July 19, 2010

St. John the Dwarf

As I was reading about a saint today I ran across the name of St. John the Dwarf. This intrigued me so I looked him up:
My birth came around 339 A.D. I was born in the lower part of Kemet, and was called John Kolobos (Kolubas), being small of stature. I followed the friends of God, Poemen, and Ammoes (Amoes). The grace of God changed my irascible and cranky temperament into one of humility. Being one who was solitary, (alone) I taught others that perfection comes from being always vigilant in our living quarters. My residence was hewn in an underground cave. God bade me to become ordained to the priesthood. In or about 405 A.D. Berbers raided the Sketis, and I retired across the Nile River to the Suez area. In St Antony’s mountain, I died.

Irascible and cranky temperment to humility! Hm... that's good and hopeful news for me!

But... "perfection comes from being always vigilant in our living quarters" is something to think about for sure! Sigh... What a funny thing to read at my desk which suffers from lack of vigilance... again!

Here is a quote from him to wake up to!

I think it is best that a man should have a little bit of all the virtues. Therefore, get up early every day and acquire the beginning of every virtue and every commandment of God. Use great patience, with fear and long-suffering, in the love of God, with all the fervor of your soul and body. Exercise great humility, bear with interior distress; be vigilant and pray often with reverence, with purity of speech and control of your eyes. When you are despised do not get angry; be at peace, and do not render evil for evil. Do not pray attention to the faults of others, and do not try to compare yourself with others, knowing you are less than every created thing. Renounce everything material and that which is of the flesh. Live by the cross, in warfare, in poverty of spirit, in voluntary spiritual asceticism, in fasting, penitence and tears, in discernment, in purity of soul, taking hold of that which is good. Do your work in peace. Persevere in keeping vigil, in hunger and thirst, in cold and nakedness, and in sufferings. Shut yourself in a tomb as though you were already dead, so that at all times you will think death is near.
Excerpt taking from the book: The Sayings of the Desert Fathers

A new-to-me saint I never heard of to emulate! If you find life dreary do start reading the lives of the saints. If you like the action packed ones stick with the martyrs for starters!

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