Tuesday, 9 August 2011
Eat and act
That was always what struck me so about the way the desert fathers treated the scriptures. Their Bible 'meals' were a lot smaller than mine but because they placed such a great emphasis on digesting the texts and then allowing the Word to express itself in practice, they became transparent with the love of God. Take the following story of Abba Abraham:
"Abba Abraham told of a man of Scetis who was a scribe and did not eat bread. A brother came to beg him to copy a book. The old man whose spirit was engaged in contemplation, wrote, omitting some phrases and with no punctuation. The brother, taking the book and wishing to punctuate it, noticed that words were missing. So he said to the old man, 'Abba, there are some phrases missing.' The old man said to him, 'Go, and practise first that which is written, then come back and I will write the rest.'"
Read it and do it is the simple message here and for so long we have ignored it. If the Bible is food for the soul then to what end? That putting it into practice we may become like Jesus and everyone "seeing your good works will give glory to your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16)