Holy Souls Hermitage (update)

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Someone I know says that he has never seen a picture of Holy Souls Hermitage rising up above the forest floor at the top of a ridge in these Blue Mountains, these Smoky Mountains. In the above slideshow we are, of course, looking due East.

Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is no longer there. No tabernacle, no altar, no angels, all gone. In October 2019, I will have been in the parish here for six years. There was urgent movement being made on selling the property underneath the hermitage for quite a while. It’s a little less urgent right now. Off the market, in fact.

I still go out to the hermitage every week for a “day off”, even if only for minutes, so that I can tell my Vicar Forane that, yes, I’m taking care of myself, taking a “Day Off.” He likes when the priests in his vicariate in the diocese get a bit of a change of pace, a change of scenery, some recreation. I often end up doing lots of “priest stuff” as I mysteriously call it, driving the curious batty as they try to figure out what “priest stuff” is. But the hermitage is a welcome refuge.

What happens at the hermitage for those minutes or hours? Target practice with timers are variously placed and sized targets, sometimes moving targets on ropes or whatever, takes up some of the time. The Vicar and I just spoke, in fact, about what kind of ammo I got yesterday. Just boring ammo: Federal brass 9mm FMJ 115 grain target practice ammo.

Sometimes it’s reading some complex email communications. Sometimes some more complex phone calls are made. Sometimes just a bit of quiet with the Lord. Always the Angelus many times for the bishop and priests of the diocese.

Always I try to look around for flowers for the Immaculate Conception. The joyful appreciation of Jesus’ good creation with the end of having the joy of giving Jesus’ good mom a flower is, how to say it, a simple joy, always, every time.

If I have enough time, today I plan to read Pope Francis’ letter to priests. The best laid plans of mice and men and donkeys like me are often laughed at by the Lord. But, we will see what happens. There may be other “priest stuff” to do today. But I would really like to get to this letter. It may be that a return letter, a response, equally public, may be in order. Have you read that letter? Any ideas on that?

/////////// Later… I made it to the hermitage. Some prayers were said. Some target practice was accomplished. First thing, 25 feet out, 7″ pie plate, six rounds in 1.74 seconds, and accurate. Later, two to the body, one to the head in 1.27 seconds. Both flukes, though. I’m not that good. Far from it.

Here’s what the window looks like now:

2:30 pm… I read up to paragraph 8 of the Pope’s letter to priests and had to stop. This may take more exegesis than I can do on my phone. Anyone with comments on paragraph 8?

A bit more target practice. Then it’s off to visit a few people, check the UPS store, and then do some priest stuff….


Filed under Day Off

8 responses to “Holy Souls Hermitage (update)

  1. Love the target practice in there 😆

  2. It’s a “nice” letter but no mention of those falsely accused like Fr. Gordon, especially since it was Fr. Gordon’s bishop that really threw him under the bus. It was the money from the Church held out to each and every person who would say they were abused, that put his ministry in prison.Maybe action on the part of Pope Francis would be better than just more words again?

  3. Jim Anderson

    I tend to read things from trusted sources. I have enough trouble reading what is in black and white without trying to read what is implied between the lines.

  4. Aussie Mum

    Father, you ask if anyone has comments on paragraph 8. I find it hard to understand.
    Pope Francis says that Our Lord “is purifying his Bride” and goes on to say that she has been “caught in adultery”, after which he directs us to the 16th chapter of Ezekiel where that priest and prophet calls the Kingdom of Judah a harlot. The image is of God’s people in the 6th century BC betraying Him by their worship of false gods to whom they also sacrifice their children, and Pope Francis points to this saying “It is the history of the Church”. Does he mean that the Bride of Christ, the Church, has deserted its Lord and become a harlot embracing idolatry?
    He then tells his priests that “In the end, through your sense of shame, you will continue to act as a shepherd”. What shame? What is every priest supposedly guilty of? Not sexual abuse since the majority did not do that. Is he saying they are guilty for our idolatry (being harlots in a spiritual sense). If so, what idolatry is that? As for child sacrifice, abortion is widespread in the world but most Catholics don’t abort (or at least I hope not!). I don’t think that’s what he is talking about.
    All in all, paragraph 8 is unclear and therefore confusing.

    • Aussie Mum

      When I asked “what idolatry is that?” I meant to ask if Pope Francis is saying the Church is in a state of apostasy?

  5. Monica Harris

    Holy Souls Hermitage is missing the same thing the Letter is missing.
    “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.”
    Bring Him back! as He allows.

  6. Aussie Mum

    Still thinking on paragraph 8 …
    There has been a falling away among Catholics but those who left the Church to embrace atheism (ex-Catholics) are no longer part of the Church. Is Pope Francis pointing to them when he talks of apostasy, incorrectly identifying ex-Catholics as Catholic … or not? The Amazon Synod is coming up which seems hell-bent on changing what the Church is. Is this letter to priests a preparation for that? I hope Pope Francis realises that it is “progressives” (atheists still clinging to the name “Catholic” in public) and not those holding to 2000 years of Church teaching who are the apostates.

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