LENTEN FIRE: Good Friday

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

I wish I could weep like that

Abba Joseph related that Abba Isaac said, “I was sitting with Abba Poeman one day and I saw him in ecstasy.  I was on terms of great freedom of speech with him so I prostrated myself before him and begged him, saying, ‘Tell me where you were.’

“He was forced to answer and he said, ‘My thought was with Saint Mary, the mother of God, as she wept by the cross of the savior.  I wish I could always weep like that.'”

Carrying Christ’s cross

Pachomius went with his brother to an island to cut rushes for mats.  And as he was keeping vigil alone, praying to be taught the whole will of God, (Romans 12:2), an angel appeared to him from the Lord, just as one appeared to Manoah and his wife about the birth of Samson. (Judges 13:3-11)  The angel said to him, “The will of God is to minister to the human race in order to reconcile them to himself.”  He said this three times and went away.

Pachomius thought about the voice he had heard and was reassured.  Then he began to receive those who came to him.  After appropriately testing them and their parents, he clothed them in the monks’ habit.  He introduced them to the life gradually.  First, they had to renounce all the world, their parents, and themselves, and follow the savior who taught doing so, (Luke 14:26-27, 33), for this is to carry the cross. (Luke 14:27)  Being well taught by him according to the Scriptures, they bore fruits worthy of their vocation. (Ephesians 4:1)

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