Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Katie Snipes Lancaster
By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
generosity, faithfulness, gentleness,
There is no law against such things.
A Look at Joy
Desert [mystics] understood that the cultivation of inner freedom was vital to the deepening of their experience of God. As they deepened their interior freedom, all aspects of their false self was removed and a clearer understanding of their truest self emerged. It is this true self that dwells deeply with God. In the abundant simplicity of our true self we experience deepest joy.
Desert spirituality was expressed in compassion: tender love and deep, practical care for the poor and dispossessed. It was a spiritual stance of quiet acceptance of all persons who came to the door—each was received as Christ. The ammas (Desert Mothers) understood that compassion and tender love cultivated a healthy humility. Desert spirituality was nonconformist: Ammas passed on their living example, but where or how a disciple carried on the desert tradition was open to a myriad of possibilities. It was the quality of the inner journey that mattered.
Desert spirituality was deeply intimate and vulnerable…incarnational, in the sense that Christ was understood to dwell within the soul of each person. This understanding had an impact on their care for the poor—each encounter with another was a meeting with God.
(Laura Swan, The Forgotten Desert Mothers: Sayings, Lives, and Stories of Early Christian Women, Paulist Press: 2001).
O Freedom of the Living God,
Cultivate compassion within us,
So that what is intimate and vulnerable
Might offer entryway into divine love.