Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Back to my Hermitage








Here I am on top of a mountain overlooking Cebu City, living the life of an occasional hermit. I came up here this morning by bike and I am still trying to settle in. This is actually the rest-house of the Redemptorists which is usually used on Mondays by the Cebu Redemptorist community. I have the whole place to myself for the rest of the week.
I will be here for a month, living alone and spending most of my time in rest, reflection, prayer, reading, writing and running. I will be doing my own cooking (which is at night since I will only be eating once a day - dinner).

When I was a newly-ordained priest I made a promise to spend at least one month every year living as a hermit on this mountain. I have been able to do it except for the six years I was away for higher studies in Berkeley and Rome. On 2005, I spent 5 months of my sabbatical here.

I love living alone here even if it is only for a month. This is my sacred space. This is where I get re-charged or re-energized so that I can continue my ministry. This is what has kept me from burning out. This may look like a luxury, but this is a necessity for me. This is also where the contemplative dimension of my life is nourished. Of course, I try to integrate contemplation in my daily life, but I need to spend a longer period as a contemplative.

When I reach 75 years old and will no longer be active in the ministry, I would like to spend the remaining years of my life here. By that time, I will bring up the piano which I inherited from my mother's estate here. For now, I am content having the guitar, violin and flute with me. I can play music at night without disturbing anybody.

This will be the order of the day that I will follow starting tomorrow:

5:00 rise, wash-up
5:30 meditation, morning prayer
6:00 taichi
6:30 physical exercise/training (running every other day, biking the other days)
10:00 writing
12:00 meditation/noon-day prayer
2:00 reading
4:30 physical exercise (walking/weight-training)
6:00 evening prayer/Eucharist
6:45 prepare dinner
8:00 music hour
9:00 blog-writing
10:00 meditation/night prayer
10:30 bed

I am not complete isolated from the world. There is a cell-site nearby and I can be contacted by cellphone. For the first time, my netbook computer has access to the internet via globe broadband tattoo wireless connection (3.6 mbps). Well, I am a post-modern hermit.
I also go down on Sundays to join the community for dinner and to shop for supplies.

1 comment:

gemma mendoza said...

hi father...i would like know how i can spend a life like yours without being a religious like you.is there a place u can recommend for someone like me who is just an ordinary catholic?thanks....u can reply to my number 09279954978 if maybe i miss your reply