“And the very wise Abba Agathon said: “When I see that a person-even if he is very dear to me-is becoming the occasion for me to acquire some fault, I immediately cut off all ties with him.”
Oh dear. Can you imagine the pain that both parties must feel? I am finding it hard to express my reaction to this Saying. It really takes the idea of sin far more seriously than I ever have. I don’t know what your experience in relationships might be, but I would say I have very few people that are “very dear” to me and I can’t imagine giving any of them up.
We don’t look at the spiritual life in the same black and white terms as did the Desert Christians and I think that is a good thing. We can certainly learn from them but grace seems to something they did not take for granted and count on as we do today.
Can’t say I think it is a good thing to take God’s grace for granted. While I am very glad I can count on it, mostly I want my heart to sing out its gratitude every single day.