LENTEN FIRE: March 5

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


Walking alone with God

You shall test the teaching that you follow, walking alone with God at your side.

For Elijah was at the river Chorath alone, God was with him, and the raven ministered to him. (1 Kings 17:1-7)

The prophet was also walking alone; he took Paul’s belt and bound himself. (Acts 21:11)

When you fell into sin you won

A brother went to draw water from the river.  He found a woman washing clothes and it happened that he fell into sin with her.  After the sin, he took his water and was returning to his cell, but the demons, by means of his thoughts, trampled on him and afflicted him, saying, “Where are you going?  After this, there’s no chance of your being saved!  Why do you also want to inflict harm on everyone else?”

The brother, realizing that they wanted to utterly destroy him, said to the thoughts, “Why do you burden and afflict me so I despair of myself?  I haven’t sinned!”  Going to his cell, he lived a life of contemplative quiet as he had yesterday and the day before that.

The Lord, however, revealed to his neighbor, an old man, that such-and-such a brother, having fallen into sin, had defeated sin.  So the old man went to the brother and said to him, “Brother, how are you doing?”

He said, “Fine, Abba.”

The old man said to him, “God revealed to me that when you fell into sin, you won.”  Then the brother told him everything that had happened to him.  The old man said to him, “Truly, brother, your discernment has crushed the power of the Enemy.”

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