The Third Day of Christmas: Sit in your cell
A brother came to Scetis in the Egyptian desert to visit Abba Moses and asked him
"Father, give me a word." The old man said to him
"Go, sit in your cell, and your cell will teach you everything."
Among the Egyptian monks in the third and fourth century, it was a tradition for younger monks to seek out an older monk of known wisdom (an Abba, or Father) and to ask for "a word." The Desert Fathers were renowned for their cryptic sayings, and also for their ability to discern the spirits of young monks asking for "a word" or a bit of advice to ponder for their monastic journey. Perhaps Moses thought this monk was a collector of sayings, constantly looking for a new "word." Or perhaps he saw some other need in the young monk's heart. But in this most famous saying, Abba Moses directs us to turn inward, to wait in silence, and to let that silence teach us.
And so today, on this Third Day of Christmas, we invite you to silence. In the midst of your day and where ever you are on your journey, take time to pause. Read some of the earlier posts, or simply follow Abba Moses, and sit in your cell. Your cell will teach you everything.