Reflections on the sayings of a Desert Christian: Abba John the Short

“When wicked thoughts war with me,” Abba John the Short said, “I do what a wayfarer would do if he were walking in the wilderness and suddenly saw a wild beast pursuing him: find a tree and climb up to the top to be saved. And so I flee to God with prayer and escape from the attack of wicked thoughts.”

When I awoke this morning, for some reason I was feeling quite sad.  I don’t know why.  Had I been dreaming something sad before I awoke? I made my tea, prayed, settled in at the laptop to do my morning promise to Celebrate What Christians Have in Common, a group I have on FB.  Usually, that always brings me joy but not today.  Part way through that I was distracted into a political discussion in the comments section of a blog I follow.  So very foolishly, I seem to have encouraged the emotion of sadness until it has become a mood.

In these reflections, I have frequently recommended the book THOUGHTS MATTER to you.  I see I need to read it again for myself.

Thoughts really do matter in the spiritual life and I need to follow Abba John’s example and flee to God in prayer.


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