ADVENT FIRE: December 1

ADVENT FIRE: December 1

From Becoming Fire: Through the Year with the Desert Fathers and Mothers 

Wait a Second There

A brother received the monastic habit.  He immediately withdrew to be by himself, saying, “I am an anchorite.”  The old men heard about it so they went to drive him out of his cell.  They made him go around to the cells of the brothers, repenting and saying, “Forgive me, I am not an anchorite but rather a sinner and a novice.”

Glorifying God in the Desert

One day, then, as Abba Bishoy sat in his cave with a divine hymn on his lips, the Savior appeared to him, saying, “Peace be with you, my beloved servant Bishoy.”

Bishoy got up, filled with fear and trembling. (1 Corinthians 2:3, 2 Corinthians 7:15)  “Christ, my compassionate Savior,” he said, “behold your servant.  What about me is good, Lord, when compared with your goodness?  What is the reason for your condescending to come to me?”

The Lord said to him, “Do you see this desert, in all its length and breadth?  Through you I will fill it with monks glorifying my name.”

Bishoy, God’s chosen, fell to the ground and said, “All things, lord and master, are subject to your mighty hand and have their being at the same time as you will it.  I entreat Your Goodness: Tell me who will provide those contending in this desert with what they need?”

He said, “Believe me, I am telling the truth.  If I find that they hold love as the mother of virtues and keep my commandments, no one will lack what he needs.  I will take complete care of them.”

Then the divine Bishoy said to him, “Once more I shall ask Your Goodness: How will they be able to avoid without difficulty the snares of the Enemy and his fearful assaults?”

The Savior said, “If, as I told you, they keep my commandments with humility and righteousness and a humble heart, not only will I make them immune to evil plots and the warfare that threatens them, I will also proclaim them inheritors of the eternal kingdom in the heavenly habitations.”

Having said these words, the Savior ascended with glory into heaven while holy Bishoy from that time forward was seized with even greater fear, standing in awe of the Savior’s condescension towards him.

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