Reflection on a Saying of a Desert Christian: anonymous

“A monk in our times tells us that his own grandfather, who had wished to be a monk, but turned against his deep desire, told him the following before he died: “All that has befallen me is the result of a wrong choice. God placed it in my heart to be a monk, yet I ignored Him. I introduced my family to other faiths. Out of my many children, few lived. My wealth brought me no happiness. And now my mind and body are wasted. By removing myself from His grace, I lost the knowledge of God. I willingly cast myself into the cruelty of a demonic world. I only hope that, not blaming Him for my suffering, God will have compassion on me and call me in my heart, at my last breath, once again.”

Such a sad Saying.  I wonder what caused this man to turn against his “deep desire” to be a monk. There could be any number of reasons.  But it does me no good to speculate.  I have to deal with the actual text, not what I want to read into it.

He made a choice.  He lived his life. He know heartbreak and sorrow.  He earned lots of money and it didn’t make him happy.  At the end of his life, he confronts his deep longing for God.

I think his deep longing for God must have been with him every day of his life, don’t you? When God places a desire in our hearts, doesn’t that desire drive us?  From this Saying it is clear that even though there is the desire, it didn’t drive this man to be a monk, to embrace the desire.  He ran away from it and it did him no good at all.

God calls us. Each of us.  God calls us to be our most authentic self, the person God envisioned when God created us. Our calling, our vocation is to fulfill that vision. It’s the only way we will ever know contentment.

The questions for each of us is this: Do I hear God calling me? Have I made myself a receptive vessel for God’s call to fill me? Will I embrace it?

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