Day 20 and 21 – Who Am I and Do Not Judge – A 2-part Teaching:
Abba Poemen said to Abba Joseph, “Tell me how to become a monk.” He said, “If you wish to find rest here below and hereafter, in all circumstances say, ‘Who am I?’ and do not judge anyone.”
To Find Rest – Abba Joseph seems not to address the question as asked, but rather what he understood to be the deeper question and perhaps the more relevant one; the measure of a true monk being in the fruit and not in the practices or the means or the monk’s location, whether in seclusion or a Monastery at all. The fruit, he says, is to find Rest here and hereafter.
Who Am I? As a person with chronic illness, so many of the “who’s” I thought I was at one time or another simply had to be released. Each one was a kind of death. Each one peeled away yet another layer. Some had more kicking and screaming than others. Some needed more therapy to resolve than others. The psychology behind Any loss of identity can be quite the involved process. But today, I must say that the WHO doesn’t present the same problems it once did. Most former frames of reference have dissolved and a new identity in Christ has revealed itself to be one more genuine and lasting. If that can be recognized as the beginning of what Abba joseph is calling, Rest, then I can truly glimpse it even now, right here, in the midst of each day’s events and struggles.
Do Not Judge – Without a WHO to identify with, that is separate from Christ, separation itself dissolves. Without that sense of separation, divisions dissolve. Without division, WHO is left to judge?!
Blessings and Peace to All,
+a Disciple of Jesus (HHC)