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nunsense    3,805
nunsense
[quote name='osapientia' date='21 September 2009 - 12:38 AM' timestamp='1253450289' post='1969599']
God bless you for thinking the best of people, Nunsense. :) Unfortunately some who have thought this (i.e. "vertically") way over the many years since Jesus instituted His Church have caused great pain to the Church and Her people. It is not the teaching of our Church that one is "higher or better" than another, but imperfect teachers have sometimes communicated just that to waiting ears.....and of course in fairness to those who were/are doing the teaching, they have often been misunderstood by those who receive the teaching....despite their heroic effort to teach complicated concepts to (often) very young children.....whether chronoilogically or spiritually young.

And yet, on we go striving and yearning for perfection in Christ. And on goes the Church guided by the Holy Spirit, teaching all Truth as revealed in Christ. It realy is all about "IN CHRIST" for all us. Isn't that grand?

Pax!
Osap
[/quote]

Is it co-oincidence or what (I would say "or what") that today's readings were about ambition and vanity, and then the gospel was about Jesus' disciples arguing over who was the greatest among them. He had to sit them down and set them straight then, and it looks like things still haven't changed in many ways! :rolleyes: It is our weak human nature to want to compare and categorize and judge, but good thing for us God judges differently than we do!

I had a religious sister asking me today why we had to listen to what the Archbishop says, and when I said that he is our shepherd appointed by Rome and therefore deserving of our love and respect and support; she asked why we even needed a shepherd! Then she said she didn't think it was fair that homosexuals weren't allowed to receive communion, and asked whose business it was anyway if they wanted to live that way. This is from a sister who has been in religion since she was 19 (she is 79 now)! I certainly didn't want to lecture her, but I had to remind her that Jesus set up His church with shepherds to watch over us, and that even in the time of the apostles things weren't perfect between them all. Then I had to explain that those with same-sex attraction always had the same option that she and I do - to live chaste lives. What was truly amazing is that she appeared not to have ever even thought about these things before. What has happened to our beloved Church??? I think we have a very good and conservative Archbishop here, although I don't know him personally yet, but I can see that he certainly has his job cut out for him, if this is the kind of thinking that is going on.

The way I look at it, even if there is a "hierarchy" or sorts, which there has to be in any organization really, what do I care if I am at the bottom? Didn't Jesus tell us that if we wanted to be first, we had to be last? And that if we wanted to lead, we had to serve? If only we could all truly let go of all that "importance" stuff and just see as St Paul said, that when one part of the body gets honored, then the whole body in honored!

Sorry, bit of a late night rant from me. It's just that none of this stuff matters in one way, but in another, it is so nice to have the structure and hierarchy and authority of our Church, because at least we know where we stand... and our beloved Church has been around for over 2000 years - pretty good going..... :love: I want to be like St Teresa, a true daughter of the Church!

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osapientia    14
osapientia
[quote name='nunsense' date='20 September 2009 - 10:34 AM' timestamp='1253453643' post='1969608']

Then she said she didn't think it was fair that homosexuals weren't allowed to receive communion,

The way I look at it, even if there is a "hierarchy" or sorts, which there has to be in any organization really, what do I care if I am at the bottom?
[/quote]

This may be getting far afield from the original topic but I don't know how to bring the discussion (intact) to another forum, so I will respond again here...

Perhaps I am quite uninformed but I believe the only homosexuals barred from receiving Holy Communion in The Roman Catholic Church are those who are either not in Communion with Her or Her sons/daughters who are in a state of mortal sin. Wouldn't that be the same for any kind of "sexual"?????

Sometimes people hear only what they want to hear - sometimes because they have a need to be/stay angry and sometimes because they have an internal struggle/pain/wound keeping them from hearing the whole story. Compassion is always in order....though I understand how frustrating it can be to deal with those who might not WANT to hear/listen.

As for hierarchy....dictionary.com has both these definitions (with two othes in between)....which seems odd to me as the two seem quite different to my mind.

1. any system of persons or things ranked one above another
4. an organized body of ecclesiastical officials in successive ranks or orders: the Roman Catholic hierarchy

It is particularly curious to me that the 4th definiton using the word "successive" has a specific reference to The Church. To me "successive" conveys a sense of "time" rather than of some vertical rank/order. So I looked up "successive" and here is what I found:

1. following in order or in uninterrupted sequence; consecutive: three successive days.
2. following another in a regular sequence: the second successive day.
3. characterized by or involving succession.

I have often said to myself the word is HIERarchy not HIGHERarchy. ;) BUT having said that, I want to state clearly that I believe that the Magisterium of th Church has LEGITIMATE AUTHORITY and that I am bound to obey. I do so to the best of my ability, hoping always to become more obedient tomorrow than I am today. Whether I'm on top or bottom, I'm still bound to obey those to whom Christ has given the charge of teaching in His Church. If in the vertical way of thinking that puts me at the bottom, so be it....persons will think how they think. I choose to think that Jesus desires me to be ever more conformed to His Image. If Jesus was ANYTHING, He was obedient and quite frankly, you don't get any more "on top" than being God. :)

Pax,
Osap

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nunsense    3,805
nunsense
[quote name='osapientia' date='21 September 2009 - 02:27 AM' timestamp='1253456860' post='1969621']
I choose to think that Jesus desires me to be ever more conformed to His Image. If Jesus was ANYTHING, He was obedient and quite frankly, you don't get any more "on top" than being God. :)

[/quote]


:topsy: :lol_above: :lol_sign: :lol_pound:

ok - that was so good that now I can go to bed happy! Thank you! :lol_roll:

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osapientia    14
osapientia
[quote name='nunsense' date='20 September 2009 - 11:53 AM' timestamp='1253458389' post='1969624']
:topsy: :lol_above: :lol_sign: :lol_pound:

ok - that was so good that now I can go to bed happy! Thank you! :lol_roll:
[/quote]

You're welcome...it's lovely to know that I've contributed to HAPPY rest. :bow:

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cmaD2006    1,880
cmaD2006
Wow ... its the FIRST time that a topic I start gets this much foot traffic :-). Even if there was digression!

Any more on hermits? The info I've read has been wonderful.

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Starets    211
Starets
We have a hermit in our community, Br. Xavier, OSB. he has been a monk for several decades. He started in St. Meinrad's. He is also one of the founders of Prince of Peace monastery in California. He also served in a Benedictine community near Lima. He has been here for a couple decades, though not all of them as a hermit. His hermitage was initally build in the early days of my community. He used to make and sell quilts. I think he still does, to some extent. But, he is 80 so he isn't as fast at it as he used to be. Contrary to what was claimed on the TLC show "The Monastery", his hermitage is not a mile away from the main abbey building. I don't think it is much more than a quarter mile away!

He usually only shows up for Daily Mass. He says the Divine Office in his hermitage, using the same books we use. He also comes to Chapter Meetnbs of the Finally Professed and participates in community decisions.

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BarbaraTherese    1,912
BarbaraTherese
[quote]Replying to: nunsense
Posted Yesterday, 08:57 PM
Post Link: http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/index.php?showtopic=98760&view=findpost&p=1969563 [/quote]


Hi again Nunsense and thank you for the reply.....there are differences of course between the states of life and vocations and I fully appreciate this........and there is nothing more perfect more holy for any person than to discern and follow God's Will for them - for their life - and there is nothing whatsoever that will draw them into Unity moreso than the fulfilling for the Love of God the duties of their state in life, their vocation. The priesthood and the religious life, the deaconate, consecrated virgins and the consecrated eremitical life are demanding I am sure, and it is God who grants all Graces necessary for the demands of any vocation or call of His. The secular life can also be equally demanding although different in kind and it is the same Lord who grants all Graces necessary to fulfill these demands. And were it not as demanding as any other state, then The Lord would send sufficient to make great saints anyway. ........Blessings and my regards..........Barb Edited by BarbaraTherese

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BarbaraTherese    1,912
BarbaraTherese
[quote name='osapientia' date='20 September 2009 - 10:20 PM' timestamp='1253443855' post='1969577']


[quote]..............Perfection in the life, the witness of "clothing", consecration, apostolic, monastic, eremetical.......the subject and its myriad of nuances are broad and wide open to the creativity of persons (in consideration of legitimate authority).....and while I'm certain that distinctions have their place in the official Church and "out here" among the faithful, I'm not as convinced that those distinctions are meant to be thought of quite so "vertically" (except for - with respect to The Church - Jesus and The Magisterium).[/quote] Well said! Ideally the consecrated life (and the priesthood) are meant (in part) to be witnesses to the "vertical" or the relationship with God and ideally to witness to that which exists ("vertical" relationship with God) in all the faithful - not something which exists in their vocations only and alone. The ordained/consecrated vocations are also meant to witness to an aspect of the Life of Jesus (or His prayer life- His "vertical" relationship in which all Baptized into Him ideally are drawn) - Jesus (smiling here) was secular and a lay person. Ideally each of us in our own way, our own vocation and call, witness to an aspect of the life of Jesus - ideally. The Life of Jesus continues in His Mystical Body, The Church, and each of us has our special place and role, duty and this is ideally ordained by God and nothing more special, more holy - more anything - than The Will of God ............Blessings and my regards.......Barb

There is an interesting article on religious life on this link. I am not endorsing every word - but it does have interesting aspects worth considering I thought
http://ncronline.org/news/discerning...ous-life-today Edited by BarbaraTherese

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Orans    79
Orans
[quote name='cmariadiaz' date='20 September 2009 - 03:55 PM' timestamp='1253476510' post='1969806']
Any more on hermits? The info I've read has been wonderful.
[/quote]

From the blog of a Franciscan Hermit, Br. Rex, at Little Portion Hermitage:

[url="http://littleportionhermitage.blogspot.com/2009/04/email-to-potential-hermit.html"]http://littleportion...ial-hermit.html[/url]

[url="http://littleportionhermitage.blogspot.com/2009/04/email-to-potential-hermit.html"][color="#956839"]Email to a potential hermit[/color][/url]

Here is an email I sent earlier today to a person considering a vocation to the eremitic (read "hermit") life. NB: The email has been edited for purposes of anonymity and confidentiality.

Hello _____.

As for your discernment process: Know that your secret is safe with me until such time as you decide to go public. I'm not the best person to recommend something re: your discernment process to the eremitic life. I am probably the least well-read hermit and certainly the least experienced (in terms of time-in-vocation) of all the hermits in the diocese.

What I do know is that women and men who are practicing their eremitic vocation are all over the map with regards to how they practice. I know of a hermit in the archdiocese of Philadelphia who lives in an previously abandoned row-house in North Philadelphia, the poorest, most drug infested and dangerous section of the city. I know of hermits, like Srs. _______ and ____ , who live in cabins secluded in the woods.

Some solitaries believe that being canonically recognized is of the utmost importance, a recognition by the Church of the authenticity of their vocation. On the other hand, not a few solitaries I know think of canonical recognition as a load of croutons, an attempt by the hierarchy of the Church to "micro-manage" them.

Some solitaries--living off monies coming from their religious order, or retirement income, other pensions, or kept financially afloat by the generosity of benefactors--do not leave their hermitage except to run quick errands and/or attend mass at a nearby parish. Others must work a minimal amount of hours [in a secular or church profession] to pay the bills.

Many hermits remain in near-total solitude for the better part of every hour of every day, believing, (rightly so), that this is their primary vocation. Many others leave their hermitage as they feel lead. These solitaries believe, (rightly so), they must follow the promptings of the Lord to go as and where the Holy Spirit sends them to serve the needs of God's People.

(St. Francis of Assisi lived as such in the early stages of his religious life before "the Lord sent [him] brothers. " And countless spiritual sons and daughters of St. Francis have lived as "apostolic hermits" their entire religious life.)

Finally, hermits, if not careful, can become rather judgmental of their sister and brother solitaries who do not live the eremitic life in the way they themselves do. Alas, the virus of pride can infect even those of us vowed to the humble existence of a hermit. LOL!!

All that said, here are some links that might prove of some passing interest to you:

[url="http://www.hermitary.com/"]http://www.hermitary.com/[/url]

[url="http://www.ravensbreadministries.com/"]http://www.ravensbreadministries.com/[/url]

[url="http://notesfromstillsong.blogspot.com/"]http://notesfromstil...g.blogspot.com/[/url]
(Sr. Laural is something of a scholar on the theology of the eremitic life.)

Hope something in all the above has been helpful to you. Know that I hold you in my heart in prayer in a special way during this Holy Week and beyond.

Pax et Bonum,
Brother Rex, just another raggedy-ass Franciscan

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BarbaraTherese    1,912
BarbaraTherese
[quote name='cmariadiaz' date='21 September 2009 - 07:25 AM' timestamp='1253476510' post='1969806']
Wow ... its the FIRST time that a topic I start gets this much foot traffic :-). Even if there was digression!

Any more on hermits? The info I've read has been wonderful.
[/quote]

I fear I am the guilty party for dragging this thread off topic! Apologies. This Forums is for the journey into the religious life or matters connected to religious life I have noted and this thread specifically about hermits. I am a lay woman living under private vows (with direction) living alone - have done for 35 years or so now and with spiritual direction - and am not called to the religious life per se in traditional understanding. I think I might fall into this however from the Catholic Catechism - which like Canon 603 does not say a lot, but says much, and embraces the lay state under certain conditions, which I think perhaps I meet.

[quote]920 Without always professing the three evangelical counsels publicly, hermits "devote their life to the praise of God and salvation of the world through a stricter separation from the world, the silence of solitude and assiduous prayer and penance."460
921 They manifest to everyone the interior aspect of the mystery of the Church, that is, personal intimacy with Christ. Hidden from the eyes of men, the life of the hermit is a silent preaching of the Lord, to whom he has surrendered his life simply because he is everything to him. Here is a particular call to find in the desert, in the thick of spiritual battle, the glory of the Crucified One. [/quote]

Apolgies again to the person who initiated this thread and other posters..........blessings all - and with my regards........Barb

.

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BarbaraTherese    1,912
BarbaraTherese
[quote]Quoting osapientia - "It is common practice to say "priests, religious and laity"....."[quote]religious" is a "distinction" within the laity not apart from it[/quote]"[/quote]

Not generally understood, I don't think

[quote]Quoting Nunsense " Poverty? For a Carmelite, this can even mean asking permission for toilet paper! "[/quote]

I had to smile at the above, Nunsense - and do forgive me...............sometimes I have been unable to even afford a roll of toilet paper and no one to ask could I have one please (although a very kind person gave me one last week I think it was), sometimes not enough food available to keep going for the week. (And I am not alone in this area. At this point (in the process of a government housing mandatory shift) I have lived in an extremely poor area beset by every kind of social problem imaginable for 30 years. And my income is regarded as below poverty. But then I smile and tell The Lord "Well, poverty I vowed and poverty I meant". Not so much what one is about as how and why (perspective) one is about what one is about. I never experienced that sort of poverty in monastic life (I never lived so well!)- but then as I said, if the sacrifices are not sufficient in the duties of one's particular state of themselves, then The Lord will send sufficient to make a great saint of one - and a matter for joy and smiling........Blessings and my regards..........Barb

. Edited by BarbaraTherese

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sistersintigo    21
sistersintigo
This thread is over six months old.
However, this link seems a recent one.
The Paterson, New Jersey Roman Catholic Diocese contains both fr. Eugene Romano's Hermits of Bethlehem, and a Carmel of women hermits; both have addresses in Chester. The attached link provides photographs from the women's Carmel in Chester.

http://www.patersondiocese.org/moreinfo.cfm?Web_ID=2944

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IgnatiusofLoyola    1,192
IgnatiusofLoyola
[quote name='Saint Therese' date='09 April 2010 - 08:33 PM' timestamp='1270863237' post='2090275']
Why did that post get TWO negative votes??[img]http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/public/style_emoticons/default/blink.gif[/img]
[/quote]

Makes no sense to me. Often, I use my one positive vote a day to "undo" a negative vote that seems unwarranted.

Unfortunately, I've used up my positive vote for the day. :-<

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Tridenteen    6
Tridenteen
JMJ
I fixed the negative vote, by giving a positive. And when is that amish website getting back on me with the bonnet I ordered for my project? stinking anabaptists.[img]http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/public/style_emoticons/default/unsure.gif[/img]

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cmaD2006    1,880
cmaD2006
[quote name='sistersintigo' date='09 April 2010 - 01:54 PM' timestamp='1270832060' post='2089993']
This thread is over six months old.
However, this link seems a recent one.
The Paterson, New Jersey Roman Catholic Diocese contains both fr. Eugene Romano's Hermits of Bethlehem, and a Carmel of women hermits; both have addresses in Chester. The attached link provides photographs from the women's Carmel in Chester.

http://www.patersondiocese.org/moreinfo.cfm?Web_ID=2944
[/quote]

sistersintigo:

please, please, please, please ... pretty please, with sugar on top ... create a new thread. I was the one that created the original thread, and I think it would have been more appropriate to open a new one.

please?

There are times that its quite appropriate to post to the old thread -- Br. Bruno is the perfect example ... he was updating us on what was going on and that thread had to do with him.

But in this case it would have been better in my opinion to create a new thread, and maybe even start a new discussion on hermits.

A sincere thanks for understanding,

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SRLAUREL    50
SRLAUREL
[quote name='Indwelling Trinity' date='18 September 2009 - 06:44 PM' timestamp='1253324671' post='1968939']
Dear Friends:


I hate to start a tempest in a teapot but the book from the diocese of Lacrosse is not the only way to go about being a hermit. I have been one for over six years now an before doing so contacted the former Abbot of New Mellaray Abbot who is now a hermit. He is also a Canon Lawyer. He pointed out to me that if you carefully read canon 603 there are two parts allowing for different expression. Being a diLcesan hermit is only one of those expressions.

I am well aware of how the lacrosse book came into being and it was mainly the work of one hermit and the Vicaress of her diocese with some added information from some of the practices in France. The Vicaress herself is an active religious with no first hand experience of being a hermit prior to writing this. So as good as it may be for some, it is not Gospel. Some like myself prefer to go the religious route and follow a particular charism. We were not nor did we have to be diocesan hermits yet our life and our vows are no less valid.

Also Sister Laurels defintion of laura is deeply flawed. A good example of this are the carthusians, early Carmelites and Camaldolese of Monte Corona who are a direct split off from the OSB Camaldolese and started as a Camaldolese laura with the same spirit and rule reformed for a stricter observance of the Camaldoli rule. They did away with the cenobial common house aspects so when they enter the community go straight into the hermitage not as individual hermits but as a laura community with strict enclosure. They can be found here in the United States in Ohio. Also sister's saying that you have to be separate in spirituality to be a laura is also false. I have never argued it openly with her because I felt it would only upset the group and bring more heat than light.

But I hate to see people misled by a few who refer to others as fake or at least "less than hermits." Because of the words and actions of a few who even though they feel themselves experts but in reality are more biased than anything, I have been very dimayed by some diocesan hermits who somehow see themselves in a hierarchical manner as the "real hermits" with a higher calling than others. This to me is simply pride and presumption.

The reason the Lacrosse book is so popular is easy. Most Bishops do not know where to begin and secondly just handing someone this book is the path of least resistance. Do your homework, be humble but stand your ground. pray pray pray and research after doing all of that, then obey your superiors and all will be well. Do not be taken in by the words of a few vocal minority. The first hermits were almost entirely laymen and became what we today revere as our Desert Fathers.

Sorry if I get hot about this but I have had women write me and tell me they are afraid to write on certain other lists for fear of being pounced upon by a vocal few. However there are many silent diocesan hermits who live there life humbly alone seeking the face of God and praying for the needs of all.

Laughing sorry about this rant i just hope someone will benefit by it in knowing there is more than one road open to them.


Indwelling Trinity :topsy:
[/quote]

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SRLAUREL    50
SRLAUREL
[quote name='Gemma' date='18 September 2009 - 10:31 AM' timestamp='1253295086' post='1968663']
Post-nomial initials: "erem. dio." is what's used. If a hermit has a non-profit organization, they can use the initials for that. One Carmelite uses "OCDH".

Blessings,
Gemma
[/quote]


A note on post-nomial initials: Whatever post-nomial initials are used by individual hermits, are used with the permission of the diocesan hermit's Bishop. In 2008, ABp Vigneron (then my own Bishop) okayed my own use of Erem Dio (eremita dioecesanus or diocesan hermit) to indicate standing under Canon 603. Since that date a number of other diocesan hermits in several countries have, with their own Bishop's permission, adopted these same initials. Despite the fact that we each have different spiritualities (Camaldolese, Carmelite, Franciscan, etc) we recognize that it is our standing as diocesan which distinguishes us from religious hermits and from lay hermits. It is the fact that we are diocesan with a unique relationship to the diocese that defines our own unique charism. No one professed under C 603 is currently required to use these initials, but it is the case that they are meant to be universal and adoptable by any Canon 603 hermit. Over time they may become the prevalent or even accepted universal (Catholic) designation for diocesan hermits, but they are not this at this point in time.

As far as post-nomial initials and non-profit status, these are two separate issues. Post-nomial initials are an ecclesial convention, not a civil one and for this reason they should be okayed by one's Bishop. They indicate a public vocation, and a public identity in the church whether as part of a congrgegation or as a diocesan hermit. For this reason, to simply adopt initials on one's own, particularly if one has private vows, sends a misleading message. In any case, Erem Dio (or Er Dio) indicates standing as a diocesan hermit (standing under Canon Law) whether or not one has sought non-profit status under civil law.

Best regards,
Sister Laurel, Erem Dio
Stillsong Hermitage
Diocese of Oakland

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SRLAUREL    50
SRLAUREL
[quote name='Indwelling Trinity' date='18 September 2009 - 06:44 PM' timestamp='1253324671' post='1968939']
Dear Friends:


I hate to start a tempest in a teapot but the book from the diocese of Lacrosse is not the only way to go about being a hermit. I have been one for over six years now an before doing so contacted the former Abbot of New Mellaray Abbot who is now a hermit. He is also a Canon Lawyer. He pointed out to me that if you carefully read canon 603 there are two parts allowing for different expression. Being a diLcesan hermit is only one of those expressions.

I am well aware of how the lacrosse book came into being and it was mainly the work of one hermit and the Vicaress of her diocese with some added information from some of the practices in France. The Vicaress herself is an active religious with no first hand experience of being a hermit prior to writing this. So as good as it may be for some, it is not Gospel. Some like myself prefer to go the religious route and follow a particular charism. We were not nor did we have to be diocesan hermits yet our life and our vows are no less valid.

Also Sister Laurels defintion of laura is deeply flawed. A good example of this are the carthusians, early Carmelites and Camaldolese of Monte Corona who are a direct split off from the OSB Camaldolese and started as a Camaldolese laura with the same spirit and rule reformed for a stricter observance of the Camaldoli rule. They did away with the cenobial common house aspects so when they enter the community go straight into the hermitage not as individual hermits but as a laura community with strict enclosure. They can be found here in the United States in Ohio. Also sister's saying that you have to be separate in spirituality to be a laura is also false. I have never argued it openly with her because I felt it would only upset the group and bring more heat than light.

But I hate to see people misled by a few who refer to others as fake or at least "less than hermits." Because of the words and actions of a few who even though they feel themselves experts but in reality are more biased than anything, I have been very dimayed by some diocesan hermits who somehow see themselves in a hierarchical manner as the "real hermits" with a higher calling than others. This to me is simply pride and presumption.

The reason the Lacrosse book is so popular is easy. Most Bishops do not know where to begin and secondly just handing someone this book is the path of least resistance. Do your homework, be humble but stand your ground. pray pray pray and research after doing all of that, then obey your superiors and all will be well. Do not be taken in by the words of a few vocal minority. The first hermits were almost entirely laymen and became what we today revere as our Desert Fathers.

Sorry if I get hot about this but I have had women write me and tell me they are afraid to write on certain other lists for fear of being pounced upon by a vocal few. However there are many silent diocesan hermits who live there life humbly alone seeking the face of God and praying for the needs of all.

Laughing sorry about this rant i just hope someone will benefit by it in knowing there is more than one road open to them.


Indwelling Trinity :topsy:
[/quote]

It would have been helpful to me, Emmanuel, if you had clarified how my definition of Laura is flawed, or even had cited how it is I define a Laura, but since you did not, let me clarify what I have written about Lauras for the participants of this discussion. Perhaps then you can point out where you disagree.

First the essential nature of a Laura is of a group of hermits who come together for mutual support and worship. This is true no matter what form of Laura is being discussed and what the physical arrangements for the group (Carthusian cloister or Camaldolese hermitages, for instance). Next, there are basically two kinds of Lauras, those which as such constitute a religious community in the canonical sense or represent an expression of a congregation (Camaldolese, Carthusian, Hermits of Bethlehem, etc), and those which do not (for instance, a Laura of diocesan hermits). In the latter case, canonists are clear that such a Laura does NOT constitute a religious community. (Cf Jean Beyer in his commentary on Canon 603) The individual hermits live their own Rules of Life though there may be modifications to allow for communal liturgy, etc. The reason canonists are clear about this is because Canon 603 is meant to be used to govern solitary eremitical life, not religious eremitical life. For that reason some dioceses have required diocesan hermits to add to their profession litugy or vow formula the specific idea that this is response to the grace of vocation as a solitary hermit --- which is not a redundant phrase, despite how it sounds initially.

Regarding the LaCrosse guidebook, it is precisely what it calls itself, a guidebook. My own diocese referred to it and adopted some of its practices while ignoring or modifying others. It is the result of lived experience, and that experience has been enlarged by the experience of other dioceses with Canon 603 hermits at this point. I don't know any place which simply adopts the guidebook in toto (or justhands it to a prospective diocesan hermit), but there is no doubt it enshrines real wisdom in much of what it includes, especially on motives for the life, formation requirements, and the like. Canon 603 itself is a fine mix of the universal and the personal in its combination of the essential elements of any eremitical life (Canon 603.1) and the individual Rule (C603.2) which is written by the hermit as an expression of her own experience and wisdom.

Finally, I am unaware of any diocesan hermits who consider their vocations to be "real" eremitical vocations which are opposed to "lesser vocations" or less true eremitical vocations. Lay, diocesan, and religious hermits are all hermits with significant vocations, but they differ from one another in their respective charisms, missions, rights, and responsibilities. It is, I think, always important to remember that admission to the consecrated state is not a hierarchical matter and is not to be used in a hierarchical sense. When one says lay vs consecrated states of life this is emphatically NOT a hierarchical matter and not a hierarchical distinction; it is a matter of states of life and relationship to baptismal consecration. In the lay state the rights and responsibilities possessed by a person flow directly from baptism. In the consecrated state, despite building on baptismal consecration, the rights and responsibilities do not flow directly or necessarily from baptism, but instead from a new consecration. (Thus, for instance, laity are called to poverty, chastity and obedience in a general and significant sense by virtue of their baptism, but not to the renunciation of property, consecrated celibacy, or submission by vow to a legitimate superior --- part of the responsibilities which flow directly from admission to the (vowed)consecrated state (consecrated Virgins, who do not have vows, are excepted here).) One major source of confusion comes from the fact that lay vs clerical IS a hierarchical distinction used in the church, and documents of Vatican II. However Canon Law is clear (C 588) "the state of consecrated life [a non hierarchical term] by its very nature is neither clerical nor lay [hierarchical terms]." I can confidently say that in anything I have written about admission to the consecrated state or to discussion of lay hermits vs consecrated (diocesan) hermits I have been careful to emphasize the significance of both vocations. As I have pointed out repeatedly, neither is better than the other, but they definitely differ in significant ways as well.

All good wishes.

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aalpha1989    18
aalpha1989
I have a question to the hermits who have posted. My only direct experience with hermits was with one Carmelite hermit, but it seems confusing to me that hermits would use the internet and post on a forum. I'm curious how a hermit such as yourselves would differ from a hermit from a religious community- how can one communicate regularly with people on the internet and still be a hermit? I'm sorry if this post seems offensive, I don't mean it to be... I'm genuinely confused. Thank you for your responses and patience with me!

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