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  • Fr. Kevin

Becoming Flame

There is a story from The Sayings of the Desert Fathers that has stuck with me over the course of my spiritual journey...

"Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said to him, 'Abba, as far as I can I say my little office, I fast a little, I pray and meditate, I live in peace and as far as I can, I purify my thoughts. What else can I do?' Then the old man stood up and stretched his hands

towards heaven. His fingers became like ten lamps of fire and he said to him, 'If you will, you can become all flame.'"

The story is a reminder to me that there is much to faith that exists beyond our rites and rituals and disciplines. If you know how much I love liturgy, then you know that I'm making a pretty bold claim when I write that.

The story is also a reminder to me that we should not settle in how we live out our faith. We are always called forward by the Holy Spirit to deepen our walk with the risen Christ. God loves us as we are, and celebrates each step forward we take...but is never satisfied with where we are. That same stirring in the heart of Abba Lot, "What else can I do?", stirs in our hearts as well, when we quiet ourselves enough to hear it.

So do not settle for where you are on your faith journey, my friends. Listen to that stirring in your heart, that whisper - 'What else can I do?'. If you let yourself, you can become on fire for the Gospel - a source of heat and light that blazes like a beacon in the world to those around you. If you will, you can become all flame!

[translated by Benedicta Ward ; foreword by Metropolitan Anthony. (1975). The Sayings of the Desert Fathers : the alphabetical collection. London : Kalamazoo, Mich. :A. R. Mowbray ; Cistercian Publications,]

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