Idol Chatter

My favorite New York Times Sunday editions are the ones that include magazine “extras”–an entire additional glossy devoted to, let’s say, travel or women’s fashion. Or, as in this Sunday’s case, an edition of “Key,” which is devoted to all things home and home-design trends related.
And over the weekend as I read this edition of “Key” cover to cover, I learned that, apparently, and at least according to the New York Times, one new fashionable “trend” out there in home-owning is being a hermit.

In “My Life as a Hermit, A New Approach to the Later Years: Becoming a Hermit for Spiritual Reasons,” I met Mary Kathryn S., (an “official” Catholic hermit) who talked about how “it’s no picnic being a modern-day hermit.” She added that unfortunately, hermits get an undeserved bad rap today, not to mention facing the very real obstacle of finding ways to pay the rent.
Former hermit Karen Karper-Fredette defines a hermit as “someone who ‘chooses to live in solitude for spiritual reasons.’ Various Christian churches acknowledge hermits, as do many Eastern religions,” she says in the article.
Unfortunately, this article was high on financing the hermit’s lifestyle and low on the spiritual wisdom angle, so, in case this lifestyle trend catches your fancy and you’d like to explore this possibility further, I’d suggest going way back to the early Christian days of the Egyptian desert fathers and mothers, and check out a book like “In the Heart of Desert: The Spiritualilty of the Desert Fathers and Mothers,” for a window into the lives of the original Christian hermits.

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