“A brother came to Scetis to visit Abba Moses and asked him for a word. The old man said, “Go, sit in your cell, and your cell will teach you everything.””
What is the connection, I wondered, between this Saying and Advent? Advent is about preparing one’s heart for the coming of the Light into a world filled with darkness. Whereas my “cell” or “individual self” is more consumed with the sentiments of Lent and the all too daily sufferings illness and pain have imposed upon my life. I must admit, this saying rather haunted my thoughts from its first reading on through to this morning. But upon awakening, literally and spiritually, it was given to me to understand that it was haunting me because I was trying to examine it intellectually and emotionally rather than through the Light of the Holy Spirit that was speaking to my dulled and conditioned mind.
My “cell” or “heart” had become so defined by illness that I could hardly perceive the Light that was offered to me each day, through every moment, in the form of the many opportunities to choose between this small, finite self or the infinite being of God.
Something falls. I cannot bend to pick it up. I need help. Poor me? Or, Praise God that someone is here that can help me. I need yet another Medical Test. I have to wait for an appointment, then plan the trip, then, fast to prepare for the test, then endure the waiting in the Office. Or, can I instead choose to spend that time of preparing thanking God that I even have a Health Plan that will provide for and pay for this Test. Thanking God that there is a Hospital so close to where I live as to make my visit even possible. That I am provided for by a good and gracious God in all my needs and that to depend on God alone is far better than my desires to resume to a so-called “control” over my own life once again.
Sometimes, it is uncomfortable to face the secret resentments that still linger within my heart. How much easier to put on a brave face and avoid sitting in my cell altogether and taking an honest inventory. Then confessing to God and repenting of my complaints. But, isn’t this the very meaning of Advent after-all?! Preparing the Way of the Lord? The opening up of one’s soul, that His Light might enter into one’s darkness?
Lord – Today I surrender my resistance to Your Infinite Light and ask that you enter and transform the darkness of my soul into a worthy dwelling place for You to Come and Rest, as in a manger, as you once did on that first Christmas Day over 2000 years ago.
Blessings to All –
A Disciple of Jesus (HHC)