Saturday, May 20, 2017

Catholic Hermit: Christ!

Everything seems to bring this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit back to Christ!  He is the first and last, as is said: alpha and omega.  So this morning when I read this excerpt from The Catechism of the Catholic Church, I rejoiced at the assurance and absolute freedom that Jesus Christ gives us when we put our all into His All.

"1977 Christ is the end of the law (cf. Rom 10:4); only he teaches and bestows the justice of God.

As a hermit my Rule of Life is the Gospel rule, and the undergirding platform of living that rule, I consider to be the Nine S'.  These are aspects of how or in what disposition I live the daily rule, the Gospel Rule. 

My spiritual father years ago suggested, the day after my profession of vows, the first three s': silence, solitude, and slowness.  The Holy Spirit suggested six more s', and one includes "simplicity".

The love of God in Himself need not be complicated.  The law of God, which Scripture states is love, a law of love, can be simple, as I am finding out over the years.  God's law simply is, and His law supersedes other laws.  And as Christ is one with the Trinity--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--as The Catechism so succinctly states the reality: Christ is the end of the law.

This is quite simple and also quite true.  Why complicate our purpose in life, our mission that God has given each of us in our various ways and means?  The simplicity He gives our individual lives as well as in our lives being part of the Body of Christ?  Why complicate our lives within the Body of Christ?  To love, to love to learn to love--to love God in Himself and love others as God loves--love is God's law.  

Christ instructs us to remain in His love.  Christ makes clear in His Living Word what is the greatest commandment, and that of God's law of love.  And again, only Jesus teaches and bestows the justice of God.

So I was struck yet again when a dear hermit wrote and mentioned he might be relocating to a different diocese because the diocese bishop designated him as an Independent Hermit rather than "bestowing" Canon Law 603. 

[Yet another example of designations and labels for hermits being creatively invented by individuals, this time a bishop making up "Independent Hermit"  That's a new one. Heard of another hermit who decided to create the label--"Lay Hermit"! Lord, have mercy on us label-making mortals!  We are silly and presumptuous.  Why complicate a beautifully simple vocation with making up additional labels and designations?  But, enough on all that.  I'm sure Jesus knows who we are and calls us as He wills and what He wills, if anything other than "child."]

Returning to the thoughts of simplicity of love and simple love of Christ.  I consider once again that Christ is the end of the law.  Why complicate matters?  Why seek after others to bestow what we might want to think is our due, or a type of justice in the context of hermit life?  Seek Christ to bestow whatever upon us.  Christ is our all.  He is the end of the law.  

This morning my feet were screaming in pain.  Yet I put on these copper-infused compression foot bands that do seem to help, got dressed, painted some window trim, installed some diminutive shoe molding in the garret room up in the attic gable, and then went outside to begin to weed.

While weeding, thoughts disappeared for the most part, as some manual labor seems to lift me out of my "self".  Only at one point did a thought drift into the conscious mind, and it was connected to the rich and deep contentment that the Lord has bestowed upon me in the recent months.  There is simply so much love flowing, and an insightful consideration of eternity is being lived in a way difficult to describe. 

Christ is always in the present moment, and by His grace, I am with him in this and every moment.

So into the conscious realm came the little message, that what was good and holy and spiritually efficacious and simple for hermits such as St. Antony of the Desert, St. Paul the Hermit, and all other hermits throughout the centuries and up until toward the end of the 20th century--all that is good enough for the likes of me.

In fact, it is stupendous!  It is propitious (and this word just now popped in, and I looked it up, and it is perfect for context!) and it is ordained and gifted by Jesus Who Is the end of the law.

Now, as for wherever we hermits may wander or if we remain in one spot, the Lord will unfold our lives and lead us as simply as He wandered the earth--depending upon mission and circumstance and sometimes in response to current events that threatened the perfection of purpose and mission.

It can be as simple as finances, health, or circumstances that require a shift from where we are to where we are to go next, if at all.  If Jesus determines that a law of minds is what He as the end of all law, desires for a person, then by all means, go where Jesus will provide the means to have the law of minds to rule and guide.

But that does seem a bit complicated.  Whatever, while weeding the full joy of freedom that comes when one remains in His love and is stilled within enough to hear His Voice--the full joy of Christ and His law of love filled my heart and soul.

Going to head up the ladder with a bucket of ceiling paint (Simply White!), and will figure out if the body has the energy to paint a first coat on a tongue-and-groove ceiling.  All things are being made as new here, and this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit rejoices in this present moment despite jangling, bodily nerve pain shooting here and there. 

While on earth, we shall know earthly pain.

God bless His Real Presence in us!  Christ is the end of the law; Christ is All!

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