The Hermits of St. Giles is a wonderful association specifically created for those of us who have a physical disability with chronic illness. Most of us are “home bound” because of our disabilities and we experience a lot of frustration and sadness because we can not serve as “active” members in our Church, our Parish. One day I read a letter written by our late Pope, John Paul the II, soon to be Beatified. He wrote that the chronically I’ll serve in the heart of the Church because we offer our suffering in love and pray for the world. When we do this, we participate in the pain and suffering that Christ Jesus suffers and we share this treasure with others. The Church looks to the fruit of human suffering for the salvation of the world. This means that even though we are physically disabled and struggle through chronic illness we still have something to offer, which is ourselves. This brings with it a regained dignity and are indeed useful to society. Some of us who are in this situation may still have a deep desire to enter a monastic community, become a monastic brother or sister, become a priest, but the daily need of medical attention supersedes this possibility and restricts us from the opportunity to fulfill our religious calling. This brings with it many emotions. Emotions such as sadness, anger, frustration and sometimes hopelessness. It is exciting to know however, that even with our disabilities we too can serve the Church as a Hermit of St. Giles. We can serve the Church from our own homes or wherever we live perhaps a nursing home or a hospital, or a long time care facility. We may be “home bound” but our spirit is flying freely.
The gift of our suffering, freely given to God out of love is the most powerful gift one can give. The martyrs became great Saints because of how much they suffered and of course the ultimate witness of offering their lives. We have the opportunity to become great Saints for the Church just as much as all Christians. We pray for others. We intercede for them. We give all our intentions to our Blessed Mother. When we do this we are assured beyond any doubt that She will hand deliver all of our prayers into the hands of Her most Beloved Son, Jesus. She will protect our efforts more than anyone else. We also have the help of our guardian angels. They too protect our intentions and will get to where they belong, right into the Sacred Heart of Christ Jesus.
This truly is a beautiful ministry and can reach around the whole world. The world with all of it’s troubles these days desperately need us to say yes to helping God. If you are feeling left out and isolated forgotten by the rest of society this association brings us encouragement again. We can find hope and meaning again to what our suffering is all about. We are not useless. God embraces us in our efforts because we are His children. With St. Giles of Nimes as our patron and guardian, we know he will protect us, our efforts and intercede for us to God. How wonderful it all is!
So if you have ever desired to be a monk but have been resricted because of medical necessity now the doors are swung wide open for us to enter and participate in the heart of the Church. We too can become spiritual giants to our broken world and no longer feel cast aside.
God love each of you around the world
Your brother in Christ Jesus,
Hermits of St. Giles