At the Heart of Holiness

While Abba Nisterus’ comments below are directed to monks and thus are of greatest benefit to monastics, still they contain wisdom that applies to each of us in our daily walk with Christ.  Holiness is the presence of God, and it manifests itself in us.  Often we think of it as some great miracles the saints can do, but holiness is at the heart of every Christian.  The repentant, humble heart is as rare and as valuable as any great miracle.  And while we may be unable to perform attention grabbing miracles, we have God’s full attention when we make holiness to be the heart of our lives.

“Abba Nisterus said that a monk ought to ask himself every night and every morning, ‘What have we done that is as God wills and what have we left undone of that which he does not will?’ He must do this throughout his whole life. This is how Abba Arsenius used to live. Every day strive to come before God without sin. Pray to God in his presence, for he really is present. Do not impose rules on yourself; do not judge anyone. Swearing, making false oaths, lying, getting angry, insulting people laughing, all that is alien to monks, and he who is esteemed or exalted above that which he deserves suffers great harm.’ “ (Nisterus the Cenobite in The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, pg. 155)