Monday, January 24, 2011

Could Spend the Rest of One's Life...

...learning to live in the Order of the Present Moment and trying to remain in Christ's love.  Yes, am on the stairway to heaven now, the soul is on it, but the challenges continue as ever, to remaining in His love.  Am realizing this is how it will be until bodily death and release of the soul.  Practice and pray for graces, such as to learn to love to learn to love.

Am on a physical venture, visiting loved ones.  Arduous for the body that suffers constantly, much pain.  However, am praying and managing and thoroughly loving the visit.  

Yesterday a son-in-law set up some tech aspects for the idea venture that the spiritual director gave the go-ahead at our last appointment.  This idea venture is going to take much thought and prayer and effort, much focus and intonation of soul and mind with God's will and my angel's promptings.  It is partly a financial venture; must generate some income.  

Then the spiritual director asked me to inquire about teaching religious education at the parish, or teach anything.  Oh yes, he thinks I would do so well and should be utilized by the Church!  But I knew what the response would be, and sure enough, it was another suffocation.

By now, it should not affect me, but somehow many rude and painful encounters of the past with various Catholics and attempts by me to help, to serve, to offer, flooded into the memory.  How difficult to remain in Christ's love when the memories are repeated crucifixions!  Yet that is exactly when His love should peak in fruition.  Yet, too, there is a good in reaction, and how to react: What is God expressing over and over?

It is to be close to Him, to remain within His Sacred Heart, to learn as the years hence vision made clear: learn to hibernate like a bear in order to be protected from the world.  And the world may be others, even Catholic others, who are steeped in the temporal Catholic world in ways that are very much the world of envies, control, suspicions, fears, and banalities.  It can be hard-baked, desert soil.  So why send roots over into that impenetrable ground?  Rather, remain in His Heart, alone and ensconced in His warmth, love, and Divine mystery.

Prayer is what they want, and that is easy enough.  No possessions, no personality, no presence, no personhood, but give prayer.  One can pray any time, any place, at no financial, emotional, mental or physical expenditure.  So each morning I pray: Dear God, please help our beloved Holy Catholic Church.

Then one remains the rest of God's time praising and being in protected presentiment of His love.  Learn to hibernate to have protection from the world, and learn to love.

The memories that crashed upon the flexible walls of my mind, heart and spirit, have now stilled.  I have prayed for the various persons who revisited my thoughts.  I vented some, too. Since anger cannot remain in His love, it transformed into firm resolve to abide by the message: You must learn to hibernate like a bear in order to be protected from the world.  Once the resolve jells into positive outcomes, the frustration and painful memories become gifts.  The foundation is laid, and the courage buttressed.  

The love waxes, not wanes.  Like a misfit child unacceptable to the public or parochial school, I accept God homeschooling me in His Heart.  We will go with this flow for now.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Perceptions: Indicators from Hermit Survey

Technical difficulties in registering responses somewhat hampered the "Who is the Real Hermit?" online survey.  Although not statistically conclusive, we gained strong indicators from respondents whose responses registered in comment window.

Why a survey on hermits?  We have found perceptions.  It is helpful to realize truth about perceptions in any instance: perceptions of words, ideas, images, thoughts!  Perceptions are a way of regarding, viewing or understanding something.  If anything conclusive, the survey finds once again that God has had it right since all along, as stated in I Samuel 9:16: Man looks at the outer appearance. The Lord looks at the heart.

From over twenty photos of various persons in age, income, appearance, education and background, survey respondents were asked to choose who they think is the "real hermit".  While a replication of this survey may be offered in future to gain a higher number of respondents, the following are results at this time.

Male hermits were chosen 59% to 41% female hermits chosen.  Female #18 and Male #2 were chosen the most, and equally as often. 

Descriptors or attributes in two out of five word options resulted in:
Peaceful 70%
Withdrawn 52%
Prayerful 43%
Joyful 17%
Austere 17%

Many respondents did not answer yes or no, if they would respect and be influenced positively by a hermit if not the one they chose.  Of those who did answer, 86% indicated yes, and 14% indicated no.  (This question, to be validly conclusive, would have to include other questions to ascertain if the respondent would be candid in answering, for some may not want to reveal even to themselves that they might not be tolerant of a hermit who did not fit their perceptions.)

The final item, an open-ended statement must be analyzed non-empirically.  The respondent to complete the thought: A real hermit is someone who would....  Selecting words and word thoughts, the responses are ranked in order of highest number of like comments and are indicated by weighted number factor, 10 being highest:

live in simplicity, 10;
be a person who prays, 10;
be unique,  (surprise element, step to different drumbeat), 7.6;
live alone, 5.1;
and these each weighted at 2.4:  live Gospel values, be self-detached, be separated from worldly things, be self-reliant, have a ministry, laughs, loves.

What is the benefit of such responses regarding who and what is a real hermit?  Perhaps the value is not in the actual answers as much as in the perceptions that are revealed and to ask ourselves, "Where do we get our perceptions?"  If from history, illustrations, religion and books, then from what did each of those perceptions derive?  How did the first hermit determine how he or she knew how to look or how to be?  

The very word hermit is a label that means "solitary" in old French, late Latin, and Greek.  So perhaps the first hermit was simply someone who lived alone in a time when all other people lived together in family units, and a single person living by themselves would be unusual enough to have a word coined to describe the phenomena.  Then others began to live like that first hermit, alone, or in whatever other ways that first hermit appeared, acted, and was for what purpose of being.

For a hermit, the survey may  either validate or surprise, in various ways, depending upon outer appearance and outer ways of being and living the vocation.  Thus results may encourage reflection upon the decisions to appear, be and live in whatever way one is appearing, being and living.

What does such a survey provide for those who are not hermits?  It encourages personal reflection upon perceptions of others and of ourselves in our own vocations.  How did we determine to live our vocations, by what perceptions from ourselves or others, from history, religion, books, or from social media?

For anyone, the survey (regardless of research variables) indicates that there are many perceptions of what and how someone called a hermit would appear, would live, and would be in attributes.  And now perhaps the most significant questions remain for us each to answer, as honestly as possible.

Did any of us ever think to ask God what is our vocation, and then, how God wants us to live our vocations?  How does God want us to appear and to be?  And, if man looks to the outer appearances and God looks in the heart, what is God seeing in our hearts, and how is that going to alter the way we live our individual vocations?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Simplicity and the Closet

After early Mass and confession, returned home to make another type of breakfast cake that is healthy, and with additions to make it healthy and also beautiful.  But by stereotypical perceptions of what is simplicity, the additions might misconstrue the simple, box-muffin-mix-mode into creative complex.  

Today there are many ponderings about what is simplicity, based upon what people seem to perceive is simplicity, or not simplicity.  Wrote about it spiritually, and in definition, on the other blog, as simplicity is one of the Nine S'. But now to consider how to live simplicity in every day life, amidst temporal stuff.

After the simply beautiful, healthy, inexpensive breakfast, began removing all the stuff from a closet, and have even more stuff to stuff back into it.  Have collected stuff that is hopefully useful for the idea venture being developed for eventual function, now in research and development phase.

Wonder if the closet is simple or not, or if it will appear simple once the stuff is stuffed back in but in organized manner, for easy use.  To organize a closet, there may be need for even more stuff in order to organize: shelving and containers; rubber bands or tape to secure loose ends so they will not unravel and make matters seem less simple but instead complex with lots of loose ends dangling and tangling. 

The living out of simplicity can come in such daily routines as baking and cleaning a closet.  Also am pondering a snowflake as something quite simple (most would agree), gazing at the steady snowfall now blessing Agnus Dei and surrounding landscape.  But examine a snowflake with a magnifying glass, for have done this simple act as a child, and discover the snowflake is actually quite complex.

Perhaps there is an aspect, or an integral element, to simplicity, a purity and order of motive (intent), purpose (reason and structure), and outflow (product and effect).  We may agree that all of nature is simple, as it is pure in these aspects or elements.  

Nature is also complex, but not disordered complexity. Rather, nature as we may comprehend it, is creatively and beautifully ordered in temporal time and space.  Mystical nature is also creatively and beautifully ordered, but beyond time and space. Divine love, in purposeful order, not disorder, is simple in pure motive, and simply complex in intricate, beautiful outflow yet not held in time nor confined by space.

One may comment upon a simple cross.  Upon closer examination it can be rather complex and intricate in substance and construction--and in spiritual aspects, as well.  Yet it is always beautiful.  Simplicity is always beautiful, is it not?

Beauty is in a simple snowflake, a simple snowflake unique and complex.  Beauty is in a simple closet, a simple closet filled beautifully with stuff of pure intent and purposeful outflow. Beauty is in a simple breakfast cake, enhanced with healthy surprises.  Beauty is in a simple crucifix--the cross and corpus made of any type of materials from wood to plaster to brass to plastic to resin.  Beauty is in a corpus, simply and complexly human and divine: Our Lord Jesus Christ.  

Jesus is beautiful on the beautiful cross!  He is simply beautiful, and His Passion, ordered and ordained, is simple in pure purpose and purely beautiful in outcome.  Yet it is intricate in detail and time and place, and complex in dogmatic, moral and mystical theology of all ages hence. 

Now back to simple closet organizing of pure stuff.  The intent is purely simple in purpose to put into order utilizable stuff that hopefully will be beautifully, lovingly useful in outcome.  An element of temporal time and space may be affixed to set limits, as time and space are ordered and orderly. How long to keep the stuff if not purely utilized (outflow) in motive and purpose? How to order and define stuff by how much fits into set space?

Holy simplicity, lived out both temporally and mystically, is an orderly purity of motive, purpose and outflow

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Perceptions, Prayer and Authenticity

Am resting today after early Mass and confession.  Doing some writing, tidying up just slightly with more to be tidied, another day. Got the hermit survey post tidied, however, and hopefully more clear, concise.  Yet not enough responses by far.  Could be the Twitterers are not interested in a short hermit survey.  The point was to gain insights on perceptions people have of hermits.

And then in confession considered prayer, and wondered if I am praying as a Catholic ought, for it is not formal, not in appearance as a person of prayer, and not in prayer posture.  All day, all night, it is silence and rest, remaining in His love.  Yes, the tech glitch on the survey comments not showing up did challenge my remaining in His love as much as anything ever has.  That made me laugh and the confessor come near to a laugh and definitely a good chuckle.

Rue the day fountain pens and ink bottles and long hand as a standard of communication passed on.

But am going with the flow, for live here, now, and am very much reminded of those verses from Hebrews 2.  And the other day so loved the Psalm in Office of Readings.  Let's find it and share....

Well, it was so much praise!  So much joy and praise!  And then encouragement, such as If you find your delight in the Lord, He will grant your heart's desire.  Commit your life to the Lord, trust in Him, and He will act, so that your justice breaks forth like the light, your cause like the noon-day sun.

It seems so easy, so joyful, so full of love and peace.  Not the intense praying or even the somber praying, not before the Tabernacle in the chapel, but now before the Tabernacle of His Heart.  Cannot sit in the pews or kneel for any length of time, nor drive back in to the chapel.  So here, or anywhere--an errand now rare again, thankfully so, or writing Epiphany notes to friends and family, or putting away some glasses in a cupboard, or looking out at the snow falling gently, lightly upon the gardens--it is prayer and adoration before the Tabernacle of His Heart.

Even if others define it differently, such as alone time focused in prayer, formal prayer and intentional, what is not prayer of remaining in His love?  Speaking with Him, knowing He has taken me to Himself, within, even in the frustration of a computer glitch?  Or the realization that a survey on hermits may not be of interest to the vast majority or the vast minority; and that gives also a valid response.

One's vocation is spelled out by God, offered, then recognized (or not) and agreed upon (or not), by the soul. It is lived by the soul, in or not in Christ, in or not in His love, in or not in Him in present moments, on or not on the stairway to heaven.  The prayer is communication of the soul with God. 

Are there requisites of posture, appearance, duration, location, content or context?  

Or is it love?  Is it loving the Beloved and telling Him with words and without words, and loving creation and created souls, all that He loves?  Is it being in love, and praying with Him, through Him, and in Him?

As for what people perceive to be a hermit, or a hermit's attributes and appearance, and whether or not they would be accepting of one who did not match their  

If one is hidden in Christ and hidden from the eyes of men, yet walking among mankind on the earth, in Christ as He walks, talks and interacts among mankind on earth, yet today, then who would know one's vocation other than God and the soul agreeing to and living the vocation?  And praying?

Perceptions are based upon perceptions based upon a variety of perceptions of the past based upon varied lives and the perceptions of those who wrote about those lives, and the perceptions now of the many with perceptions but of few who have read the perceptions of varied lives.

Perceptions are amazing.  Do we pray remaining in His love, in the Tabernacle of His Heart?  On the stairway to heaven? I have been going along with Jesus and the Apostles, plucking the heads of grain on the Sabbath, all the more, plucking...!

It is a good life, all of it.  Don't you love it?  I really do! Remain in His love!  It makes all the difference to always be in His love and find oneself on the stairway to heaven.  Then the short descents into the world to gather souls are not exhaustive. Soon enough we are ascending the stairway that we never really left except in perception, to gather souls by the lives we live that they see by perceptions!

Perceptions, prayer and authenticity fool many a beholder of perceptions; but prayer and authenticity surprise not the soul on the stairway, and delight with love, the beholder of Love.

Little Hermit Survey

If anyone is so inclined, please go to and take the simple, 4-item survey.  I had some earlier glitches and think it is clarified better. Thanks.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Practicing in Christ in the Present Moment

Is there more that needs to be written?  Or has it all been said, and now anyone who reads this blog from beginning to end, and the companion blog from beginning to end, should have ample base from which to experience deep conversions, living in Christ in each present moment.

Some say they have always known about such matters, have always remained in Christ's love.  Others say they grasp this or that aspect.  Being a princess or prince of Christ the King is certainly an enchanting notion. Yet if not considered in the reality of remaining in His love, to recognize and rid out the many possessions that possess us, one is but a princess or prince for a moment, hour or day.  Then all the issues that possess or to which we are attached find us in the doldrums of various vices that are far from heavenly.

No, one must be on the stairway to heaven, and be sure-footed yet ever humbly aware that many people trip, stumble or fall on stairways.  Holding onto the handrail helps but does not guarantee not taking a tumble.  And if there is a slip or stumble, admit it.  Pray, correct the misstep, and praise the Most Holy Trinity.  Thank the Virgin Mary and her most chaste spouse St. Joseph, and the trusted guardian angel who help upright us to continue the climb.

Then there comes a time, it seems, when one is sent back into the world, to descend the stairway.  Seek souls. Seek them out and invite them by one's way of life, a life of remaining in His love, to seek, find and climb the stairway to heaven. Then return to ascend the stairway, or keep one foot on it all along.  If others follow, praise God. If not, pray and continue the ascending and descending while remaining in Christ's love.

There have been some questions by readers as to how to tell others about remaining in His love, for example.  All that can be said is when I have tried to discuss the "pearl of great price" and the stairway to heaven, remaining in His love, and other aspects, people have not wanted what I had to offer.  So it seemed best to live it, document it, and lately, mostly to live it and learn while living.

And that brings us to this point.  It seems that the living is on-going, and the learning is on-going.  Is there more to write?  Probably not, at least not for now.  There is the finale blog, perhaps, on the companion blog site, The Stairway to Heaven (  And that is to write about the stairway itself and if one is on it, and then what one must do when on it.

Yes, to learn to ascend and descend, to be sent back out into the world to gather in souls, yet not noticeably, not with words as much with prayer and living Christ in each present moment, in loving Christ, as Christ loves, loving God and loving others.  But all the while being firm on the stairway, hands on the banister, energized and upheld by the Holy Eucharist and all the Sacraments.

Personally, the Holy Spirit of Truth continues to spotlight those possessions that possess me, and I am trying to honestly address them and rid them out.  Yet I may be fooling myself in some areas, and in humility I know that if so, the Holy Spirit will spotlight them again and again until I see the truth for myself, in myself.

There is an idea, a kind of little venture that has come up in the thoughts, and am developing this idea, which will include writing but writing that may reach those out there, not aware of the stairway and not even thinking they are wanting to know about the stairway to heaven.  I am taking time to pray and ponder, to develop, to do sample projects connected with this idea, this venture.

If am to write something more here, in faith am sure the Lord will let me know.  Or perhaps it is a season to take off for all of us to practice what we've been shown spiritually, and to individually work on those possessions that possess us, to rid them out and then rid out the next and the next.

For me, am thankful to be finished with the six weeks of outer activities.  Have all collected for the idea venture, and am thankful to be in other than going to Mass.  But that is not for everyone, not others' place or position.  Some He wills to be out, or to be parents of little children, or to be students or spouses or types of consecrated religious, or to be children of all ages.

It is amazing, this venture and where Christ in the Present Moment has taken me and many of you, in the past several months, and what we have been given and shown!  Now we must live Him, live through Him, live with Him, live in Him!  Be perfected so that nothing up-ends us, nothing separates us from the love of God!

For, if we are still having upsets and issues, then we know our feet are not on the steps firmly, or maybe not at all.  The gifts of the Holy Spirit will be assurances if we are on the stairway to heaven, and then we will be given a mission, a venture, and we will learn how to descend and ascend, gathering souls without speaking as much as living in Christ in each moment.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Pondering Yonder Star

Pondering a star idea after busy busy engaged in the outer.  How do people retain strength of the soul amidst noise, shoppers, rapid decisions, spending money, or working in stores?  That is a challenge for the inner and the outer.  Opportunities for second-guess motives abound.

Epiphany Sunday although Epiphany January 6 is on Thursday this year.  Am going to ponder yonder star idea and any other inner lights from now through Thursday.  In fact, will ponder the Light of the World always, from now to forever, light years of pondering.

Living more in Christ in the present moment, granted perhaps with lots of other stuff packed in with Christ in the present moment.  Hard to keep stuff out when out in the world of shoppers, workers, drivers, even worshipers.  But Christ did it, or else other stuff was crammed in all around Him, but He retained the inner and outer perfectly, in every present moment, even when driving out the money changers from the temple and while weeping over Jerusalem.

Holy Mary Mother of God Sunday morning Office of Readings quoted the Book of Hebrews.  It may be an answer, although pitting Scripture against yonder star ideas is risky for the creative self can be tricked and not see the light of God's will.  Verses from Hebrews 2 highlight an issue.

"'Surely He did not come to help angels, but rather the children of Abraham; therefore He had to become like his brothers in every way, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God on their behalf, to expiate the sins of the people."

What is the issue?  Whether or not to venture forth with a venture that will place a child of Abraham more out in the world in some regards, becoming like his brothers (and sisters) in many ways, in order to hopefully draw them into the love of Christ.  It could be a dangerous mission  with plenty of temptations, and concerns of being stuck out there, challenged all the more to slip from His love, not live in Christ in the present moment--or at least not seem like living in Christ, in His love.

Another prong of this issue, based upon this Scripture, is outer appearance and deportment.  Am pondering people's perception of what constitutes a holy person, or one with a specified religious vocation such as religious order brothers or sisters, or consecrated virgins or hermits, or holy lay persons, or holy priests.  But probably wondering most about perceptions, and with these the ascribed traits and empowerment given depending upon the perceptions.

Am going to do a little research project on this, for one can be at a crossroads and not want to go against an inner vocation by wrong outer effects, as much as have been writing about the power and truth of the inner over the outer.  And, would it lead others astray in a wrong way, or minimize a mission, if one is perceived as a worldling and not the stereotpyical religious type, whatever that is in person's perceptions.

As for this blog, have lived very much each moment the last six weeks, since the summons from the hospital to today's yonder star (idea) gazing and pondering.  But have not written or documented much of that living.  Have lived and tried, hoped to be, in Christ and in His love in the present moments.  

Yet some actions certainly seem to stretch the boundaries of the Nine S', or pushed a bit at the seamless garment of some Scriptures, again if pitted one against the other.  Such as the goodness of beauty, but not lusting after the beautiful things of the passing world, and then considering charity or hopes of charity with some of the beauty.  

Counter it all with joy, and there are many star points to ponder in as much honesty as a human can muster, in faith, in faith that one is remaining in His love and in His will, in His truth.