Good morning - I hope you’re keeping well and safe
Continuing our preparation for Advent, there’s a couple of little teachings from the Desert Fathers, the monks (and nuns) of the third and fourth centuries who strove to give up the luxuries of life in order to be closer to God and to each other in community.
Their words may seem very strict to us these days but that doesn’t stop them from being an invitation or even a challenge especially as we draw closer to the holy season of Advent.
And obviously for ‘monk’ read any one of us who wants to be called ‘Christian’ …...
ONE OF THE ELDERS said: A monk ought not to inquire how this one acts, or how that one lives. Questions like this take us away from prayer and draw us on to back-biting and chatter. There is nothing better than to keep silent.
ABBOT JOSEPH asked Abbot Pastor: tell me how I can become a monk. The elder replied: If you want to have rest in this life and also in the next, in every conflict with another say: Who am I? And judge no one.
St Joseph, guardian of this parish during these days, pray for us.
PS Today is the Feast of St Catherine of Alexandria who was martyred around 305AD. Whilst she was too young to have joined the nuns in the desert, the great monastery of Sinai is named in her honour.