit's major hermitage renovation over the past four years: Slow and stead wins the race.
Today the body has been so fatigued by physical pain that eating protein, ingesting raw sugary stuff that usually gives an endorphin boost (even though not the best source to stimulate the brain chemicals that help with pain!), and resting until early afternoon, I've only managed one tray of drywall mud.
I'm trying to level out and form a 17' beam that has two sides wrapped with drywall, but the edge that butts to wood ceiling is not even. And there are two places in which I should have cut back more drywall to make the beveling look better. Not sure how many coats it may take to make it look lovely, smooth, and modified enough to not scream out: " I am not level! I am not even or flush! I have been reconfigured by an old hermit!" And, that is, an old hermit who has had to become a construction apprentice without an onsite experienced builder...other than my angel, St. Joseph, and Jesus, of course!
I pray while I work, and the prayers continue for the young single mother of two boys whose double mastectomy and lymph gland surgery has been suddenly scheduled for tomorrow morning, 8:30 a.m. ET. The sooner the better for this surgery since the cancer has spread to lymph nodes. Sadly, an older person had to sacrifice her surgery spot as that person could not pass the treadmill test, so doubtful would survive surgery. Heart issues--and this is how it is as we age. It comes to a point that we are no longer an emergency, and it is as well to accept a natural death--as I put it, die the old-fashion way!
Most of life consists of bittersweet events. Two views, two situations, two possibilities, two outcomes: the temporal view and the spiritual view. Perception and attitude, love and mercy, affect the trajectory of how we choose to traverse the paths laid before us in our earthly pilgrimage. And the choices help determine the outcome of the pathways into eternal life. Salvation or perdition awaits each soul, whether we consider and factor these realities or not.
Now, this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit will fill the stainless steel drywall mud tray with another mound of this gorgeous, thick, creamy mud! It is like sculpting, and I think of--is it Ezekiel--who wrote of the Lord's image of the potter at the wheel, forming the clay pots so metaphoric of how our souls are created and in the Hands of God Almighty!
God bless His Real Presence in us! Let us love God in Himself and above all things...and love one others as God loves!