ADVENT FIRE: December 10

ADVENT FIRE: December 10

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

Things Contrary to Nature

Abba Poemen said, “God has given this way of life to Israel: to abstain from things that are contrary to nature, that is, anger, rage, envy, hatred, slander against one’s brother, and the remaining vices of the old self. (Romans 6:6)

The World

A brother asked Abba Isaiah, “How ought I maintain contemplative quiet in my cell?”

The old man answered, “In order to maintain contemplative quiet in your cell, you have to abandon yourself before God and do everything in your power to resist every thought sown by the Enemy.  This, indeed, is what it means to flee the world.”

The brother said, “What is the world?”

The old man answered, “‘The world’ is the distractions that come from things; ‘the world’ is doing things that are contrary to nature and fulfilling your own fleshly desires; ‘the world’ is thinking that you are going to remain in this present age; ‘the world’ is having more concern for your body than for your soul and rejoicing in those things you leave behind.  I have not said these things of my own accord; no, it is the apostle John who says these things: Do not love the world or things in the world.” (1 John 2:15)

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