Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Blessing of Hermits

“I, Brother Benedict Joseph Connelly 
vow to Almighty God, and into your 
hands, Sean Patrick Cardinal 
O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap., to live 
poverty, chastity and obedience for 
life, according to my personal rule as 
a hermit.  May the grace of the Holy 
Spirit and the intercession of Holy 
Mary, Mother of God, St. Joseph, St. 
Bruno, and all the angels and saints 
be my help all the days of my life.  
With joy I seal this covenant of 
solitude, prayer and penance, in the 
Name of the Father, the Son, and the 
Holy Spirit.” 

This morning at Mass, I noticed a Dominican friar.  But I was mistaken.  There was no capuce.  I examined his habit piece by piece.  It was a Trappist's monks habit, but the scapular was white, not black.  Maybe that's what novices wear?  He also wore a wide white leather belt.  The Trappist's belt is black or brown.  Whatever, I was satisfied with my conclusion that he was a Trappist novice.
    However, going up for Communion, he had those loopy things that Carthusians have.  So that's what he was.
   All my speculation was wrong.
   We walked out together, after Terce.  I asked him if he were a Carthusian and he said "No, I'm an ordained hermit."
   Needless to say, that statement opened up our conversation.  He was very approachable and affable--not what I would expect a hermit to be.  But didn't someone once say that you have to love your fellow man and his community, to become a good hermit?  I'm saying it now, if no one did.  What sacrifice would it be, if you preferred to be alone?
    His name is Benedict Joseph and the best was yet to come.  He lives in the parish where I grew up, went to school, received all my sacraments, and probably prays in my pew!
    I felt very blessed to meet him.  This post began with Brother Benedict's Joseph's Profession of Vows.  

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