Sunday, November 15, 2009

Build a Strong Foundation

A brother said to a hermit, "If a monk fall to sin, he is punished like a person who has fallen from a higher state to a lower, and must work hard until he rises again. But he who comes from the world, is like a beginner advancing to a higher state."

The hermit replied, "A monk falling into temptation is like a ruined house. If he is a serious, sober person, he can rebuild this ruin. He will find the right materials for the building, and he will lay foundations, collect stone and sand, and everything else he needs, and so his building will grow rapidly higher. But the builder who did not dig foundations, and has none of the right materials, will go away just hoping that someday the house will be built.

"If the monk falls into temptation, and turns to the Lord, he has the best materials, that is, meditation on the law of God, psalmody, work with his hands, prayer, and silence, which are the foundations of his building. A newcomer will find himself low down on the ladder of religion until he has learnt all of these."

~~The Ruined House by Trey Ratcliff

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