Characteristics of The Hermit

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The great exemplars and models of the life of the Hermit are the Desert Fathers and Mothers. The characteristics of the life of the Hermit are probably better thought of, in most cases, as dominant characteristics or intentional ideals rather than absolute rules. Solitude, for example, was rarely absolute: the Desert Fathers and Mothers spent most of their lives in solitude, but they were available to those who sought their guidance and they sometimes met with other Hermits or (usually very rarely) attended the Divine Liturgy. A Hermit is not characterized by “ticking” all or most of the “boxes” but by the dominant themes and characteristics of his or her life. Of course, many of the characteristics of the Hermit are, or ought to be, characteristics of the Christian.

Solitude
Silence
Stillness
Self-sufficiency
Service
Simplicity
Self-sacrifice
Surrender
Structure
Stability
Symbolism
Supplication
Scripture
Spirituality

During the Advent time, I will offer some brief reflections on the characteristics of the life of the Hermit as they should, or might, apply in the lives of Christian in the world today.

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