Forgiveness and simplicity, the wisdom of the desert

Working on our next month of daily meditations this morning, I was looking up sayings of the desert fathers.

I found this little gem on a website put up by Father Pius Edwin Sammut :


A brother who was insulted by another brother came to Abba Sisoes, and said to him: “I was hurt by my brother, and I want to avenge myself”. Abba tried to console him and said: “Don’t do that, my child. Rather leave vengeance to God”. But he said: “I will not quit until I avenge myself”. Then Abba said: “Let us pray, brother; and standing up, he said: “Our Father… forgive us our trespasses as we forgive NOT those who trespass against us…” Hearing these words, the brother fell at the feet of the Abba and said: “I am not going to fight with my brother any more. Forgive me, Abba.”

Sometimes the simplest  things are the best.  Yesterday, listening to John Lee Hooker singing Mister Lucky, I was struck by the spartan structure of the song, a pure 12-bar blues job, with no messing around.  Its all the more beautiful for that.  

I got the same feeling listening to Tim Van Eyken‘s version of John Barleycorn, the beauty was in the artful simplicity. 

Very often it is the same with spirituality.


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