Idleness lulls a man to sleep
When a number of affluent folks visited the
they were shocked by the harsh penances
Little food, no luxuries, sleep next
And they told them: “why are you such
of your bodies?
Did not God make the body also?”
The Abba, a wise man, replied:
“Oh no! Despite appearances, we love
bodies very much.
This is why we do not allow it to become
but we prepare it for every good deed.
We keep it always unblemished and fresh
the battles in life
and we shall enjoy it even more at
from the dead.”
Men who understood what Jesus Christ,
Master, told us:
“If anyone wants to be a follower of
let him renounce himself,
take up his cross
and follow me.”
Words that do not sound well in our
We live in a society where the deity
takes up all our energies and dreams.
We are ready to sacrifice even having
to this god-comfort.
We live in a world where what controls
is what we can buy to have more luxury,
how much we can save,
how we can be more comfortable,
how we can be more successful.
We have been educated how to do away
And so we live like mad escaping what
ca not escape from!
Jesus, as usual, thinks otherwise.
He claims that the way to be miserable
to satisfy every whim that comes to
And the way to blessedness is to deny….
Deny your body, He says,
meaning do not give it too much attention
consider it alien,
loose all ties you have with it
do not consider it so important.
Our body always demands to be pampered,
it makes us do what it wants…
Jesus seems to imply that we need to
By not giving it all it wants.
On the contrary, if it needs a beating,
If it needs a cleansing, do not hesitate
This way it learns to obey you!
St Francis used to call his body ‘donkey’!
Denying your mind means understanding
that in life there are many things
these few centimetres of our brain.
God is not our servant
who comes to explain to us everything
‘a’ to ‘z’.
Our mind is small. His is big.
He is much more reasonable than we
And if He takes something away from
does it in order to give us something
The Rabbis say that God took away a
and gave him something more beautiful:
God knows what he is doing.
Denying your heart means not allowing
affections to lead you,
it means detesting the sick bonds many
we have with people.
It means keeping an affective distance
Comfort and sentimentalism
do not strengthen the muscles of the
rather they soften and weaken them.
It’s true, who wants to save his life,
We lose our life for so many stupid
It is good for us and for those we
if we start losing our life for Him.
This way we save it for eternity.
“Do not be chary of correcting a child,
a stroke of the cane is not likely
A stroke of the cane
and you save him from Sheol.
My son, if your heart is wise,
then my own heart is glad.
Do not let your heart be envious of
but be steady every day in the fear
Listen, my son, and learn to be wise,
and guide you heart in the way…
Do not be one of those forever tippling
A harlot is a deep pit,
a narrow well, an adulteress.”
(Proverbs 23, 13-27)
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
hereby granted for any non-commercial
provided that the content is unaltered
its original state, if this copyright