More Desert Fathers


There is something more than compelling in the wisdom of the desert fathers. It might be tempting to think that their lives were hopelessly removed from ours, but I think we can learn a great deal from them. How many of us can say that we truly spend a "vigil" preparing for the Eucharist each week? How many of us take an hour to prepare?

Abba Ammonas was asked, 'What is the "narrow and hard way?" (Mt. 7.14) He replied, 'The "narrow and hard way" is this, to control your thoughts, and to strip yourself of your own will, for the sake of God. THis is also the meaning of the sentence, "Lo, we have left everything and followed you." (Mt. 19.27)

It was said of him that he had a hollow in his chest channelled out by the tears which fell from his eyes all his life while he sat at his manual work. When Abba Poemen learned that he was dead, he said weeping, 'Truly you are blessed, Abba Arsenius, for you wept for yourself in this world! He who does not weep for himself here below will weep eternally hereafter; so it is impossible not to weep, either voluntarily or when compelled through
suffering.' [i.e. the latter suffering in hell]

It was also said of him (Abba Arsenius) that on Saturday evenings, preparing for the glory of Sunday, he would turn his back on the sun and stretch out his hands in prayer towards the heavens, till once again the sun shone on his face. Then he would sit down.

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This page contains a single entry by Ron Moffat published on April 19, 2007 10:00 AM.

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