Thursday, July 6, 2017

Catholic Hermit: Living the Vocation

That is what I'm doing, simply, silently, and at the pace God wishes: slowly.

Am very tired out from toe infection.  Trip to ER took care of it, and I'm thankful was on antibiotics when a gum infection came along.  Or so it seemed like the gums as they were fiery with pain.

But later, when a dentist asked if I felt this or that when he prodded a molar, I had to admit to him that after over three decades of constant, rather high-level pain, I have developed the "skill" to mostly distract and place my mind away from pain.  Thus, in situation such as toe infection and now the gum and tooth infection, it is not until the great tidal wave comes crashing on the shores of my body, do I realize something is needing medical attention.

The pain has to be enough, or coupled with such as red-pink streak going up foot from pinkish-red toe, to be enough to bring me back to more physical awareness.  And, perhaps this is true, also, for bringing my mind to more conscious awareness of spiritual readings.  I'm finding my mind is away, possibly close in with God, but I don't know for sure, of course.  It flies from my willed awareness or forced consciousness; the thoughts become whatever God weaves within.

I located a dentist online, whose reviews on a couple sites are excellent.  Turns out not too far to drive, and they got me in within hours of my call.  This impressed after what I went through with local doctor's clinic, calling to request being seen when I saw that I had a toe infection, describing the red going up my foot....  Three days' wait to see a nurse practitioner for an "assessment" was dangerously long, under the circumstances.   I said so, and went to ER.

And how God provides!  At the time I did not know what lurked within a molar.  So having an antibiotic prescribed for the toe that just happens to also be sometimes used for gum infections: providential!  I just about did not go to a dentist as the gums were improving some; yet the pain when I would focus on the physical body, was localizing at the tooth.

Now there will be some costly work needed on that tooth, and in the meantime there may need to be another round of antibiotics, but hopefully the current one will suffice.  The costs are such that someone close mentioned just getting the tooth removed--that old people do that, and poor, also.

So I've been pondering with the Lord, if I am in these categories truly: old and poor.  What comes to mind is the posit of if a hermit with a vow that included the evangelical counsel of poverty, would repair a tooth or have it removed.  It is not so much the money or age, although I admit I do not feel as if I'm at the age of giving up on my otherwise very healthy teeth.

This problem originated two decades ago when a dentist cracked my tooth putting in a filling.  He kept saying nothing was wrong with the tooth, but I continued to know something was not right.  Another dentist immediately found the crack, had to grind the tooth and put on a cap.  Has been great all this time, but a dentist when I made a trek in December, said the cap was loose at edge and saw a bit of decay starting.  He cleaned and filled and sealed the cap.

Unfortunately, he did not get the other side of tooth, some decay, and the capped tooth was like our consciences sealed over sins we are denying; and the more they are kept in the dark and hidden within, the more they grow and fester.

Without the gums being horrifically inflamed and painful, with obvious signals otherwise, I'd not have gone to a dentist.  But the process is good for this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit:  Do I have the tooth repaired and use part of the small loan keeping me afloat here until I can finish this place and sell?  Or do I resolve to have the tooth removed, which will be far less costly?

So I weeded some, in the death stench area of strawberry patch, having found but a handful of berries--crop decimated by raccoons this year.  (It had been a blessed income of contributions folks would leave for the berries I'd place on roadside table--kindly, generous folks who could contribute or not, to the little clay pot for whatever produce they'd like.)

In weeding, the meditations run deep, silent and deep, and there is a stillness within that brings clarity.  Some thoughts did surface to the conscience in which I reviewed the reason I ended up in this predicament, financially, to begin with. Then the praises flowed for how challenging and downright difficult it has been to endure in all ways--physically, emotionally, mentally--living in such hardship of rough-living circumstances.  But spiritually--ah!--the ordeal has been exquisite!

There really is no answer yet, from the Lord, as to what to do about the tooth.  If one looks to present moment inner peace, it is to have the tooth repaired, for jaw, alignment, and bite problems can occur from a major tooth removal.  If the money runs out all the sooner--and yes, I may need another shoulder surgery at some point nearing--then I bail out all the sooner. 

What difference does it make?  The dentist is a kindly soul, and knowledgeably skilled.  His office is lovely--so much so that I inquired prior to having the gum infection checked, when I arrived--as to the cost for the visit. It was rather reasonable!  I was expecting exorbitant costs for the loveliness of the office, the beautiful views, the delightfully efficient and kindly employees!

There is an encounter, I sense, to be forthcoming, in this tooth repair process.  We shall see.

I was considering otherwise, in various ways of needing to slow down the work push to finish yet this summer here.  The Lord is prohibiting the progress with the niggling health issues, while at the same time the loan money is slowly ebbing.  He is not seemingly providing for a close-by escape.  More, He wills all is slowed down--the manual labor push on the hermitage, and slower mindset with time to ponder the spiritual aspects.

A hermit would naturally be inclined thus, to ponder in silence, solitude, and slowness, and to work in such manner also--to carry out all interactions with such aspects.  Surely, though I am learning the lesson of too many irons in the fire, and of how simplicity can slip easily away without one realizing it until life has become more temporally complicated.

Living the vocation is the point--as opposed to writing about it.  At this phase, the inner communication and process with the Lord is too rich and evolving to put into words.  Miracles abound in details within and without--within the soul and without in the temporal aspects.

Authenticity is a word, however, that comes to mind as being crucial to living the hermit vocation.  It is a word that only God can judge when it comes to a hermit's living his or her vocation authentically, for authenticity runs deeper and wider into the soul itself.  

We may not even know how to "be" authentic, yet we resonate with the truth in a nutshell:  A soul must be authentic before and within God.  

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