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Our life and death

Our life and our death is with our neighbor. If we gain our brother, we have gained God, but if we scandalize our brother, we have sinned against Christ. – Abba Anthony the Great

It is proper that the first saying be from Saint Anthony, and that through it he reminds us that our salvation is not an individual matter. It is not me and Jesus. It is me, my brother or sister, and Jesus. As the old saying goes, “When we are saved, we are all saved together, when we fall, we fall alone.”

This saying reminds me of the words of the Apostle Paul in his words to the Corinthians about eating meat sacrificed to idols.

When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall. – 1 Corinthians 8: 12-13

When we do things that lift up our brother we are joined to God. But when we do things that shock, scandalize and shame our brother we have spurned and sinned against Christ

Blue Creek Trail

Sayings of the Desert Fathers

The Sayings of the Desert Fathers is one of my favorite books. I read somewhere that if we have to choose between reading the scriptures and the Sayings of the Desert Fathers we should choose the latter because they are not quite so dangerous.

Over the next several posts I will offer a few of my favorite excerpts from the Sayings and my own thoughts about them. But you may find them every bit as dangerous as the scriptures. I certainly do.

If you have never heard of the Apophthegmata Patrum you can learn about it here.

I hope you will join me.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.