Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Saying of the Day

A soldier asked Abba Mius if God accepted repentance. After the old man had taught him many things he said, "Tell me, my dear, if your cloak is torn, do you throw it away?" He replied, "No, I mend it and use it again." The old man said to him, "If you are so careful about your cloak, will not God be equally careful about his creature?"

Sayings. Mius. 3


  1. Rev. Benjamin Harju said...


    I enjoy these sayings from the fathers. A year or two ago my wife got me the "Sayings of the Desert Fathers" book. It is a treasure for me. One of the things I find interesting is the difference between monastic life in its formative period in the desert, and the shape it was in during the sixteenth century in the West. One of the (many) things that struck me was that "escaping" to the desert made their spiritual battle more intense. They forsook everything and were left with only their weaknesses, the demons, and our merciful God. We have these, too, but we also have endless distractions that both keep us from the severity of such combat and the benefits of arduous training.

  2. Dixie said...

    Pastors Hall and Harju,

    I am happy to read of Lutheran pastors who appreciate the value of the monastic life of the desert fathers. And Pastor Harju, you have summarized things most excellently.

  3. Rev. Benjamin Harju said...


    Lutheranism itself hasn't done too much with Monasticism, other than leave it behind with specific Roman abuses (there are exceptions, like the Lutheran monastery in Oxford, MI).

    I wish more Lutherans would spend time with the Desert Fathers, but there is a small learning curve, which we might sum up with the frequent question of one monk to a father: "What must I do to be saved?" The answers given are not uniform, but are always true to the desert monastic context.

    We Lutherans have trouble reading history outside of our own context, because for so many the famous battles of the 16th century have become the new canon of how to speak and think about God.

    For most Lutherans being a monk is not a valid vocation. But being a monk is not supposed to be about forsaking vocation, but about the spiritual battle of repentance, prayer, faith and love of God and the neighbor. This is common to all vocations; the monk makes it his singular vocation. At least, that is what the Desert Fathers have taught me.