Sunday, June 14, 2009

Saying of the Desert Christians: True Poverty 3

When abba Macarius was in Egypt, he found a man who had brought a beast to
his cell and he was steeling his possessions. He went up to the thief as
though he were a traveller who did not live there and helped him to load the
beast and led him on his way in peace, saying to himself, "We brought
nothing into this world; but the Lord gave; as he willed, so is it done;
blessed be the Lord in all things."

Some thoughts:

One thing I see right off the bat is that not all the Desert Christians
practiced total ab solute poverty otherwise how would Macarius have anything
for the thief to steal? And not only enough to steal but enough to load up
a beast with.

But what fascinates me about this Saying is that Macarius had no attachment
to his things at all. Instead of mildly saying "Oh, thief, that's my stuff,
please leave it alone" Macarius actually helps the thief and sends him on is
way in peace.

How many of us could help the thieves load the U-Haul with our stuff? How
many of us have that sense of detachment?


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