I have spent the past few weeks working on my daily Franciscan blog for 2018, which has left me little time to do anything else. Next year, instead of the daily Franciscan wisdom that I posted for several years, I will be posting wisdom from the desert mothers and fathers each day. To pick a totally random day (okay, it’s actually my birthday) here is an example of what that will look like:

Amma Syncletica said, “Those in the world who commit crimes are thrown into prison against their will. For our sins, let us put ourselves under guard, and by willingly accepting it now we shall avoid punishment in the future.

“If you fast, you should beware of thinking that it is by weakening your body that you have fallen ill, for people who do not fast fall ill in the same way.

“If you have begun some good work, you should not be turned from it by the enemy’s attempts to hinder you, indeed your endurance will overthrow the enemy.

“Sailors beginning a voyage set the sails and look for a favorable wind, and later they meet a contrary wind. Just because the wind has turned, they do not throw the cargo overboard or abandon ship; they wait a while and struggle against the storm until they can set a direct course again.

“When we run into headwinds, let us put up the cross for our sail, and we shall voyage through the world in safety.”