Build Tomorrow from Rest

Soul Snack 14/14 ...  I have found life can be captured in spiritual seasons.

Recently I have been drawn to a new but ancient season from the wastelands of Egypt. This is the 1600 year old legacy of the desert fathers, men and women of a discrete faith and anonymous achievements.

Subsequent to Christianity becoming legalised under the Roman emperor Constantine (325 AD), contemporary Christians no longer would suffer for their faith. These early Christians then withdrew to the deserts. They sought both silence and solitude to pray. Many have now been etched upon Christian history under the broad banner of 'the desert fathers'.

Each desert father willingly crucified their flesh afresh.

In this Jesus driven model of discipleship, self-crucifixion became a life-style for the devoted. Not forced by law, but by the willing heart of the devotee. Christianity then became a faith symbolised by a voluntary subduing of the flesh, what a stark contrast to these days!

The Post-Reformation western Christianity of today is now expressed as philanthropic, with Christ absent from the crucifix. The call from the pulpit to self-crucifixion has been replaced by the call to love. But both love and self-denial are equally the marker buoys of Christianity.

These desert fathers have left a beaming legacy of prayer, silence and solitude - the three pillars to becoming a monk.

I quote:

To pray always, this is the real purpose of the desert life. Solitude and silence can never be separated from the call to unceasing prayer... The literal translation of the words 'pray always' is - 'to come to rest.' (Henri Nouwen, 'The Way of the Heart' -NY HarperOne, 1981, 69)

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. (Luke 18:1)

A soul still soberly seeking a legacy would come to rest as our Lord invites. Our rest today is not only for our current generation, but for those unseen, maybe even 1600 years from now.

A spiritual legacy is always first sown in Christian stillness, before it is ever magnified in Christian work.

Today's Soul Snippet:

Jesus is more interested in your attention than your activity.

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