LENTEN FIRE: Ash Wednesday

LENTEN FIRE: Ash Wednesday

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

On Not Judging Others

A brother did wrong one time at Scetis and when a council was called about it, they sent for Abba Moses, but he refused to come.  So the priest sent someone to him, saying, “Come, the community is waiting for you.”

He got up and went and, picking up a large basket with a hole in the bottom, filled it with sand, and carried it with him.  When he arrived at the meeting, those who came out to meet him said to him, “What’s this, father?”

The old man said, “My sins trickle out behind me and I do not see them and yet I have come today to judge someone else’s sins.”

When they heard this, they did not say anything to condemn the brother, but forgave him.

Dying Each Day

Abba Antony said, “Children, let us, then, keep to our ascetic discipline and not lose heart.  We have the Lord to help us, as it is written: God helps everyone to do good who chooses to do good. (Romans 8:28)  Now with regard to losing heart, it is good for us to meditate on the Apostle’s statement: I die daily. (1 Corinthians 15:31)  If we too live our lives like this – as though we are going to die each day – we will not sin.  I am saying this so that if we awaken each day and think, ‘I will not be alive until evening,’ and again when we are about to go to sleep, if we think, ‘I am not going to wake up,’ then we will not take for granted that our life is so certain when we know that it is measured out each day by Providence.”

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