How to Be a Disciple of Christ

The desert fathers set out to live their lives according to the Gospel commands of Christ and to form Christian communities governed not by the rules of society but by love for Christ.  Several of them wrote simplified lists of what they thought it would take to be Christians living in community and obeying the commands of Christ.  One such list comes from the Monk Moses.

“Do no harm to anyone, do not think anything bad in your heart towards anyone, do not scorn the man who does evil, do not put confidence in him who does wrong to his neighbor, do not rejoice with him who injures his neighbor.

This is what dying to one’s neighbor means. Do not rail against anyone, but rather say, ‘God knows each one.’ Do not agree with him who slanders, do not rejoice at his slander and do not hate him who slanders his neighbor.

This is what it means not to judge. Do not have hostile feelings towards anyone and do not let dislike dominate your heart; do not hate him who hates his neighbor.

This is what peace is: Encourage yourself with this thought, ‘Affliction lasts but a short time, while peace is forever, by the grace of God the Word. Amen.’” (The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, translated by Benedicta Ward, pp 142-143)