A Beginning of Good

English: St. Arsenius the Great Русский: Препо...

English: St. Arsenius the Great Русский: Преподобный Арсений Великий (фреска храма Протата на Афоне) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It happened that when Abba Arsenius was sitting in his cell that he was harassed by demons.  His servants, on their return, stood outside his cell and heard him praying to God in these words, ‘O God, do not leave me.  I have done nothing   good   in   your   sight,   but   according   to   your goodness, let me now make a beginning of good.’

——Sayings of the Desert Fathers

Abba Arsenius was a disciplined and learned man. In spite of all his worldly knowledge he could not escape the attack of the evil one. His only course was one of prayer.  His prayer was sincere and unashamed. Through this prayer he asks for the profound “beginning of good”. The highest calling of all Christians is to ask for such. We have become too confident in our placement on the spiritual ladder to just ask to begin. All too many of us have lost the concept of sin. We must rediscover it to be ready to receive His coming.


Lord help me to be ever aware of my failure to attain the righteousness of God. Allow me to be humble enough to ask for the beginning of good each day. It is with that type of approach that you can use me to do remarkable things through your strength. Give me that beginning today so that I may grow this day. Grant this through Jesus my Lord. Amen

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Filed under Advent, Advent Devotional, contemplative, Desert Fathers, Evil, Monasticism, Prayer

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