The monk went out in the early morning to the cave where Mass was celebrated. There was no-one there. He went into the vestry, dressed, went out to the altar and said Mass. No one joined him but it didn’t matter; he was with Christ.
He returned after saying Mass in the early morning to his hermitage, took up his broom, and started to clean. Sunday after Mass was his time to clean the small hermitage; once he’d thrown the last pail of water over the stone floor, rinsed it clean, he returned to his bed and laid down for some rest.
He noticed his joints were aching, but it was a good feeling having completed his tasks for the week. His hermitage felt better having been cleaned. His icons seemed to glow a little stronger.
That afternoon, he was woken by the knock at the door–bread again. The monk upon retrieving the bread found a knotted rosary on top of the loaves. A gift from someone in the monastery perhaps. He blessed it, laid it upon the table next to the candle that burned during his reading of the hours.
The monk felt stiffness in his fingers, noticed his skin was getting worn from the dryness of the wilderness.
He took up the rosary left to him, went to his bed, kneeled beside it and began:
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Breathing in Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God;
Breathing out, Have mercy on me a sinner.
Fingers moving to the next knot.
Breathing in, prayer.
Breathing out, prayer,
the next knot.