A Modern Hermitage

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About Fr. Dwight Longenecker
  • http://www.aliceseidel.com Alice S.

    Nice idea, but too idyllic. I think I might tire of one-pot veggie dinners day after day. It’s nice to think of shedding possessions; yet, there are many things in my life which are necessary to me, and which I’d rather not do without.
    It’s nice to read Walden, I don’t need to live there.

  • Elizabeth Scalia

    I think I could like this, but I would have to have a fridge. I too could not deal with one-pot veggie dinners. There must be pasta. There must be meat! :-) But I give this lady a great deal of credit. She’s narrowed her own life down, but not her mind.

  • Lynne

    I liked this woman’s story. She seems so content, and dare I say free.

    Having said that, I’d probably go nuts without my laptop. And, yeah, prime rib is good sometimes.

  • Ellen

    I’d have to have hot water, and I do want meat sometimes. I could cheerfully live without TV, but I do need my laptop. And books, lots and lots of books.

  • thegermanegyptian

    For a short time yes I could like this, but only for a respite, I tend to panic if I forget my cell phone ;>)

    Question, she and her husband live a simple “natural” life, no kids? No family nearby? to be childless is not natural, As someone who is involved in Organic farming I quite often get in trouble by pointing out to young farm couples, the ones with the perfect 2 or 2 and a spare, and talk about their “natural” lifestyle, that being on the pill is not “natural” in any way, sterility is not natural, flooding you body with outside sources of hormones is absolutely not natural, in organics we promote fertility in our soils and animals, why sterility in our families, when in this society did being childless become a thing to celebrate and having a family become looked down on, when did sterility become fashionable, when did fertility become a medical condition need treatment. When did children go from a blessing to a “punishment”, we are sick sick sick, I pray we do not die of our self inflicted illness

    “And there were following Him a great multitude of the people, and of women who were mourning and lamenting Him. But Jesus turning to them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us.’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do these things in the green tree, what will happen in the dry? Luke 23: 27-32”

    • Matthew

      germanegyptian: you raise a great point. Is this asceticism, noble simplicity or simply another of the multiple faces of selfishness that plague our culture? I do admit that it does at times seem attractive to me – but I once thought of being a Carthusian (for about a day)!

  • Ma Tucker

    Perfection is when there’s nothing left to take away???? Beauty being described as simple parsimonious functionality??? Tell that to the monks who decorated the book of Kells. Thank God for the generosity of true beauty and the super abundance characteristic of true perfection.

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  • Peter Brown

    I had a reaction perhaps similar to thegermanegyptian–have they cut themselves off from children? I also wondered, where was Michael while this was being filmed? Diana keeps using first-person singular for choices I might have thought would be made in the first-person plural.
    Of course, it is not mine (or any reader’s here) to judge this couple. There may be reasons why they have no children that are entirely spiritually sound. (For example, not every couple is fertile, as I know all too personally.) The decisions for material simplicity may indeed have been made mutually, with Diana’s first-person plural merely a verbal idiosyncracy, or perhaps they represent a way in which Michael is giving himself for Diana (one hopes sustainably, but the film gives no reason to think it’s not).
    Still, my reaction is that their life would be too quiet, too ordered, for me. My own weakness for control would run riot in such an environment, I think, and the material simplicity would become an excuse to wall myself off from generosity. Personally, I find that the unplannable neediness of children–more children than either my wife or I ever thought we would have or even want–is a tremendously fertile antidote to my natural stinginess.
    On the other hand, it’s completely possible that all my reservations boil down to nothing more than that my temptations are not theirs.


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