Uncluttered by Money: 20 February


Abbot Pastor said: Just as bees are driven out by smoke, and their honey is taken away from them, so a life of ease drives out the fear of the Lord from man’s soul and takes away all his good works.

Reading: John 6:33-35

33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”

35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."


People who are otherwise impressed by the holiness of the Desert Fathers and Mothers are often put off by their rigorous, sometimes extreme, lifestyle. Why would anyone choose to live in such a harsh environment where water was almost non-existent and it was nearly impossible to grow food? Why put their bodies through such unnecessary hard­ship? Though the answer is complicated, here is at least one good reason: they understood, that those of us who live in a society of plenty often miss out on an important principle: We take too much for granted. When we always have more than enough to eat, the capacity for gratitude at mealtime is thus diminished.

Their disci­plines, meant to loosen the stranglehold of desires and teaching us self-control has a deep impact. By giv­ing us the opportunity to genuinely value what we would otherwise take for granted, we can discover authentic gratitude and wonder.


For most of us, especially those of us who own cars, the daily task of food-gathering has disappeared and we have lost an occasion for thanksgiving. Today, I will try walking to buy some food rather than driving.


Lord, make me grateful, even when I drive to the shop, for your daily provision.