Here (and here) is some great quote blogging about some desert wisdom from A Labrynthine Journey:
Never separate yourself from the holy example of Christ, who said, “Learn of me for I am meek and humble of heart.” First make a point of acquiring a peaceful state of soul, so that correction is given not out of pretended righteousness or for the pleasure of rebuking, but as a duty performed for the sake of love and cleanness of heart. Building up your brother in this way, you shall hear a voice saying to you, “If you extract what is precious from what is unclean, you shall be compared to my own voice. (Jeremiah 15:19)” [Dorotheos of Gaza: Discourses and Sayings, Eric Wheeler, trans, Cistercian Publications, Kalamazoo, 1977, page 239]
More from The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (Benedicta Ward, trans, Cistercian Publications, 1975).
This one comes from Abba Arsenius who was originally a tutor in the Royal Court in Rome, then left it all for the solitude of the Egyptian desert.
A brother questioned Abba Arsenius to hear a word of him and the old man said to him, “Strive with all your might to bring your interior activity in accord with God, and you will overcome exterior passions.” [Arsenius Saying # 9, page 10]
Rev. Moris, I hope you don’t mind. Your posts really mean a lot to me.
At Easter we find a resurrected Christ. After a contemplative observance of Lent, it seems fair to pray for a sort of resurrection of our own lives–a deliverance from the desert, if you will.
A Prayer by Thomas Merton
from Thoughts in Solitude
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”
“I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.”
As we leave the desert, Lord, let us rise with Christ having died to the flesh and alive in Him. Forge in us the discipline of discipleship. Create in us the will, desire, and strength to sacrifice for you and seek your face each day. Remind us always of the desert, of Good Friday, and of a Saturday spent in a tomb. We give you glory for a Sunday morning, a stone rolled away, and victory. Amen