A couple of months ago, I read about a woman here in England who has taken a vow to be a hermit. At first, her bishop said there wasn’t such a vow, but a search through canon law proved him wrong.
I was looking for the reference to this modern hermit, and was quite surprised to discover how many hermits seem to living in Britain today. And that’s only the ones Google knows about. I would not be surprised if the number is multiplied by thousands in the U.S.
I remember thinking as I was reading about her life that being a hermit actually sounds quite appealing. Especially the modern version, which does not involve living in a cave and isolation 24/7, seems to include having a computer and an email address, and even occasional visits to family and friends. It also seems to me that living the life of a hermit does not require a religious commitment.
Personally, I think I could be quite a good non-religious hermit. I’ve always had a need for long hours alone, it does not make me feel lonely or unloved. In fact, too many people around for too long drives me a little crazy. I hate cocktail parties and making small talk.
Come to think of it, I bet there are a lot of us. Maybe we’re what might be called “closet hermits.”