A brother said to Abba Poemen, 'Give me a word,' and he said to him, 'As long as the pot is on the fire, no fly nor any other animal can get near it, but as soon as it is cold, these creatures get inside. So it is for the monk; as long as he lives in spiritual activities, the enemy cannot find a means of overthrowing him.'-- Sayings of the Desert Fathers
"For us let it be enough to know ourselves to be in the place where God wants us, and carry on our work, even though it be no more than the work of an ant, infinitesimally small, and with unforeseeable results."
-- Abbé Monchanin
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Sunday, October 28, 2012
I'm reading Redeeming the Past My journey from Freedom Fighter to Healer by Anglican Priest Michael Lapsley. Lapsley was an anti-apartheid activist who lived in Zimbabwe while we were there. He lost both hands and an eye to a letter bomb sent to him by the South African Government. I never met him but remember the news when this happened.
Speaking of the Suffering Servant passage in Isaiah, Lapsley observes:
As I reflected on these passages of scripture and allowed them to do their healing work, it began to dawn on me that disability is actually the norm of the human condition. Imperfection, incompleteness, brokenness--these are universal human experiences, and those of us with dramatic physical disabilities are mirrors for what is true of the whole human family.
He then tells this story:
There is a Christian martyr from the second century, St. Lawrence, who was commanded by Roman persecutors to produce the wealth of the church as tribute. Of course, they were expecting gold and silver. Instead, St. Lawrence brought the very old, the sick, the blind, and those who couldn't walk, and said, 'Here, here is the treasure of the church.'
Let us count the wealth in our churches today.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Some old men came to see Abba Poemen and said to him, 'When we see brothers who are dozing at the synaxis, shall we rouse them so that they will be watchful?' He said to them, 'For my part when I see a brother who is dozing, I put his head on my knees and let him rest.'-- Sayings of the Desert Fathers
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
A brother questioned Abba Poemen saying, 'If I see a brother whom I have heard is a sinner, I do not want to take him into my cell, but when I see a good brother I am happy to be with him.' The old man said, 'If you do a little good to the good brother, do twice as much for the other. For he is sick. Now, there was an anchorite called Timothy in a coenobium. The abbot, having heard of a brother who was being tempted, asked Timothy about him, and the anchorite advised him to drive the brother away. Then when he had been driven away, the brother's temptation fell upon Timothy to the point where he was in danger. Then Timothy stood up before God and said, "I have sinned. Forgive me." Then a voice came which said to him, "Timothy, the only reason I have done this to you is because you despised your brother in the time of his temptation."-- Sayings of the Desert Fathers
Monday, October 15, 2012
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
-- Saying of the Desert Fathers
Abba Poemen said, 'God has given this way of life to Israel: to abstain from everything which is contrary to nature, that is to say, anger, fits of passion, jealousy, hatred and slandering the brethren; in short, everything that is characteristic of the old man.
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Monday, October 01, 2012
The annual American Association of University Women Book Sale is Friday and Saturday, 5 October 2012. This is a big event in the year for me and I always take the day off from work. I get cheap books. Someone has a less cluttered house. And some young lady will receive a scholarship to help her get a higher education.
Can't beat that!