Reflection on a Saying of a Desert Christian: anonymous

“The carefree monk, who has tasted the sweetness of having no personal possessions,” a certain Father says, “feels that even the rason (cassock) which he wears and the jug of water in his cell are a useless burden, because these things, too, sometimes distract his mind.”

It is with a sense of a rueful irony that I undertake to offer a reflection on today’s Saying.  Sometimes this month I am getting new wall-to-wall carpeting in my apartment and before that can happen, I have to pack up all my stuff into boxes.  I easily have fifty boxes scattered in my living room filled with books and various items I hold dear.

The monk who uttered today’s Saying would be scandalized at what he would no doubt consider my excess. I admit I am somewhat scandalized at the idea that one garment and one jug of water coud be ever considered an excessive number of possessions.

This Saying challenges me to rethink my possessions.  Why do I have them? To what use do I put them? How much do they distract me from my vocation?


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