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
By now most of you probably know that the primary focus of my priesthood and ministry is the growth and development of our inner life. It’s the core of my preaching, teaching, and our life together at St. Philip’s. The inner life takes us from darkness to light. It means we are always trying to move beyond the world of external appearances to deep insight … Continue reading Advent, the Season of Necessary Endings – A Sermon on Mark 13:24-37
My guess is that most priests, when speaking of their seminary training, would say that very little, if any, time was spent in teaching or forming them to be a successful chief executive officer or business manager. This is certainly true for me. Yet, a significant percentage of my time is spent dealing with budgets, handling employee issues, and other administrative matters. Every year our … Continue reading Nickels and Noses – What Do We Value and Measure in the Parish?
Today, January 17, is the Feast of St. Antony of Egypt. We remember with thanksgiving his life and seek his prayers and guidance for our own lives. His biography, The Life of Antony, was written by St. Athanasius. St. Antony’s desert journey began one Sunday morning in a small Egyptian village in the year 270 or 271 when he heard these words: “If you want … Continue reading “If You Consider Me Wise, Become As I Am”