Sunday, December 05, 2010

The anchorite in contemporary society.

Advent is the perfect time to consider a life alone...
Terry, of the wonderful blog Idle Speculations has a terrific post on contemprary hermits and anchorites.  I've posted my observations on the life - although these are charred by my own disillusionments and failures - nevertheless, Terry's post is full of light and optimism, read it here: The modern anchorite or hermit.
"The women and men who withdraw to live in the company of God, precisely because of this decision, acquire a great sense of compassion for the sorrows and weaknesses of others. As friends of God, they have a wisdom that the world, from which they distance themselves, does not have. And with kindness, they share it with those who knock on their door" - Pope Benedict XVI on Julian of Norwich


  1. Interesting post....

    As a single person myself I wonder how these hermits/anchorites are supported?? Alms?? Side jobs?? At least in America you DO need some kind of income to pay for food, lights, medical care..

    I have encountered several "recluses" out in the deep Western desert of Utah..their day-to-day existance is a struggle, and they are not doing it for religious as more that they don't fit in to society. Although they are pretty much self-sustaining they also live a very primitive lifestyle, and very little "spare time" for prayer. One man herds sheep, andother man--mountain man type--makes leather goods, and another woman makes her own clothes out of dog hair--spins the hair into yarn, then weaves the yarn into cloth....very labor intensive lives. They keep chickens, pump their own water, chop their own wood for heat/cooking. I don't know how they keep from freezing in the harsh winters we have here. No phone, no electricity, no running water, no car.

    If any of them got bit by a rattlesnake or fell and seriously hurt themselves no one would know for days..


  2. Many thanks for the kind comments and link

    God bless


  3. I have the privilege of directing people exactly as you describe, Mr. Terry. They are not "in vows", nor do they belong to any organization/community, and yet they live such holy, dedicated and amazing lives. Their entire day is centered in God; their love for Him puts me to shame (I feel like I should be sitting at their feet).
    Hans Urs von Balthsar spoke of this vocation in his work on the Christian States in Life: it is the vocation to become a saint. Fur those who do not "fit" into a canonically recognized way of life yet are more surely called to great holiness, dedication and love, all for the Church, all for souls...this is the HIGHEST vocation. It would take me much more than this comment box to go into it, but if any of you are interested, his book is titled "The Christian States in Life" by Ignatius. The final chapters deal with this. Thanks for making this better known. Hope you are all having a beautiful Advent!FrJM

  4. Father - thanks very much for that information - I'll check into the book.


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