Ave Maria!
Some people say that it may be good for Autistic Catholics to become Hermits. What do you think?

Good for who? Who are “some people”? I would be skeptical of such an assertion.

:)Autistic people, are children of God, just like you and I and deserve the same respect and right to live as anyone else.

What I meant was that some people are called to become Hermits and many of those may have Aspeger/Autism but I don’t know.

What do you mean?
But you can only become a Hemit if God calls you. Hermits are people who enjoy solitude.

What I meant by my question was to ask who are the “some people” who say that it would be good for autistic Catholics to become hermits. It’s kind of ambiguous. It’s like you’re drawing from a source, but haven’t told us what that source is.

In other words, if you made that statement in a research paper, you’d be missing the footnote citing the people who make that assertion.

If it’s just your opinion, that’s fine, too. I guess I’m just trying to gauge where you’re coming from and why you think this could be true.

It’s the opinion of some people who study autism. I can also see some asperger/autism in some hermits.

it depends on the individual. i doubt God put autistics on earth intending every one of them to become hermits. my personal opinion is that of one with aspergers who can recognize things in other autistics. For instance, people with severe enough autism have trouble with getting dressed in the morning without help (note: i said severe enough not all). I believe in those cases how would one with that severe of a form of autism would be able to live an hermit’s life? If you have aspergers or autism and are considering hermit life, talk to a priest. if they say no and give a reason other then “you have (aspergers/autism)” then find another priest until you get a yes or a “no because you (reason that isn’t prejudice such as so autistic that true fact is true which would impede on hermit life)”.

Another reason for my skepitism is because i never saw the report in question. Want to know an interesting study? "Gay people’s brrain structure are different then straight people, so being gay is not a choice but a fact! Not saying either or in the choice or preferance debate, but do note that in that study the “gay” people had AIDs (which any straight guy can get) and the straight guys did not ( as if being gay automatically gave you AIDs) and AIDs in itself alters brainstructure overtime (or is that HIV which comes before AIDs either way people with AIDs have altered brain structure automatically because of the science of HIV).

in the study of the last paragraph it is shown that researchers can be bias so who’s to say that the researcher(s) of the study you saw wasn’t?

I do not think a disordered desire to be alone is a sign of a vocation to be a hermit. It is a challenge to overcome- not simply a part of a personality that should be indulged. Such a person may truly have a vocation to be a hermit, but not simply because that is what is easiest.

No I don’t think this is a good idea for Autistic people to be hermits. The high functioning autistic people need to be around typical people to learn. My 7 year-old son has mild autism and is in a classroom setting where half the kids are typical and half are high functioning autistic. It is a great help to him. He loves to play with the more severely autistic kids but then he starts behaving like them. Additionally, from what I understand, even as adults they usually need someone to watch out for them.

But as you suggest, my son is very religious. I think he believes in transubstantiation more than anyone I know.

Of course, the more severely autistic people are unable to take care of themselves and would not be good hermits at all.

I cannot believe what I am hearing. This topic is not a research paper. Its simply a curious man wanting to know if maybe Asperger’s/Austistics might be ideal candidates for the hermit life. So far, nobody is answering this. Rather, they are just belittling them.

I thank those that had good and nice things to say about those with Asperger’s/Austism. It shows you love all of God’s children. We cannot judge who He will and will not call. They are just as human as the rest of us and Jesus is in all of them too.

We must love and help all. We cannot, as a worldwide community of believers, be a stumbling block for the disabled. They need our support, help, and most of all, our love. When their family rejects them, we should accept them in our arms. These people can even become orphans as adults because their parents are fed up with how different they are and clearly do not have the love to accept them. Admittedly, it will take a while for religious orders to open up for the disabled, but its on the road. We can be happy and proud of this. For the hermit life, this has been a possibility for Asperger’s/Autistics/Disabled for a long time and some of them can take care of themselves, have an Extern or a patron, to help them, and even Jesus can help them. We should not have less faith in them. We must remember that Jesus does often pick the weakest of us for vocations. Its not about unworthiness. Its about Jesus deserving all of our love.

Here are some links of groups and ideas that are being planted so that Asperger’s/Austicis/Disabled Catholics will have them as options if they feel called to a vocation:

Blessed Herman’s Eremitical Network:

Leonie League for the Advancement of Autistic Persons:

Sisters for the Autistic (proposed):

And of course, to become a hermit is easier, but its still just as much of a loving challenge as religious life. I am sure any of them can take the challenge and do it well. I can name many examples of disabled people that were great saints or could be on their way to becoming one. Any skepticism towards our weaker brothers and sisters is not kind and comes from Satan. He believes might makes right. There is a Carthusian monk that is completely blind. He is doing very well in his community. There is a blind Priest. There is a blind nun and she was able to enter a mainstream religious order. The world iks filled with our Lord’s love, if only we would look and realise.

Now, to answer the question Henry was curious about. Yes, I believe some of them may be suited to the hermit life, especially if its their call. Sometimes, you have to try something to realise that is what Jesus is calling you to. Thank you for caring. I hope I have been of help.

Just so. The idea of shunting autistic individuals aside to become “hermits” smacks of the discredited practice of warehousing mentally challenged people in “state mental hospitals” as was done in the 1800’s and well into the 20th century.

This is true. Additionally, I would point out not only is it horrible to them but it is also horrible for us that they be locked away. Many of them can teach us for they are able to see things in ways we cannot. My son has also taught me to see beauty in the mentally disabled. He sees those who are more autistic than himself are have down syndrome are wonderful people.

Additionally, the mentally disabled are an opportunity for us. Consider the the parable of the sheep and goats. To paraphrase Jesus “Most certainly I tell you, inasmuch as you loved one of the least of my brethren, you loved me.” The mentally disabled are an opportunity to love Jesus. Many of the mentally disabled are also able to love in a more profound way than us.

But most of all, I find we are all in fact mentally disabled. Why else would society be guilty of so many horrible things?

Not to worry Seremina, I know exactly what you meant. By now you must certainly be used to being misunderstood on these forums by now. I know I am.

But anyway I think you did not read my post as I did answer your question in detail and I did not belittle you.

I think Autistic Catholics should do whatever God wants them to do.


I would rather they become mechanics and engineers than hermits.

Some high functioning Autistic people are quite affectionate as well as creative. In other words, Aspergers are not the only high functioning autistic.

I think what the OP was referring to was a special holiness that some possess. My seven year-old kid does display some unusual holiness.

For example:

*]He kneels before and prays before the tabernacle. I never taught him this.

*]When we pass by a Church I will ask him if Jesus is there and he will only say yes to the Catholic Churches. I have seen him do this with Catholic Churches that don’t really look like Churches. I remember when he was five we were passing by Baptist Church and he commented on the the three large crosses. I asked him if Jesus was there and he said no.

*]When he was five I showed him his four month sonogram and he was able to identify himself. I explained the picture look strange because it was dark in Mommy’s tummy. He looked at me and said "Oh yes, and there was a lot of water and I used to swim in Mommy’s tummy.

However, as I said before, I really don’t think it would be good for them to be hermits.

who says this? I have never heard it suggested, and there is no basis for the suggestion. Someone who is autistic may also have a vocation as a hermit, but there is no reason why they should be more suited to that manner of living than anyone else with a vocation.

proof, citations, sources for both these assertions?

the suggestion, and the discussion, show as much ignorance of the life of a professed hermit as of the nature of autism. There is no reason to make an blanket assumption either that those with autism are by definition candidate for religious life, any more than to assert they are not so suited. Like any other vocation an individual is called to it, not predestined to it.

I did not mean to belittle anyone. I have aspergers myself as i’ve stated in my previous post on this thread. I gave my answer which is “maybe but don’t bet your money that all autistics should become hermits” ok i didn’t say it like that but still. I would probably be able to be a hermit if God called me to. I just think that some autistic people including some which I’ve met would not make good hermits, and i think they would better be off as something else. Maybe they are extraodinarily good musicians.maybe music isn’t their thing but story writing is. who knows? i didn’t mean any offense in the slightest

I’ve noted that autistic people tend to be either atheistic or very very religious. Also some of us are indeed quite affectionate and creative.

Interesting stuff with your son.

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