From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Mon Mar 15 23:16:22 2021
God is our landlord
"Our wish, you see, is to attain to eternal life. We wish to reach
the place where nobody dies, but if possible we do not want to get
there via death. We would like to be whisked away there while we are
still alive and see our bodies changed, while we are alive, into that
spiritual form into which they are to be changed when we rise again.
Who wouldn't like that? Isn't it what everybody wants? But while that
is what you want, you are told, Quit. Remember what you have sung in
the psalm: 'A lodger am I on earth.' If you are a lodger, you are
staying in someone else's house; if you are staying in someone else's
house, you quit when the landlord bids you. And the landlord is bound
to tell you to quit sooner or later, and he has not guaranteed you a
long stay. After all, he did not sign a contract with you. Seeing that
you are lodging with him for nothing, you quit when he tells you to.
And this, too, has to be put up with, and for this, too, patience is
--St. Augustine--(excerpt from Sermon 359A,8)
March 16th - St. Abraham Kidunata
The call to be a hermit is not common, yet in every Christian century
some have received that call. The golden age of hermits was from
around 250 to 700 A.D. Hermits were more numerous in the Near
East than in Europe. One of the most interesting of them was St.
Abraham Kidunaia. He was a sixth-century Syrian, born in Mesopotamia
near the city of Edessa, a vanished metropolis in what is now
Abraham's parents were rich and prominent. When he came of age, they
picked a bride for him, according to the Syrian custom. This
embarrassed the young man. He had already privately decided to
practice a life of religious celibacy. Afraid to disobey his parents,
he tried to figure out some escape.
Now, marriages in that time and place were gala occasions, with a week
of partying before the marriage day. Abraham decided to take part in
the week-long festivities as if he had no problem. On the 7th day,
however, he took flight to the nearby desert, occupying a cave as a
cell. Of course, the parents sent a search party after him. Eventually
they found him at prayer. They used every argument to persuade him to
return, but he stood his ground, so the pursuers finally gave up and
left. Then Abraham sealed up the door of his cave, leaving only a
small window, through which friends in the desert could pass him food.
St. Abraham remained a hermit there for the rest of his life. When his
parents died, he fell heir to their fortune, but he distributed it to
the poor. He had only four possessions he could call his own: a
goatskin tunic, a cloak, a bowl to serve both as dish and cup, and a
mat of rushes for a bed. We are told that Abraham was an intense man
never seen to smile, who looked on each day as his last, and lived it
that way. His feats of self-denial were remarkable, yet they did not
undermine his naturally frail constitution. He was to reach a hearty
Although at heart a solitary, Abraham did obey a request of the local
bishop. The bishop called one day and lamented the fact that he had
had no success in his efforts to Christianize the nearby town of
Beth-Kiduna, which was inhabited by pagans rooted in idolatry and
given up to abominable practices. He asked the hermit to make a try at converting them. Abraham consented, however reluctantly, and even
accepted priestly ordination from the bishop.
Once ordained, Father Abraham went over to Beth-Kiduna. He talked to
the people, but they sharply rejected his invitation to baptism. He
therefore asked the bishop to build a church in the village. When the
church was finished, Abraham, after prolonged prayer, entered the town
and toppled over all the images and altars of the gods.
The citizens were furious, of course, and whipped him out of the
village.. But he returned the same night and in the morning they found
him praying in the church. Going out into the square, he began to
preach, urging all to give up their superstitions. Instead, they
seized him, took him out side the walls, stoned him, and left him for
dead. The hermit was not dead, however. He returned to the square and
resumed his preaching. For 3 years he made this his daily chore. The
pagans did not try again to kill him, but they continued to insult
him, throw an occasional rock at him, and strike him now and then with
After 3 years of apparent failure, Abraham suddenly noticed a change
for the better. His patience and meekness had finally persuaded the
people that he was a holy man, and therefore deserved to be listened
to. Eventually he was able to baptize a 1000. Then he spent a full
year instructing the citizens more fully in the faith, and baptizing
still more. When the year was up, leaving them in the care of other
priests, he returned to his cell, his assignment finished.
When Abraham entered his final illness, the whole neighborhood came to
ask his final blessing. After his death, the faithful sought bits of
his clothing as precious relics. Good actions speak louder than words.
St. Abraham Kidunaia, the unwilling groom, confirms that proverb.
"If you guard your tongue, my brother, God will give you the gift of compunction of heart so that you may see your soul, and thereby you will
enter into spiritual joy. But if your tongue defeats you--believe me in
what I say to you--you will never be able to escape from darkness. If you
do not have a pure heart, at least have a pure mouth, as the blessed John said."
--Saint Isaac the Syrian.
But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which, if they
were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able
to contain the books that should be written. (John 21:25)
A Prayer To Be Generous
Teach me, Lord Jesus, to be generous:
to serve You as You deserve;
to give, not counting the cost;
to fight, not heeding the wounds;
to toil, not asking for rest;
to labor, not seeking any reward,
save that of knowing that we do Your will.