Hermits in The Catechism of the Catholic Church

Recognized forms of consecrated life in the Roman Catholic Church are outlined in the 1983 “Code of Canon Law” and are also included in the discussion on consecrated life in the “Catechism of the Catholic Church”, as well as in more pastorally-oriented documents such as the 1996 post-synodal exhortation “Vita Consecrata.”
Catechism-of-the-Catholic-CHurch
The Catechism of the Catholic Church

III. THE CONSECRATED LIFE

914 “The state of life which is constituted by the profession of the evangelical counsels, while not entering into the hierarchical structure of the Church, belongs undeniably to her life and holiness.”

Evangelical counsels, consecrated life

915 Christ proposes the evangelical counsels, in their great variety, to every disciple. The perfection of charity, to which all the faithful are called, entails for those who freely follow the call to consecrated life the obligation of practicing chastity in celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom, poverty and obedience. It is the profession of these counsels, within a permanent state of life recognized by the Church, that characterizes the life consecrated to God.

916 The state of consecrated life is thus one way of experiencing a “more intimate” consecration, rooted in Baptism and dedicated totally to God. In the consecrated life, Christ’s faithful, moved by the Holy Spirit, propose to follow Christ more nearly, to give themselves to God who is loved above all and, pursuing the perfection of charity in the service of the Kingdom, to signify and proclaim in the Church the glory of the world to come.

One great tree, with many branches

917 “From the God-given seed of the counsels a wonderful and wide-spreading tree has grown up in the field of the Lord, branching out into various forms of the religious life lived in solitude or in community. Different religious families have come into existence in which spiritual resources are multiplied for the progress in holiness of their members and for the good of the entire Body of Christ.”

918 From the very beginning of the Church there were men and women who set out to follow Christ with greater liberty, and to imitate him more closely, by practicing the evangelical counsels. They led lives dedicated to God, each in his own way. Many of them, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, became hermits or founded religious families. These the Church, by virtue of her authority, gladly accepted and approved.

919 Bishops will always strive to discern new gifts of consecrated life granted to the Church by the Holy Spirit; the approval of new forms of consecrated life is reserved to the Apostolic See.

The eremitic life

920 Without always professing the three evangelical counsels publicly, hermits “devote their life to the praise of God and salvation of the world through a stricter separation from the world, the silence of solitude and assiduous prayer and penance.” [460 CIC, can. 603 § 1.]

921 They manifest to everyone the interior aspect of the mystery of the Church, that is, personal intimacy with Christ. Hidden from the eyes of men, the life of the hermit is a silent preaching of the Lord, to whom he has surrendered his life simply because he is everything to him. Here is a particular call to find in the desert, in the thick of spiritual battle, the glory of the Crucified One.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p4.htm

The Code of Canon Law
code of canon law
The 1983 Code of Canon Law (abbreviated 1983 CIC from its Latin title Codex Iuris Canonici) is the codification of canonical legislation for the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. It was promulgated on 25 January 1983 by John Paul II and obtained the force of law on the First Sunday of Advent (27 November) 1983. It replaced the 1917 Code of Canon Law, promulgated by Benedict XV on 27 May 1917. Note that a different Code applies to the Eastern Catholic Churches and has very different provisions relating to the eremtical life. The relevant sections of that Code are posted below.

Can. 603 §1. In addition to institutes of consecrated life, the Church recognizes the eremitic or anchoritic life by which the Christian faithful devote their life to the praise of God and the salvation of the world through a stricter withdrawal from the world, the silence of solitude, and assiduous prayer and penance.

§2. A hermit is recognized by law as one dedicated to God in consecrated life if he or she publicly professes in the hands of the diocesan bishop the three evangelical counsels, confirmed by vow or other sacred bond, and observes a proper program of living under his direction.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/_P1Y.HTM

“Vita Consecrata”: Apostolic Exhortation on the Consecrated Life
Pope John Paul II: March 25, 1996
Vita 1
“Men and women hermits, belonging to ancient Orders or new Institutes, or being directly dependent on the Bishop, bear witness to the passing nature of the present age by their inward and outward separation from the world. By fasting and penance, they show that man does not live by bread alone but by the word of God (cf. Mt 4:4). Such a life “in the desert” is an invitation to their contemporaries and to the ecclesial community itself never to lose sight of the supreme vocation, which is to be always with the Lord. Again being practised today is the consecration of widows, known since apostolic times (cf. 1 Tim 5:5, 9-10; 1 Cor 7:8), as well as the consecration of widowers. These women and men, through a vow of perpetual chastity as a sign of the Kingdom of God, consecrate their state of life in order to devote themselves to prayer and the service of the Church.”

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_25031996_vita-consecrata_en.html

The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches
eastern canons
The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (1990)(Latin: Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, abbreviated CCEO) is the title of the 1990 codification of the common portions of the Canon Law for the 22 of the 23 sui iuris Churches in the Catholic Church.

6° Hermits

Canon 481 – A hermit is a member of a monastery sui iuris who has given himself or herself totally into heavenly contemplation and who is totally separated from people and the world.

Canon 482 – In order to undertake the life of a hermit, it is necessary that the member has obtained the permission of the superior of the monastery sui iuris to which the member belongs, given with the consent of the council, and has lived in a monastery at least six years calculated from the day of perpetual profession.

Canon 483 – The place where the hermit lives is to be designated by the superior of the monastery and is in a special manner separated from the world and from other parts of the monastery; but if the place is situated outside the territory of the monastery, the written consent of the local hierarch is also required.

Canon 484 – The hermit depends on the superior of the monastery and is obliged by the canons on monks and the typicon of the monastery insofar as they can be reconciled with life as a hermit.

Canon 485 – The superior of the monastery sui iuris has the authority, with the consent of the council, to terminate the eremitical life for just reasons, even against the wish of the hermit.

http://www.jgray.org/codes/cceo90eng.html

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: