The Gospel: Nourishment in the Wilderness

The Gospel was the daily bread of the desert solitaries.  At the beginning of their monastic journey, as we see in the case of St. Antony the Great, the word of the Gospel was there to encourage them in their resolution to leave all things in order to follow Christ.  When assailed by doubts and temptations, the solitaries again and again made recourse to the Gospel to be enlightened and fortified by its teachings.  Thus they prepared themselves for the battle.  In the Gospel they found their refuge against the enemy and the strength to fight him.  This is why Abba Macarius counseled the disciple to go and find in the Gospel the beat weapon against the enemy.

For desert solitaries, the Gospel was not just a book; it was the presence of Jesus Christ in the mystery of the Gospel.  He alone was the source of their faith and the daily food of their lives.  They held fast to his presence in the Gospel, touching in this mystery the hem of his garment as did the woman who suffered from hemorrhages (Mt 9:20-22), knowing that “if I only touch his cloak, I will be made well.”

For the monks and nuns of the desert, the Lord Jesus was truly alive in the mystery of the Gospel.  The Gospel proclaims the truth, for He said, “I am the truth.”  The Gospel teaches the way to live, for He said, “I am the way.”  The Gospel enlightens all those sitting in darkness, for He said, “I am the light of the world.”  The solitaries held fast to the treasure of the Gospel; for without it, their solitude could not be endured.  They knew the journey to be hard, they know themselves to be poor, weak, and deprived, but they also knew they were not alone, for they were accompanied by He who said, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Mt 28:20)

Br. Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette
Blessings of the Daily

1 Comment

  1. many people today think that going out to the desert was a way for people to run away from the evil one,few understand that they believed evil lived in the desert so basicaly they where running toward the evil of the world,not away from it,forcing themselves to try to over come the enemy.linda

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