A Reflection on a Saying of a Desert Christian: Abba Sisoes

“What am I to do, Abba, since passions and demons beset me?” a young monk asked the holy Sisoes.

“Do not say that you are bothered by demons, child,” answered the elder, “because the greater part of us are beset by our own evil desires.”

While the Desert Christians believed that a person could actually see demons, I myself doubt their existence.  But I do know that my wants and desires have sometimes had such a hold on me that I can understand why people would attribute such things to an outside agency.

Abba Sisoes response resonates within me. Out of the darkness that is denial and into the light of the truth which sets us free. I know there are many Christians who want to avoid the word “evil.” I can’t remember the last time I heard the word coming from the pulpit or a sermon about sin.  Certainly, one can overdue looking for sins within one’s self.  But let’s have a healthy balance between ignoring our sin and what has been called overscrupulosity.

Striving to live a holy life is not solely dependent on me.  The Holy Spirit is eager to help.


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