Reflections on the Sayings of a Desert Christian: Abba Iperechios

“If the desire of the Heavenly Kingdom burns in your soul like a lighted torch, be sure that your soul will quickly become its heir,” Abba Iperechios tells us.”

“What if you turned to God like parched soil soaking up the rain or a sunflower turning upward to the sun’s warmth,” wrote Kathleen Fischer.  I apologize that I am unable to track down the original source of this quotation but it fits in well with the Desert Christians.

They had much to say about the desire for Heaven or for God. There is one where someone’s fingers shoot out flames because one can become all fire for the Kingdom of God.  Something about fire, it burns everything in its path. So if we seek to have our hearts and souls to become lighted torches and flames shoot from our fingers, we can be sure that fire will burn everything within us that is not from God.

If we seek this, we must also understand that it will most likely be a painful process because fire hurts. Have you, like I, burnt yourself when you forget to use a potholder?  Have you accidently hit the side or door of a pre-heated oven? Yeah, like that but much more intense.  Imagine being freed from all attachment to worldly stuff that we live and breathe solely for God.

When we desire God, when we truly love God, it is not merely ourselves that will benefit but every living thing we come into contact with because we will want to cherish each and every living thing because God loves each and every living thing. Not only will we want to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the sick, provide for the needy,and all the ways human mistreat other humans but will also do all in our power to prevent the extinction of species, the death of the planet, killing of animals for their tusks, and so many other things.

No one of us can do all of these things but we are each called to do something. All we have to do is respond to God’s call. Allow the fire of Heaven to burn you clean of any other desire but to love and enjoy God forever.


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