Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Saying of the Desert Christians: Abba Helladius


It was said of Abba Helladius that he spent twenty years in the Cells, without ever raising his eyes to see the roof of the church.

Some thoughts:

What are we to make of this Saying? To be honest, it kinda creeps me out. LOL The Cells were discovered in 1964 and there has been excavations of churches with inscriptions and decorations. Of course, I dunno if the inscriptions and decorations were there when Abba Helladius worshipped there, but I think so, otherwise this Saying makes little sense. My impression is that the monk didn't look up lest he be distracted from his prayer.

Maybe that's a good thing, sometimes. After all, I'm the one who put together a 67 page collection of notes I researched about "custody of senses." At the same time, how often has my worshipped been enriched by the beautiful stained glass, statues, paintings, gardens, wild flowers, streams and on and on and on. Back when I still lived in the Boston area, I was known for pulling over to the side of the road, sit on a stone fence and thank God for the gorgeous clouds.


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