Reflection on a Saying of a Desert Christian: anonymous

“A certain young monk, who struggled arduously to preserve the purity of his body and his soul, when he happened to be bothered by carnal desire, would say to the evil spirit with rage: “Go to the outer darkness. Can it be that you do not know that, even though I am unworthy, I bear parts of Christ within me?”

“With these words he would cast out temptation, in the same way that one blows on a lighted oil lamp and immediately it goes out.”

Do we even think in terms of the purity of our bodies and souls? Do we think that is too old-fashioned a concept? Would we be willing to do without things in order to preserve it?  Books?  Movies?  TV shows? Where we hang out? I suspect we look at things quite differently than a Desert Christian would. Their approach was a black/white, all/nothing that today we would call extremist, unhealthy, and even unwholesome.

What then is there to be learned from today’s Saying? For myself, I have to say it leads me to think of the ways I spend my time doing things which maybe distract me from the things I know God has called me. How easy it is to say “I’ll do it later or tomorrow” instead of now. 

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