Reflections on the Sayings of a Desert Christian: anonymous

“The brothers of a certain skete gathered in a circle around one of the Fathers there to hear spiritual words from his mouth.

“Why is the soul not attracted by the promises of God, but more easily swept away by the deceptive things of the world?” someone asked.

“Because it does not have faith,” answered the elder. “When the soul, through faith, has tasted of heavenly good things, it is impossible for it to be tempted by the vanity of the world.”

A skete is a community of lauras.  A laura is a monastic cell.  The monks lived in their lauras and once a week they would gather at sunset on what we would call Saturday and have an agape meal, discuss spiritual issues (hence the collections of their Sayings), pray and sing Psalms all night until dawn when they returned to their lauras.

Today’s Saying touches on a theme close to the heart of the Church in former days. “Orthodoxy results in orthopraxy.”  IOW, right faith results in right practice.  Right belief results in right living.

This is what the elder means.  When we apply our faith to the choices we make in life, when we decide that our ethics, faith, morals, values will determine our how we live our lives, we will have eliminated so many of the superfluous options of this world.

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