Once upon a time there was a man who was alive.

Location: Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States
St. Cuthbert and Disciples in a Boat


A Saint For Peace

A brother at Scetis committed a grave sin. A council was called to which Abba Moses was invited, but he refused to go to it. Then the priest sent someone to say to him, "Come, for everyone is waiting for you." So he got up and went. He took an old basket, filled it with sand, and carried it on his back. The others came out to meet him and said to him, "Father, what is this?" The old man said to him, "My sins run out behind me, and I do not see them, and today I come to judge the sins of another." When they heard this they said no more to the brother but forgave him.

St. Moses the Ethiopian's feast day is today. He stands for repentance, for the healing of the self from violence and division: which we all need so badly. And out of the experience of this healing he lets us understand how ridiculous it is to pass judgment on the other who is undergoing the conflict of the divided self in sin. We are all of us part to the breaking of the world in our sin, in our own division, and to condemn another means we would have to irrevocably condemn ourselves. But into the broken divided and sinful world we see grace in the form of Christ Jesus and manifest in the saints: grace that forgives and heals. St. Moses is a resplendent example of this grace, that can take the 'worst' sort of sinner, steeped in the directions of violence and deceit and evil, and make him into a vessel of peace and grace and love.

And that is cause- the only solid cause- for hope in a world in which brokeness and violent division are very much in evidence. St. Moses shows us that the only true path to peace passes through change in our hearts and hence into the world, through the grace of the Prince of Peace, Christ our God. This is a peace that transcends class, race, and all the rest, because Christ is not for this group or that group, for the good people only, but for all humanity, bloodied and broken as we come.

O all-blest and righteous Father Moses, you drove away the passions' darkness, being richly illumined with light divine; and with your vigilant prayers, you withered up the wanton pride of the flesh, and mounted on high to the citadel above, where do you continually entreat Christ God to grant great mercy to us.


Blogger Steve Hayes said...

Thanks for that reminder!

He is also an image of repentance, turning from the life of a gangster to the life of prayer.

Blessed Father Moses, pray for us!

11:28 PM  

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