"Abba Lot went to seek wisdom from the renowned spiritual adviser, Abba Joseph. Abba Lot asked, “Abba, according as I am able, I keep my little rule, and my little fast, my daily prayers, meditation and contemplative silence; and according as I am able I strive to cleanse my heart of bad thoughts; and still I have not found what I seek; what more should I do?’

The elder rose up in reply and stretched out his hands to heaven, and his fingers became like ten flaming lamps. He said, “Why not be totally changed into fire?"
— Desert Fathers
Christian hermits who lived in the desert of Egypt around the third century AD

One Comment

  1. There isn’t a lover on this earth who doesn’t know that love is a fire. And it’s not a controlled burn either, deciding “I’ll burn here, and I won’t burn over there.”

    When somebody is completely in love it burns everywhere and it spills onto everything. For that reason, lovers are only fit to be with each other, because the rest of us are so tired of hearing about it. They become all flame. And I think that’s what Abba Joseph was trying to say to Abba Lot. “It’s nice that you have the spiritual disciplines down well, but the real goal of all of it is love.”

    To become all flame in our love for God and for each other. To become the burning bush that will draw others to us to ask, “how can they burn and burn and yet not be consumed?” To be so completely loving that we don’t think twice when we see the wounded by the side of the road. We don’t think, “Will I be pure if I touch?” We simply go and bind the wounds and pour on wine and oil and take them to the inn. When we fail in that, we fail in everything.