Monday, June 15, 2009

Saying of the Desert Christians: True Poverty 5


Once abba Arsenius fell ill in Scetis and in this state he needed just one coin. He could not find one so he accepted one as a gift from someone else, and he said, "I thank you, God, that for your name's sake you have made me worthy to come to this pass, that I should have to beg."

Some thoughts:

I cannot imagine that beggars were thought of any better back then than they are today. And yet in some ways, could we say that at this level of need one is most truly poor? Similar to the Son of Man who had no where to lay His head and He was God Incarnate.

As more and more of us lose our jobs, homes, etc and struggle to care for our loved ones, we may see more beggars just trying to survive these hard times. For those of us who live paycheck to paycheck, are we aware that we ourselves are a hair's breadth away from having to beg ourselves? Are we willing to embrace the depth of spiritual impoverishment? Are we willing to accept how deeply we need Jesus?

Such are my questions that I address to myself after praying on this Saying. Maybe something different occurred to you? If so, would you please share it?


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