Saturday, December 21, 2019

December 21

THREE old men, of whom one had a bad reputation, came one day to Abba Achilles. The first asked him, "Father make me a fishing net." "I will not make you one," he replied. Then the second one said, "Of your charity make one, so that we may have a souvenir of you in the monastery." But he said, "I do not have time." Then the third one, who had a bad reputation, said, "Make me a fishing net, so that I may have something from your hands, Father." Abba Achilles answered him at once, "For you, I will make one." Then the two other old men asked him privately, "Why did you not want to do what we asked you, but you promised to do what he asked?" The old man gave them this answer, "I told you I would not make one, and you were not disappointed, since you thought I had no time. But if I had not made one for him, he would have said, 'The old man has heard about my sin, and that is why he does not want to make me anything,' and so our relationship would have broken down. But now I have cheered his soul, so that he will not be overcome with grief."

--The Sayings of the Desert Fathers

At that time Mary set out in haste for a city in the hill country of Judah, where she entered Zechariah's house and greet Elizabeth.  And it so happened, when Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby jumped in her womb.  Elizabeth was filled with holy spirit and proclaimed at the top of her voice, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!  Who am I that the mother of my lord should visit me?  You see, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby jumped for joy in my womb.  Congratulations to her who trusted that what the Lord promised her would come true."

Luke 1: 39-45 (SV)

You have trusted no town
With the news behind your eyes.
You have drowned Gabriel's word in thoughts like seas
And turned toward the stone mountain
To the treeless places.
Virgin of God, why are your clothes like sails?

--Thomas Merton

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