Wake Up!

ExtremePilgrim3_001_origWorking up courage, I entered the cave and proceeded toward the voice. The ascetic was curled up on the ground. He had raised his head, and I was able in the half-light to make out his face as it gleamed in the depths of unutterable beatitude… I did not know what to say, where to begin… Finally I gathered up the courage.

“Do you still wrestle with the devil, Father Makarios?” I asked him.

“Not any longer, my child. I have grown old now, and he has grown old with me. He doesn’t have the strength…I wrestle with God.”

“With God!” I exclaimed in astonishment. “And you hope to win?”

“I hope to lose, my child. My bones remain with me still, and they continue to resist.”

“Yours is a hard life, Father. I too want to be saved. Is there no other way?”

“More agreeable?” asked the ascetic, smiling compassionately.

“More human, Father.”

“One, only one.”

“What is it?”

“Ascent. To climb a series of steps. From the full stomach to hunger, from the slaked throat to thirst, from joy to suffering. God sits at the summit of hunger, thirst, and suffering; the devil sits at the summit of a comfortable life. Choose.”

“I am still young. The world is nice. I have time to choose.”

Reaching out with the five bones of his hand, the ascetic touched my knee and pushed me. “Wake up, my child. Wake up before death wakes you up.” by Nikos Kazantzakis as quoted in “The Shattered Lantern.”

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3 Comments

Filed under Beaches, Canyons, Deserts, Mountains and Monasteries, Flames of Wisdom, Regarding the Present Moment

3 responses to “Wake Up!

  1. s-p

    I probably have no clue how many ways I’m sleepwalking through life… Good quote!

  2. Chris Purdef

    Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me the sinner.

  3. Reader John Herman

    Am I awake yet, Lord, or after all of this shaking have I still more waking to do? If so, then shake me harder from my slumber until I am fully present to you.

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