This episode of a BBC documentary about religion and spirituality is one of the most thought-provoking things I’ve seen in a while. It’s an hour long, so I put it on full-screen mode (by clicking the icon of the TV in the menu bar) and watched it during the kids’ naps while I fed the baby.
“Why can’t the road to God be eating tomato basil soup and getting up and having a lovely day?” asks Anglican vicar Pete Owen Jones before heading out to the isolated caves of the Egyptian desert to spend three weeks as a hermit, near the cave where St. Anthony the Abbot once lived. Only a few days into his stay in the utterly silent cave in the middle of the desert, he discovers spiritual warfare as he’s never experienced it before, as well as “the hell of reflection.”
His conversations with the priest-hermit who has lived in an isolated cave for years are fascinating, in particular about the often-underestimated importance of prayer. I’ve been thinking a lot about one thing in particular that the priest said, that “one hour of prayer, mindful of God, is worth a lifetime of beneficent service.” And what Jones learns about how numb he had been — and the painful process of coming alive again — gave me much food for thought.
I highly recommend getting a cup of coffee or glass of wine, putting it on full-screen mode, and settling in to watch this documentary.
I’d love to hear the thoughts of anyone else who’s watched it. Great stuff, huh?
(Hat tip to Orthodox Fathers)