Hermit at Work
My daily labora (work) consists of many things each day. A special characteristic of my work, is that I run a small farm consisting of a horse, pigs, cows, chickens and a dog.
We have a rule at Saintly Acres. You either produce or you are the produced. If an animal has a purpose, they get a name and are considered family. If they do not have a purpose then they get a number and are for eating either by myself or for sale to others.
Family members currently include:
- Wrangler (horse) - He is for riding
- Abby (dog) - She is my constant companion
- Dotty (pig) - She is for breeding
- Stella (cow) - She is for breeding & milk (for drinking and cheese).
- Chickens - oops - a critter had a really good meal this past winter. I have not gotten new ones yet
I now have 7 pigs total. We had babies. Good girl Dotty.
Why is the labor aspect of being a hermit so important? I hope you see in my labor that work is good for the soul. When God sent Adam and Eve out to till the soil, he was not punishing them, but giving them a role in the ongoing creation that they might better appreciate the good things God gives and see that they must come by the sweat of our brow. Work is spiritual. Jesus worked, St. Joseph worked, St. Paul worked... Work is not beneath human dignity, but is a participation in the divine dignity who labored for 6 days in creation.
So what do I do? In addition to the farming chores, I do the same things you do everyday. I never said that I did specialized work, but only that I work.
I do all the outdoor work: mowing the lawn, moving the snow, landscaping...
I do all the indoor work: Laundry, cooking, dishes, cleaning...
I do all the maintenance and remodeling. I did construction work before I was ordained and so I am very handy on these matters. I still have all my tools.
I also do all the tasks of running a parish: secretary, accountant, director of all departments, and all the priest work too.
The last category of work is the constant research and study in the area of spirituality. From these studies I improve my own spiritual life and use the information and personal practices to write the newsletter Heroic Virtue and also the conferences and retreats that I will be putting on.