Abba Poeman said about Abba Pior that every single day he made a fresh beginning. That’s one Desert Father speaking of another back in the 5th century. Abba Pior was able to leave behind all yesterday’s concerns, anxieties, failures and successes and start again. Easy to say, but not so easy to practise.
To help us re-balance and re-set each day, to help us make a fresh beginning, requires a rhythm and a routine. “Oh my goodness,” you say. “Not a chance. Life isn’t like that.” True the Desert Mothers and Fathers lived in a less complicated world and led simpler lives. But simple does not mean easy.
For them this was clearly a priority. They had turned their backs on a materialistic existence. The Desert Fathers and Mothers were there to deepen their spiritual lives, to be in touch with God through meditation, prayer and the reciting of scripture. That gave them their rhythm and their routine.
At the start of a new year, it seems fitting for me to ask myself what my spiritual priorities are and to ask myself if, in some way I can make a fresh beginning every single day. Maybe just changing or adding one thing. It’s an aspiration and I won’t always “get it right”. Just one thing will do to set me on my way. For, as the 14th c mystic Meister Eckhart said of prayer, “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, that will be enough.”