LENTEN DEVOTION for Saturday, March 10



God in Christ, you promise to be with us to the end of the age. Be with me now, in this time, in this space.



A brother came to Scetis to visit Abba Moses and asked him for a word. The old man said to him, "Go, sit in your cell, and your cell will teach you everything.

Jesus said, "But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you" (Matthew 6:6). 


The Egyptian desert monks of the 4th and 5th century, both male and female, found small dwellings they called "cells." These cells, as David G.R. Keller notes, were caves, abandoned forts, spaces found in rock cliffs and formations, as well as small abodes made of local material. The cell was meant to be a simple and sparse place. Keller writes, "The cell is the intentional environment where the monk is separated for personal prayer, meditation on Scripture, repentance, some manual labor, ascetic discipline, and transformation. It is the place where one comes face-to-face with what it means to be human and with one's self."* The cell is the place to confront yourself and God.

Do you have such a space? Do you have a place that you have carved out for the encounter with the holy? We often talk about houses of worship as sacred spaces. They are, but we have also to carve out our own. We need places that are free of distraction. We need spaces that are set apart. You might have a room in your house, even just a corner in one. You might have a park bench or vista on a trail. It might be the kitchen table, before anything or anyone crowds it. It could be in the driver seat of your car. Wherever your sacred space is, hallow it, respect it, set it apart and make it holy. Come back to it for one purpose: to seek God and yourself. Come back to it often, sanctify it. May it be a place of disengagement and engagement.

Jesus found room to pray throughout his ministry. He told his disciples to go to their rooms, close the door and open their hearts to God. Go and do likewise.

*From Oasis of Wisdom: The Worlds of the Desert Fathers and Mothers 


Here is my holy ground, O God. May it be a place to meet you. May it be a place to find myself. May it be a place of renewal for the holy work you have before me. Amen. 

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