A Word from the Desert Abba Macarius the Great said to the brothers at Scetis, when he dismissed the assembly, ‘Flee, my brothers.’ One of the old men asked him, ‘Where could we flee to beyond the desert?’ He put his finger on his lips and said, ‘Flee that,’ and he went into his cell, shut the door and sat down.”1 Reflection Abba Macarius shushed … Continue reading Lent with the Desert Fathers: Fasting From Words
A Word from the Desert “A brother came to see Abba Macarius the Egyptian, and said to him, ‘Abba, give me a word, that I may be saved.’ So the old man said, ‘Go to the cemetery and abuse [insult] the dead.’ The brother went there, abused [insulted] them and threw stones at them; then he returned and told the old man about it. The … Continue reading Lent with the Desert Fathers: Detaching From Another’s Scorn or Praise
A Word From the Desert “The same Abba Agathon was walking with his disciples. One of them, finding a small green pea on the road, said to the old man, ‘Father, may I take it?’ The old man, looking at him with astonishment, said, ‘Was it you who put it there?’ ‘No,’ replied the brother. ‘How then,’ continued the old man, ‘can you take up … Continue reading Lent with the Desert Fathers: Is it Yours?
A Word From the Desert Abba Zosimos said, “In time, through neglect, we lose even the little fervor that we suppose we have in our ascetic renunciation. We become attached to useless, insignificant, and entirely worthless matters, substituting these for the love of God and neighbor, appropriating material things as if they were our own or as if we had not received them from God. ‘What do … Continue reading Lent with the Desert Fathers: Detachment and Simplicity
A Word from the Desert “Abba Joseph asked Abba Poeman: ‘How should one fast?’ And Abba Poeman said: ‘For my part I think it is better that one should eat every day, but only a little, so as not to be satisfied.’ Abba Joseph said to him, ‘When you were younger, did you not fast two days at a time, abba?’ The old man said: … Continue reading Lent with the Desert Fathers: How Should One Fast?
Each Friday through Lent I will be posting about a particular aspect of the practices of fasting and simplicity as seen through the lens of the desert tradition. The posts will include a saying from the desert fathers, a reflection on that saying, suggestions for applying the saying to our lives, and a prayer. This series of posts was originally written for and included in … Continue reading Lent with the Desert Fathers: A Series on Fasting and Simplicity
“The Lord clothes his chosen souls in the garments of the ineffable light of his kingdom, the garments of faith, hope, love, joy, and peace, the garments of goodness and kindness and all comparable things. They are the divine garments pulsating with light and life, and they bring us peace that passes all description; for God is himself Love and Joy and Peace and Kindness … Continue reading Clothes Really Do Make the Man, and the Woman
You need a spiritual pilgrimage. Begin by closing your mouth. – The Sayings of the Egyptian Fathers (Quoted by John McGuckin in The Mystical Book of Chapters, 47). Continue reading A Spiritual Pilgrimage
One day, Abba Isaac the Theban went to a monastic community and he saw a brother doing wrong, and he condemned him. As he returned to the desert, an angel of the Lord came and stood in front of the door of his cell and said: “I will not let you in.” He asked: “What’s the matter?” And the angel replied: “God has sent me to … Continue reading Judging and Sentencing
To love or to not love. That is the question in today’s gospel. It is always the question. Every minute of every day we answer that question. The answer to that question orients our way of being, guides how we live, determines what we do, and chooses the words we speak. Ultimately, our answer reveals whether our life is aligned with Jesus’ life.
Mary answers the love question one way and Judas another. In silence Mary anoints Jesus’ feet and fragrances the entire house. Judas keeps to himself, questioning, criticizing, and scheming. Mary loves while Judas calculates. Continue reading “To Love or to Not Love, A Sermon on John 12:1-8”