Sunday, July 26, 2009

Negligence and Maturity

Amma Syncletica, one of the most well-known of the Desert Mothers

I don't have the time or energy to do the next post on our trip to the Smokies tonight, so I'll give you some sayings by the Desert Mother Amma Syncletica, along with commentary by patristics scholar Laura Swan.

Saying 22: [Amma Syncletica] also said, Just as it is impossible to be at the same moment both a plant and a seed, so it is impossible for us to be surrounded by worldly honor and at the same moment bear heavenly fruit.

[commentary]Most of us are a mosaic of maturity and immaturity. God creates us with wonderful potential: potential that needs tender nurturing and exposure to growth-filled experiences. When we patiently tend to our inner gardens, the seed of spirituality germinates. Growth, maturity, and fruitfulness are the result. Self-defeating, self-deceiving behaviors thwart this seed's attempts to grow, leaving us in stagnating immaturity.

Amma Syncletica consistently rejects worldly recognition. She is concerned that honors given by society may diminish ardent pursuit of the inner journey. Nothing is to detract us from the primacy of Jesus in our lives.

Saying 23: She also said, My children, we all want to be saved, but because of our habit of negligence, we swerve away from salvation.

[commentary]Amma Syncletica is ...concerned about a mature living out of salvation that is serious about following Jesus. Negligence is deceptive, often initially appearing to be 'good.' Seemingly innocuous choices can begin to snowball - we become unaware and inattentive in many ways. This is why we must be watchful and attentive, discerning the direction of our choices.

Sayings of Amma Syncletica of Egypt, 5th Century Saint
Commentary by Laura Swan, OSB,
The Forgotten Desert Mothers, pages 60-61
Paulist Press, New York, 2001

1 comment:

Isabel said...

Discerning - that's a tough one. Thanks for the book recommendation...