Another installment in one of my Lenten disciplines of posting a saying of the Desert Fathers that I am meditating on each day in Lent.
This one is about Abba Moses (Moses the Black) and should give us cause to think about the way we judge others and the times when we are the first to cast stones. There is often a blindness to the sins and trespasses we commit and that we leave in our wake in life, as others tolerate and forgive us, so we should do the same for them.
A brother did wrong one time at Scetis* and when a council was called about it, they sent for Abba Moses, but he refused to come. So the priest sent someone to him saying, ‘Come, the community is waiting for you’. He got up and went and, picking up a large sack with a hole in the bottom, filled it with sand, and carried it on his back. When he arrive at the meeting, those who came out to meet him said to him, ‘What’s this, father?’ The old man said, ‘My sins trickle out behind me and I do not see them and yet I am come today to judge someone else’s sins’. When they heard this, they did not say anything to condemn the brother, but forgave him.
Grant, O Lord, to Thy faithful people that they may enter on the venerable solemnity of this fast with fitting piety, and go through it with undisturbed devotion; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
*Scetis refers to the desert near or around Wadi Al Natrun where many of the Desert Fathers found solitude.