Thursday, June 18, 2009

Saying of the Desert Christians: Life Together 3


A brother asked, "I have found a place where my peace is not disturbed by the brethren; do you advise me to live there?" Abba Poemen replied, "The place for you is where you will not harm the brothers."

Some thoughts:

It's not all about us and what's good for us, is it? The place to begin is not with our needs, this Saying tells us, but the needs of others. As JFK might have said: Ask not what your church can do for you, ask what you can do for your church.

It's a paradox. We live in an age that is all about self-fulfillment, self-esteem to the point of narcissism. But one of the mysteries of the Christian faith is this: when we put the good of others ahead of our own, we actually get so much than we ever thought we wanted or needed.

Now I am as much of a feminist as the next feminist. I remember All Too Well what it was like to live in a male-centric world. I remember All Too Well the disparity in relationships where the family and the husband was put ahead of the wife and mother. There still are places where women and children are hardly regarded as even human. But such relationships are diseased.

When all parties put the good of others ahead of themselves, it is then that the mystery starts its work. Musterion. Sacramentum. Sacrament of living in the Kingdom of God as we have been since Jesus rose from the dead.


  • At 6:37 PM, Blogger Rev. Kurt said…

    Well said! The Desert Fathers & Mothers indeed have some words of wisdom for our self indulgent society...


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