Brethren, Fly

Once the Abbot Macarius, after he had given the benediction to the brethren in the church at Skete, said to them, “Brethren, fly.” One of the elders answered him, “How can we fly further than this, seeing we are here in the desert?” Then Macarius placed his finger on his mouth and said, “Fly from this.” So saying, he entered his cell and shut the door.”

You want to hear my confession? I have an iPhone. This technological wonder is supposed to save me time so that I can live better. But my iPhone begs for attention and with it my life is faster and more hectic than ever. It is difficult to be still when you can be gotten all the time. there is no putting your finger on your mouth when there is an iPhone in your hand. It is difficult to be still when we are talking all the time. To be still is to be quiet, to be calm. But we do too much to be still. So this verse keeps coming up for me (and maybe for you too): Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10. So, without further delay, I am instituting 2 rules for slowing down and 2 rules for being quiet.

Two rules for slowing down:

  1. do less
  2. repeat # 1

Two rules for being quiet:

  1. speak less
  2. repeat #1

I have written a post about stillness called My Holy Mountain.



Filed under Contemplation, Flames of Wisdom, Scripture Rumination

3 responses to “Brethren, Fly

  1. Over 20 years ago I got my first “mobile phone”. I quickly learned it is a “short leash”. I also quickly learned it has an “off” button, can be put on “silent” and people can leave messages, or heck, even call back like we used to have to do before mobile phones and yes, even before message machines on the home phones (I’m that old…). But I also learned a harder and more important lesson: I left it on and complained about “the leash” because of my ego: I HAD to be available because I thought I was so important, and my “complaints” about how many calls I got etc. were actually a backhanded way to let people know that. Yes, it is hard to fly from speaking, not because of technology but because we are flying from our selves.

  2. Fr. James, I thought of this post when, this afternoon, I found this saying from the Egyptian Fathers, “You need a spiritual pilgrimage. Begin by closing your mouth.”

    Peace be with you, Mike+

  3. marcus

    loved the post. if only people realized they are far happier and more productive doing less and waiting to be led what to do next. technology has provided amazing tools for convenience, but has done little to help people learn more about themselves. to do that, no technology is required.

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