LENTEN FIRE: Wednesday in Holy Week

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

Taking up the cross

Abba Nilus said, “Go, sell all that belongs to you and give it to the poor, (Mark 10:21), and, taking up the cross, (Luke 14:27), deny yourself; in this way you will be able to pray without distraction.”

The dog and the hare

An old man was asked how the zealous monk should not have his feelings hurt if he sees others turning back to the world and he said, “It’s profitable to observe dogs as they chase after hares: when one of them sees the hare he gives chase; the others see only the dog giving chase and run after him for a while but finally turn back to where they were.  Only the dog that saw the hare keeps up the chase until he catches it: he is not deterred from pursuing his objective by the dogs that turned back nor does he worry about cliffs or woods or thistles; even when he’s in the middle of thorns and is getting all scraped up, he does not stop.  It’s the same with whoever is seeking Christ our master: that person focuses unceasingly on the cross, leaping over every obstacle that gets in his way until he reaches the Crucified.”

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