wandering in wonder

sharing, on a pilgrims journey

tough days and opportunities

still a tough week… I was reminded yesterday of the wisdom of the Desert Mothers – they said (I’m paraphrasing) that every temptation was an opportunity for victory, an opportunity to resist temptation and ‘win’… which means surely that tough times are an opportunity to be faithful, an opportunity to ‘show what we’re made of’ in faith terms and get some practice in with the whole ‘trying to be like Jesus’ thing.

So maybe I should be more thankful for this? the things i don’t like that are happening.

some things aren’t right and they need to be sorted out, God’s values re-asserted.

I don’t think I should wimp out of setting wrongs right or not ‘stand up’ for myself. Rather the challenge to think of it as also an opportunity to put into action what we (I) say about wanting to be faithful in the bad times and the good.

 and in the ‘being like Jesus’ thing, to try to be kind even when I have to be tough with someone. To not let their negative behaviour dictate who I am or who I become. To stay faithful and even gentle and kind whatever other people’s behaviour is.

 challenges indeed…

March 6, 2008 Posted by | balance, courage, Desert Mothers, People, tough times | Leave a comment

Lent Balance

Hi! back after a long absence when…you guessed it… I forgot my password!

anyway….I last wrote at the end of Advent, and now it’s Lent –  who better to turn to for some words about fasting and balance than Desert Mother, Amma Syncletica (okay, I admit, I had to read up on her for an essay!). Here goes…a bit from my essay with a quote from Laura Swan, who wrote ‘The Forgotten Desert Mothers’….

 “Although the desert way was of sparse meals and fasting from most foods, Amma Syncletica understood that more was involved. Fasting may take the form of giving up something other than food, such as excessive commitments, overachieving, unhealthy attitudes, and old resentments. The desert ascetics began by fasting from food, possessions and social relationships. They then progressed to fasting from interior attachments, such as anger, jealousy, envy, or possessiveness. The desert ascetics understood that fasting creates the space in our bodies, minds, and spirits for God to be within us and new things to grow.” (Swan, 2001, pp. 44-45)

Looked at in this manner, ascetic discipline can be seen as a psychosocial and physical discipline. It relates to moderated, balanced living, and relates again to the concepts around simplicity and detachment. This appears to make it more challenging to the present day. The continually booming weight-loss industry, and diagnoses of addiction to food, drugs, sex, or exercise in Western countries, are testimony to the fact that many of us do not live in moderation and need some way to discipline ourselves. “

Back to blog then… I found this really challenging – to look at how we balance our lives and look at what we need to ‘fast’ from. It becomes then not just about food, or giving up chocolate for Lent (for example…though that always seems just wrong to me!!), but about committing, or re-committing, ourselves, to lives in balance with our priorities right, and prepared to ‘leave out’ or moderate anything which gets our balanced moderated lives in a mess.

‘food’ for thought?!

February 18, 2008 Posted by | balance, Desert Mothers, Desert Wisdom, fasting, Lent | , , , , , | 2 Comments