a word from the desert
- A priest from the region of Samosota came a great distance to (St.Simeon Stylites). He told him about a spring in his village which irrigated all their fields and from which by the Lord's design their lives were sustained. All of a sudden it failed and dried up, and they were exhausted from thirst and hunger. They had brought workmen. They had dug and labored and spent a good deal of money and they did not find one drop of water in it. When the priest came and told the whole matter just as it was, the saint said, "I trust in the Lord Jesus that when you start to leave this enclosure our Lord will make it return to normal. But go, keep vigil, and celebrate the Eucharist and give thanks to our Lord." The priest noted the time the saint spoke to him and our Lord did a favor. The priest went and found that the spring had gushed forth and overflowed and irrigated all the fields of the village. When he asked the villagers they told him that on such and such a day it suddenly gave a violent sound and gushed forth and watered all the fields of the village double what it used to. He took out the note he had written and saw that the spring had gushed forth into its canal at the very moment the saint blessed him. Then the priest led all his congregation and they came and ministered before the saint for three days. Then they returned rejoicing and praising God.
from the Syriac Life of St. Simeon Stylites 85
Dear Friends of the Desert,
As 2012 draws to a close, so too must “a word from the desert.” As you know, my postings have not been forthcoming in the past several months, and I have received inquires from many dear friends regarding future postings. Unfortunately, the dictates of life prevent me from posting in any sort of regular way. I am grateful for the kind feedback I have received over the years, and for the many new friends I have made, both near and far. I hope that in some small way, the postings have been as beneficial to you as they have been to me. My guiding principal in selecting a “word” has always been that the reading is something that I need to profit from on that particular day. If you have been blessed in any way by these sayings from the ancient (and modern) spiritual fathers and mothers, please remember this unworthy sinner and my family in your prayers.
Later today I hope to post a short bibliography of sources that I have used over the years, as well as some suggested online sources. Until then, two brief words that might be applicable to the New Year:
“The great Macedonius, the first of their deacons and a man zealous for God, told me: It is said of angels that they do not, or as some would have it, that they cannot fall. But men fall, yet they can quickly rise again as so often as this may happen to them. Devils, and devils only, never rise one they have fallen.”
St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Spiritual Perfection 4
Abba Poemen said concerning Abba Pior that every day he made a new beginning.