Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday Morning in the Desert

After a great experience last week at Sacred Heart Monastery in Yankton, South Dakota, it is back to the  grind for me.  Hopefully, I will be able to bring at least some of my experience in the figurative desert of the monastic setting into daily life.

While in the midst of a quiet setting, I had a chance to reflect on the damage that our words and deeds can do to others, so this morning's quote is on that subject:

"A brother asked Poemen about the words, 'Do not render evil for evil' (1 Thess. 5:15).  He said to him, 'The passions work in four stages: first in the heart, then in the face, third in words, fourth in deeds - and it is in deeds that is is essential not to render evil for evil.  If you purify your heart, passion will not show in your expression, but if it does, take care not to speak about it; if you do speak, cut the conversation short in case you render evil for evil.'"

(From p. 192 of "The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks", translated by Benedicta Ward).

This past week, I've also had the chance to listen to a series of talks at a Lenten retreat by Father John Behr of St. Vladimir's Seminary - he includes a lot of good quotes and observations from the Desert Fathers.  You can listen to the talks (about 15-20 minutes per podcast), entitled "The Call of God", at Ancient Faith Radio:


  1. Thanks for that. I see how anger tends to show in my face before traveling out my mouth. Lord have mercy- Paul

  2. Thanks, Paul. Blessings to you as we prepare to enter Holy Week.