Friday, July 17, 2009

Saying of the Desert Christians: Joy 2


Abba Hyperichius said, "Praise God continually with spiritual hymns and always remain in meditation and in this way you will be able to bear the burden of the temptations that come upon you. A traveller who is carrying a heavy load pauses from time to time and draws in deep breaths; it makes the journey easier and the burden lighter."

Some thoughts:

Reminds me of St Paul and praying constantly. I always wondered how I was to pray constantly and, say, drive my car safely at the same time. I have some ideas about that but rather than shoot my mouth off all the time, I wonder what your thoughts would be.

Pausing from time to time and drawing breath is indeed a great deal of help when carrying a heavy burden. My mother is constantly ill these days with GERD, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Parkinson's Disease and now she has a lump in her right breast. My much beloved cat Jack is dying of Squamous Cell Carcinoma under his tongue and throughout his jaw. I am disabled for Major Depressive Disorder, so, yes, I think I can safely say I know about burdens.

There is something I've learned about good habits: they get us through the rough times. The habits of the Daily Office, Anglican Rosary, writing these bits about the Desert Christians, writing bits about the Rule of St Benedict on another list or putting together the Knitternun Meditation along with eating properly, taking care of my diabetes, taking all my medications... these are all the good habits that help me with my burdens.

Do they cease to be burdens? No, how could they? I don't think I would want to experience apatheia. But there is something else I've learned which is in the midst of the heaviest grief, even as the grief never ceases to be grief, it can be shot through with pure joy because God is with us ever second of every burden, helping us carry it.

That's what I've experienced. What has yours been like?


  • At 6:31 AM, Blogger MikeF said…

    You are so right! I think my ability to deal with burdens (none so heavy as yours, I hasten to add) is directly related to my faithfulness in these "Good Habits" (AKA discipline!)...

    The daily Office, using the Jesus Prayer, devotional reading, being part of a Eucharistic community, receiving the bread and wine as often as practically possible: these things are all that keep me alive in Christ. (John 6.53-58!)

  • At 1:43 PM, Blogger Gloriamarie Amalfitano said…

    Thank you, Mike for more of your support. I have been so grateful to you as this is evidence that someone is acutally reading my blog. But more importantl;y your contributions have neen valuable. I fear there will be none for a while. Time Warner Cable has disconnected me even though i pay every month. They claim a owe what is to this Sister a hughe sum of money. They also say I pay ever month but cannot tell me where they find the past due balance. In fact they get surly wtih me when I try to get specific info. So I am offline until I can get this straightened out. Writing from the Public Library where I am only allowed 30 minutes at a time.

    May God bless you in your holy walk.

  • At 1:53 PM, Blogger MikeF said…

    Praying for you, Gloriamarie - that's not a good situation. Do you have a regulator for telecoms over there, like OFCOM here? Someone should explain gently to Time Warner Cable that they do need to tell you just where this debt was incurred...

  • At 2:05 PM, Blogger Gloriamarie Amalfitano said…

    Dear Mike,

    Writing from the public library where I wish they would have WiFi so I would have more than 30 minutes on the Internet. Spoiled rotten American that I am. LOL

    Thank you for your support.

    I have no idea what a telecom regulator is, but I daresay we have something like that. However I spoke to a different person at Time Warner who agrees that they need to tell,me what happened to my account and that it is unreasonable of them to expect me to take their word for it, especially when they agree I pay every month. He will do the research.

  • At 2:12 PM, Blogger MikeF said…

    That's more like it! Still praying, here...


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