Blog Post - December - 5th
S. Sabbas| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
Born in Cappadocia (modern-day Turkey), Sabbas is one of the most highly regarded patriarchs among the monks of Palestine and is considered one of the founders of Eastern monasticism.
After an unhappy childhood in which he was abused and ran away several times, Sabbas finally sought refuge in a monastery. While family members tried to persuade him to return home, the young boy felt drawn to monastic life. Although the youngest monk in the house, he excelled in virtue.
At age 18 he traveled to Jerusalem, seeking to learn more about living in solitude. Soon he asked to be accepted as a disciple of a well-known local solitary, though initially he was regarded as too young to live completely as a hermit. Initially, Sabbas lived in a monastery, where he worked during the day and spent much of the night in prayer. At the age of 30 he was given permission to spend five days each week in a nearby remote cave, engaging in prayer and manual labor in the form of weaving baskets.
Following the death of his mentor, St. Euthymius, Sabbas moved farther into the desert near Jericho. There he lived for several years in a cave near the brook Cedron. A rope was his means of access. Wild herbs among the rocks were his food. Occasionally men brought him other food and items, while he had to go a distance for his water.
Some of these men came to him desiring to join him in his solitude. At first he refused. But not long after relenting, his followers swelled to more than 150, all of them living in individual huts grouped around a church, called a laura.
The bishop persuaded a reluctant Sabbas, then in his early 50s, to prepare for the priesthood so that he could better serve his monastic community in leadership. While functioning as abbot among a large community of monks, he felt ever called to live the life of a hermit. Throughout each year —consistently in Lent—he left his monks for long periods of time, often to their distress. A group of 60 men left the monastery, settling at a nearby ruined facility. When Sabbas learned of the difficulties they were facing, he generously gave them supplies and assisted in the repair of their church.
Over the years Sabbas traveled throughout Palestine, preaching the true faith and successfully bringing back many to the Church. At the age of 91, in response to a plea from the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Sabbas undertook a journey to Constantinople in conjunction with the Samaritan revolt and its violent repression. He fell ill and, soon after his return, died at the monastery at Mar Saba. Today the monastery is still inhabited by monks of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and St. Sabbas is regarded as one of the most noteworthy figures of early monasticism.
Few of us share Sabbas’s yearning for a cave in the desert, but most of us sometimes resent the demands others place on our time. Sabbas understands that. When at last he gained the solitude for which he yearned, a community immediately began to gather around him and he was forced into a leadership role. He stands as a model of patient generosity for anyone whose time and energy are required by others—that is, for all of us.
Sharing of Love:
Love cannot exist in isolation or autonomously because love shares itself with another. Love requires a lover and a beloved, a giver and a receiver. It is the receptivity of love that makes it a gift.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Each morning Jesus comes into my heart and pours out all the effusions of His goodness.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Six: 327-365
We enter, now, the last of the six notebooks that Saint Faustina filled with revelations from our Lord about His unfathomable and perfect Mercy. At this point, the Message of Mercy should be clear and evoking of a deep trust in the incomprehensible love of God. All that has been shared to this point reveals that God is relentless in His pursuit of you, seeking only to love you unconditionally and to draw you into His glorious life for all eternity.
The greatest obstacle to this call to holiness is sin. But it is abundantly clear that sin is no match for the Mercy of God. His Mercy dispels your sin in an instant, disposing of your past errors forever. God’s only desire is the present moment, for in this present moment He comes to you, descending from the heights of Heaven, entering into the inner core of your soul so as to form a perfect communion with you, lifting you up to share in His divine life.
This final notebook will be reflected upon as a summary of all that has been reflected upon thus far. Just like the reflections on the first notebook, the reflections for this notebook will be short and to the point. Once you finish this chapter you are invited to return to it often as a way of quickly and easily reminding yourself of the abundant Mercy of God. The Lord’s love is perfect in every way. Allow Him to speak this truth to you with clarity and conviction.
Reflection 339: The Pure Soul
It may not be something you immediately conclude, but a soul who has a pure love of God is feared by many. The “fear” that they have is a fear to oppose such a soul. Those with malicious intent will not dare to attack such a person because they know it may backfire on them. It’s impossible for anyone to harm you when your heart is perfectly set on the Lord (See Diary #1643).
What do you fear? Or perhaps the better question is “Why do you fear?” If your heart is set on Christ’s then there is no reason to worry or fear anything. Even if others attack you in some way, if your heart is set on Christ then this will not matter. Reflect the image of fog and see that as the many struggles of life. Then imagine the bright and powerful Sun coming out and burning the fog away. This is what happens when we set our heart on the Lord.
Lord, I want to be a pure soul, setting my heart only on You. My heart is Yours, dear Lord. I entrust it to You with all my might. Jesus, I trust in You.