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  What can we learn from the Desert Fathers & Mothers? Back to the List of Slideshows
The Resurrection of Christ
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slide 13 of 15

Rev. Chryssavgis tells us that the Desert Fathers and Mothers offer three main points of advice about encountering God in the life of the desert:
First, the desert elders state categorically that God is not to be sought after or discovered at the end of a certain long, arduous and methodical struggle (agon, which also implies a sense of agony or anguish). Abba Sisoes said: “Seek God, but do not seek where God dwells.” We are to look for God not at the end, but in the very middle of the struggle.If God is right there, in the middle of our struggle, then our aim is to stay there. We are to remain in the cell, to stay on the road, not to forego the journey or forget the darkness.

Second, the desert elders are also convinced that God is not only in the middle of our struggle, but that God is always there. God is never absent, never far away. God loves us irrespective of where we are on that journey. God loves us irrespective of who we are and what we are doing.

Third, and finally, there is another lesson about encountering God that may be gleaned from the teaching of these elders in the desert of early Egypt. In the struggle—in the very place where we meet God, and where we are loved by God—we too discover how to love others. It is in the struggle itself that we discern ways of embracing the weaknesses of others, and learn how to be compassionate, like God.
It is in continual prayer that we empty ourselves that we might be filled with and by God. “Prayer accompanies everything that one does.”
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