It Is Better To Be A Child Of God Than King
Of The World
"As it is impossible to build a ship
without nails, so it is impossible that man
saves himself without humility." These
words coming from a laywoman who lived all
her adult life in the desert are very revealing.
Healthy relations with others, states another
Desert Father, flourish if we understand
that "there is no bigger virtue than
not despising the other". "The
humble person is not the one who despises
himself but the one who welcomes with joy
the grievances and the offenses that come
How can we achieve this? "Accustom
slowly to say of everyone, 'this brother
will precede me in the kingdom of heaven'
or 'this other brother is more dedicated
in his prayer than me' or 'this other
is more assiduous in manual work'.
way you will finally arrive to consider
beneath everyone and the Spirit of
remain in you. If on the other hand,
despise someone, the grace of God will
from you and will give you up to the
of the flesh, your heart will harden
and there will be no more repentance
Abba Sisoes was dying. All his disciples
were around his bed. His face was shining
like the sun. He told them, "Abba
has come to fetch me and take me to
After some time, he said, "the
of prophets have come also." His
started shining even more as he exclaimed,
"Even the choir of apostles is
Then he started speaking with someone.
whom are you speaking, Abba?"
asked. He answered, "I am speaking
the angels who came to take me to heaven
but I asked them to let me begin doing
penance before I depart this earth!"
The disciples were surprised. "But
you have already done enough penance.
have spent all your adult life doing
"I did not realize that I have
started doing penance!" he exclaimed.
Humility is walking in truth. And the
is that we can never do enough.
A devil was attacking furiously the
of this monastery. How could they kick
out? The superior thought of sending
most ascetic monk to exorcise him,
devil made fun of him, "What can
do against me, fool? I am more mortified
than you - I never eat, I never drinků"
Therefore they thought of sending the
pure monk. Again the devil scoffed
"You believe that you can instill
in me? Even if you are so pure, you
proudest of them all!" As a last
the superior decided to send the monk
was worth nothing'. When the evil one
him approaching, he ran away frantically,
exclaiming, "Nothing can beat
The classic Imitation of Christ puts
words in the mouth of Jesus, "I
my elect in a double fashion, with
and with consolation. And I read to
two lessons each day: one to rebuke
for their faults; the other to exhort
to increase their virtue." If
to listen to these two lessons, we
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
granted for any non-commercial use,
that the content is unaltered from
state, if this copyright notice is