• God is our landlord

    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
    very necessary."
    --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
    southeast Turkey.

    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
    a club.

    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.
    --Father Robert

    Saint Quote:
    "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.

    Bible Quote:
    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.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
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