Hermit at Work

My daily work (labora) consists of many things each day. A special characteristic of my work, is that I run a small farm consisting of a cows, pigs, and a dog.

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 our 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 to write articles and conferences and retreats.