Pages

Monday, June 16, 2014

Writing, Sharing



To any who come upon this blog site or who have signed up for notices, I have been recently writing again on the site: catholichermit@blogspot.com

At some point I may return to writing on this or another blog site, not that it is of any matter or importance.  I continue to write thoughts on God and living the spiritual life daily and nightly.

God bless His Real Presence in us!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Comments Upon a Poster Seen on FB

 Someone posted this poster on FB, and I could not help but comment on it.  It was from an organization that calls itself for highly effective women. I disagree.  I know what it maybe means in terms of the world and pop culture, but some of the richest assistance I have had has come from very miserable people who are being tested in the fires of the furnace. To see someone struggling to figure out his own life is a very real and honest person.  For those of us who do not have it all together and are not perfect, we can certainly benefit from those who also know they are not perfect and who are still trying to figure out his or her own life.  It is a process.  I find the struggling sufferers to be quite inspiring, actually.  But I commented, as below the photo and statement on it.

Don't ask advice from someone who can't figure out his own life. Rather look for inspiring and happy people.



This makes me sad, actually. I find that if I ask advice of people who may be unhappy, especially if their unhappiness is due to much life experience the hard way, I gain far more insights and help than from those who are "happy." Often times, I have found that "happy" people are thus because they have not suffered much. Of course, if you find one that is "happy" due to being in a lull in the realities of life and have come through the other side of the fire--for the time being--then that is good, too. They then can encourage and say we all come through the fire in faith, and also that person if wise will say he or she will be back in the fire again. I don't always trust those whose lives are sugar-coated. Was Jesus always happy? I don't think so. Scripture does not reveal that; He wept over Jerusalem and drove out the money-changers. He was not "happy" in the agony of the garden, nor in his scourging nor on the cross. He was wise, resigned, filled with love and forgiveness, and perfectly beautiful in showing us that we may not have happiness in this life, but in the next. I find some young people turn to me for advice because they know I have suffered and am not what one would call, in this world's terms, "happy". These are people with very serious troubles, and they want advice from someone who has not masked suffering. They know I have experience but also know I grow through it, and they want to do the same. They know I cry real tears and have had very hard knocks, and they evidently see something in my sorrows that makes them feel comfortable to consult me. "Happy" people, to me, can actually seem intimidating and not so real. And this goes especially if the "happy" people are masking their reality, for living a full life does not preclude a life of much suffering.

On another note, why do people for centuries find solace and wisdom in the Psalms? They are written by those who are plaintive and suffering, who feel lost and beaten down and betrayed. They would be not considered "happy" people, and thus according to this axiom offered to never consult others who do not have their own lives figured out, would not be anyone to consult for advice. The Psalms are so very poignant for the very reason they were written by those who suffered and were "unhappy", who saw those people who seemed "happy" and always had things going their way, but yet could not relate with them. Of course, these lowly ones in their sorrow and turmoil and difficulties, turned to the Lord, their Rock and Comforter and Adviser. I submit that highly effective people--women, men, children alike--live in truth and reality and seek help from God or those who are close to God. Those close to God may often be the ones who seem the worst off and struggling, but who cling to God and turn to Him always. That, perhaps, is the difference, and the sign-post of who we should be consulting and turning to: first God, and then those who know and love God and live the way of the cross. And, that is not going to seem all that "happy". It is enduring faith, though, that marks them. Not happiness.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Vicissitudes of Life in Christ

We have these periodically, those of us who sincerely give ourselves over to the Lord and strive for His will always.  Vicissitudes.  Changes that are not necessarily pleasant, changes that provide contrast and comparison, changes that evoke suffering if one does not willow branch bend to the winds.

The seasons come and go.

Since last spring ebbed with the neck injury, and summer brought the realization that something was still seriously wrong with the right shoulder after the fall in the chapel the year before and that resultant rotator cuff surgery, autumn produced yet another surgery on the shoulder--this one far more serious, painful, and lengthy in recovery.

But the deepest pain came from the prelates and priests of Holy Mother Church.  Yet with those stunning and shocking events, the doors closing on the temporal Catholic world, came yet more instruction from His Real Presence in such a profound and potent question that answered itself within the dream vision and ensuing peace beyond all telling.

It is not easy, of course, to have the kind of faith necessary to grasp and hold onto the numinous.  The mortal mind and emotions wants inclusion even if a hermit.  The mortal mind clings to the temporal aspects--a typical enough, mortal thing to do!   But this one must let go of that even more now, and endure and grow spiritually, open to God within and without one's being.

 To be told that I am not to go to any parish was stunning.  Priests and bishops say the darn'dest things.  To be told that it is because one is too intelligent, too well read, too spiritual, different, and a mystic--is even more outrageous.

To hear an elderly bishop lie and deny and whine and not share responsibility for errant spiritual direction, was pathetic beyond disappointing.  To have to report a criminal activity that had been not reported properly to the police, was yet another agonizing duty.  But the soul is clean; and if the prelate and retired prelate and the other top honcho resented the truth being told, finally, they can tell it to God someday.  That the one prelate discredited me to another, is as he chose, threatening me in a thin and sing-song voice.  Yes, I said go ahead, resort to gossip mongering if that is what you desire.

Well, as has been spoken and written thousands of years ago, "As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord."

Fifty pages of a book were written prior to the serious shoulder surgery.  Just now is the arm out of the sling, other than driving.  It was immobilized for over five weeks, and the recovery is slow and painful.  The degree of pain of having ones biceps severed and re-attached, anchored down into the shoulder bone in three places in a new location, is beyond description.  I have wondered if the one whose direction caused the fall resulting in the injury and two surgeries, of which the obedient victim had to pay the financial, emotional and physical consequences, will suffer sharing this pain, somehow, in eternity.  It is possible, if we believe in the final judgment and the eternal fires, in whatever form our punishments and remediation will take.

For now, this soul remains even more the evolving and progressing hermit.  The laptop with the pages of the book written, is in repair.  If the book is to begun anew, that is all right.  So much more has happened in exile, that the truth will take on greater significance.

As the friend, Julian of Norwich, wrote years past:  All is well and all shall be well.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dreams and Prayers

The Lord has shown me all the more the hermit, but most definitely is asked me why I'd want the shown complexity and temporal complications in the offing, rather than Him directly? In the dream and upon waking, there was no quibbling from deep in my soul:  I want Him directly. All the other held no sway whatsoever.

A prayer is, for all of us, to know God's will and how He wills to utilize us.  In this time period of additional suffering, physically, but unjustly from another, there is a question as to if one should not speak or write truth, if others might be offended by the truth.  I ponder if Jesus was passive and did not speak the truth even though others might--and did--take offense.  Yet there is the point that is good, to not speak rashly, only from anger that is not righteous indignation.

The prayer request of His Real Presence, on a personal level within my soul, is if He desires me to write and speak the truth of what has transpired, or if He wills that I remain plucked out and to write of Him and to do what I can in the solitude of His Real Presence--in small physical actions of gardening and hermitage maintenance, provided the right shoulder will stop flaring seriously with pain whenever manual labor is attempted. It does take, then, a couple months of therapy to get the shoulder to simmer down, in addition to prednisone, and the previous time, an injection in the shoulder--only to have it flare all the more, quickly, with some manual labor.

I know I would personally prefer to be removed from the temporal issues that go on and on without seeming end, and do not lead the soul in any manner to the spiritual, at least not effectively nor directly.  The temporal Catholic crud exists, and if writing and challenging by explaining and revealing would help people to desire the spiritual more, that would be a good thing. But I doubt it would challenge or inspire any more than in prior efforts and events.  In reading a well-researched and non-embellished bio of John of the Cross, I am reminded yet again of the mystic's plight as well as the usual, eventual outcome of removal to one degree or another, from the temporal effects of power, prestige and position--all harbingers of much pride and prohibition to the depths, breadths and heights of the spiritual assent.  He realized he would have to escape death by figuring out a means of escape, and the stories of a dog leading him out, or other such "miracles", simply are not true. But escape he did, and saved his life from those entrenched in the temporal Catholic malaise, although those ensnared do not realize they are not free from nets that hold them within a certain space--not only physically sometimes, but definitely mental and emotional, sometimes willful, ensnarement.

Once John of the Cross escaped, he found his most precious times and teaching to be when in nature and removed from the temporal Catholic exigencies, the nets that are perhaps helpful in their structure up to a certain point, but can become limiting if the view remains of earth and not of heaven, not of the spiritual.

What impresses me in reading the writings and lives of mystics of the past, of Catholic mystics in particular, is their point of debarkation from the temporal Catholic confines, that world so alluring and helpful for a season or more, but with some aspects that go sour, that become tainted with the politicizing and the prevaricating of people of all vocations, who may not seek more than, or even seek less than, what His Real Presence desires in our spiritual progression. In that way, it can become a snare rather than a pathway or channel to the deep waters of spiritual growth.

These mystics do not write of the temporal Catholic crud of the day or the decade. Little to nothing is mentioned of parishes or politics.  At times some is mentioned of the trials and obstacles meted out by others, insecure, threatened, or envious of the mystic's love and desire for union with God.  But mostly the writings are of God and the process and progress in seeking and finding His Real Presence.

To write and speak truth of the process, of the temporal limitations in my own reality and experience, or to keep on in exile, writing of God in Himself and quietly communing in the solitude and silence?  I have been highly encouraged to do the writing of the journey and of the redemption in exile; but it is rather a painful write--as the mind and emotions do not even want to be reminded in any way, of what transpired of the temporal aspects, over the years.

God will answer the prayers, though.  He will decide what He wills.  In the meantime, an answer certainly came with the surge in shoulder pain, so debilitating and limiting.  It may prove to be quite a life-altering suffering.  Only time will tell, unless some miraculous healing comes to the shoulder.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Progress with Writing

Writing, unhindered by the world and done in creative, realistic freedom, is coming along very well.  Thanks be to God!  The project is finally coming to fruition.  I can write and share without negativity affecting honesty, as we are people of Christ, of His truth being paramount.  Many people are most encouraging the process and product.

Just wanted to update readers, for now.  I may privatize these posts yet again, but for now wanted to share the good news of progress in writing and sharing my particular journey.

God bless His Real Presence in us!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Progression

Much has transpired in my spiritual and physical life in recent months.  His Real Presence has wrought much deeper, inner conversions.  There are many changes--too many to write and not necessary to share.  This has gone beyond what is even helpful to others to share, or so it seems.  Whenever I figure out how to place these posts on a privatized mode, I shall do so.  For previous readers, I pray for you and wish for you union with God while yet on this earth.  This is what I continue to seek, to pray for, to desire for myself, as well.  The road becomes quite narrow, and it takes twists and turns so totally unexpected, that there comes a time when even the soul on the path marvels at the unexpected aspects, and the mystery of God in His providence and wisdom.  In recent weeks and months, my life has become far more healthy as a result of facing realities and truths, and of turning more to His Real Presence in abject honesty and dependence, and being plucked out of other distractions that dissipate the growth and freedom in facing oneself that the Holy Spirit so ably effects, or can, when we let go of the inculcation of human-created customs and notions.  Love God.

God bless His Real Presence in you!

Monday, January 30, 2012

John of Avila: Third Sermon on the Holy Ghost

I share with you some highlights of St. John of Avila's third sermon on the Holy Ghost.  These excerpts are taken from The Holy Ghost (Scepter, 1959).  What the saint writes of our essential need for the Holy Ghost and recognition of the Trinity is crucial to what I have attempted to share of some insights gained while in a profound state during Mass.

While extolling all the aid the Holy Spirit will provide us, St. John of Avila asks, "What must we do so that we may have Him?"  He answers, thus:  "Let us go to the most holy Virgin.  She is deeply loved by the Holy Ghost and He by her....He that was from eternity made Himself mortal; He that was rich became poor: and all this was accomplished through the power, the operation, the direction and the wisdom of the Holy Ghost....Let us beseech her who is so loved by the Holy Ghost to obtain for us the grace to speak of this important guest."

Then John of Avila asks his listening--and us his reading--audience, "Have you received the Holy Ghost?" Do you possess Him within you?  Blessed be the soul who has received Him!  Blessed be he who by believing has received this guest!  He gives Himself to man in return for man's faith in Him....Do you long for Him to be infused into your hearts?...It is not enough to ask Him to come, to wish to receive Him, unless your actions merit His coming to you. Your deeds must be in harmony with your conversations and your desires, if this great guest is to come and dwell in your soul."

Jesus tried to explain to the apostles why He was physically leaving their presence--He Who had been among them in person, comforting, fortifying, and teaching them His doctrine.  'I go, and I will ask the Father; and He shall give you another Paraclete in my place.'  Who is this Paraclete?  'The Spirit of Truth who will dwell within you, and teach you not wrong ideas and false doctrines, but the truth!'"

Again we are reminded of the words of Jesus: "If any one love Me, he will keep My word.  And my Father will love him, and we will come and make our abode with him."  John of Avila exhorts us to ponder these words and carry out this order to love Him.  "'He who keeps my word, loves me.'  What does this mean?  How am I to keep His word?  How am I to show my love for Him?  You must love Him; and to show that you truly love Him, you must reject and renounce all that prevents you from loving and serving Him worthily."  This takes effort, but Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit will help us.

When it seems impossible that anyone other than Jesus Christ could ever console the apostles if He were not with them, Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would come to comfort them.  As St. John of Avila paraphrases, we, too, come to be consoled.  "'Then you will no longer grieve because I go.  Another Paraclete will come equal with Me, who will comfort and cherish you even more than I.'  Only God could heal this wound, and this is a powerful argument to believe in the divinity of the Holy Ghost.  Because if the Holy Ghost were less than God, He could not comfort the apostles in the sorrow they felt at Christ's absence.  Jesus Christ is God:  If the Paraclete who was to be sent were less than Christ, He could not be God....It is clear, then, that since Christ said He would send them a Paraclete who would be able to console them, as He could, this Paraclete must be God, as Jesus Christ was God.  No one but the Holy Ghost could fill the void in their hearts, for He, like Jesus Christ, is God."

And the following seems, to me, to express quite clearly the availability and type of union that all may have with God--although the effects of union come in various ways and often not with visible signs.  "How shall I explain...the relationship the Holy Ghost wants to establish with your soul?  It is not incarnation exactly; but a state where the soul is united with God in a union so close and so complete, that it resembles incarnation.  The incarnation was a union in which the divine Word united in His one person the divine and human natures.  But this is not the case in our union with the Holy Ghost, for we are joined to Him in a union of grace.  The former union is called the incarnation of the Word, and the other may be called spiritualization by the Holy Ghost.

"Today the Holy Ghost preaches the same message that Jesus Christ preached, teaches the same doctrine, consoles and delights man as He did.  What more could you ask for?  What more could you look for?  What more do you want?  For you have within you a counselor, a tutor, a director.  One who will guide you, advise you, encourage you, put you on the right road, who will accompany you in everything you do, and everywhere you go.  Finally, if you do not lose sanctifying grace, He will go by your side so that you may neither do, say nor think anything that is not inspired or directed by Him.  He will be your faithful and true friend; if you do not leave Him, He will never leave you."

Well, the Holy Spirit is God, as Jesus Christ is God, as the Father is God.  Thus they are His Real Presence, the Trinity.  John of Avila repeats again that "As Christ during His life on earth performed marvelous cures among the sick who needed Him and asked for His help, so this Teacher and Paraclete performs spiritual cures among those souls in whom He dwells and with whom He is in union through grace....Christ, as man, went among men performing these holy deeds, which He oculd not have done if He were not God, so we say that they were the work of God and Man.  And we call the wonders accomplished by the Holy Ghost in the heart where He dwells, the work of the Holy Ghost and man, though man here plays a lesser part."

Further, St. John of Avila writes exemplifying what Jesus was trying to explain to the woman at the well.  "...Christ, Our Lord, has said, 'If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink.'  And if a man comes to Him and drinks of the water of the Holy Ghost and receives this Paraclete, this divine breath of the Holy Ghost, he will be filled, he will be comforted, he will be taught, he will be preserved from all error and doubt.

St. Bernard says that He will teach you everything; sometimes when alone with you--at other times through the mouth of another.  He is anxious to instruct, console, help and strengthen you.  If there were many disciples who wished to be taught this doctrine, who wished to study in this school, they would all be able to learn of this gentle Spirit, source of all wisdom....  John of Avila adds, "but in this school only they will profit by the teaching of the Holy Ghost and be accepted as His disciples...them that are weaned from the milk, that are drawn away from the breasts of their mothers: these are taught by the Holy Ghost.  He is in communication with them; He gives Himself to them.  Have the courage, brethren, to wean yourselves for God's sake!...Wean yourselves from your own will, from your own judgment!  Renounce and depart from your nature, your own opinions!

Now St. John of Avila asks a most important question:  What use is there in being baptized and believing in Jesus Christ if I have not the Holy Ghost?...As circumcision was the outward sign of the Jew, so is baptism the outward sign of the Christian, but neither baptism nor anything else can save you if you have not the Holy Ghost....Those who are baptized and have not the Holy Ghost are children of God, but not legitimate children....

"Who desires Him?...In veneration of the Holy Ghost...from this time forward, reverence and honor this Guest, serve Him faithfully; even if sorrows come to you, try to work to make Him happy; even if you have to sleep on the floor, give Him your bed; and even if you have to suffer hardship, do what you can to please Him.  For love and reverence of Him, I ask you to honor Him.  Do not give yourself over to the devil!  Do not exchange this Paraclete for anyone!  You cannot live without either the Holy Ghost or the devil.  What a difference between these two guests!  Let us look attentively at the apostles...like them you should perform works of mercy and do good to everyone you can at this time. They were locked in, together with the blessed Virgin Mary; call her, win her over, as that other widow importuned and won over Elijah."

"...He will come now to those who call on Him with piety.  It is indeed amazing to see the gentleness and love with which He taught the apostles to preach and pray.  St. Peter says, 'Brethren, you have sinned; know your sins and do penance for them, for the Lord will pardon you and send you a gift.  Get ready your hearts to receive it.'  May God reveal your hearts to you, your inward disposition so that you may recognize your sins...and make you weep for them!  With your whole heart call on Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and if you do this the Holy Ghost will come to you.

"He is pure: how could He come to me who am unclean?  That is the question.  Why has the Holy Ghost so much love for Jesus Christ?  Because Jesus Christ placed Himself willingly on the Cross, in obedience to the Eternal Father and the Holy Ghost; which is why the Holy Ghost will come to you in Christ's name, and will not be repelled by your wretchedness....You see it is quite true that man is not a suitable dwelling for the Holy Ghost, just as the Cross was not the place for our Redeemer, Jesus Christ; but through this union with the Cross, has come about the union of the Holy Ghost with man.  

"The Holy Ghost advised and inspired Jesus Christ to put Himself on that mean and repellant place--the Cross; and because He did so, the Holy Ghost will come to that other mean, repellent place--the heart of man.  Call Him in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, because He will most certainly come and give Himself to you, and present you with all His gifts.  He will enlighten your understanding.  He will make you burn with love for Him, and will give you grace and glory."

Yes, this was a lengthy sermon; but what truth and goodness we now have even in such a short synopsis of citations?  We must have faith.  It takes faith and a loving weaning, if we have been clinging to but one Person of the Trinity.  Now we can see through Jesus' own words that He desires us to accept more, to not only love and desire Him with all our strength, minds and hearts, but also to love and desire the who He went to and asked the Father to send us:  the Holy Spirit.  We must now learn of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Father, the Trinity.  The Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, teaches us today, now.  The Three-in-One resides in our hearts and we in Him.

This is one lesson I am being taught in the state of ecstasy that only happens during Mass--any Mass.  Perhaps others have not done as I had done, to be out of balance in my love and single-focused understanding of Jesus.  But once I learned about remaining in His Love--His Real Presence needed to lead me forth to grasping that He is the Trinity, and His Real Presence desired me to love all of Him:  the Son, the Father, and the Holy Spirit.  All are in the Mass and All are in each Sacrament, and All in each Sacrament are in the Mass. 

The Mass is the stairway to heaven.  His Real Presence, the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is fully in the fullness of the Mass.  And this extends to the reality that we take the fullness of His Real Presence in the Mass, with us, as we are sent out with His Real Presence in our thoughts and actions into the world of our daily lives.  With each encounter and thought, we approach all, knowing each Sacrament is alive and is living reality within us: His Real Presence, the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

God bless His Real Presence in us and in all Sacraments within us that we present in each moment.  Yes, it is living, now truly understood:  The Trinity in the Present Moment.