The image below shows the Egyptian countryside, close to the Red Sea. It’s the sort of landscape the fourth century St Pachomius, known as the founder of cenobitic monasticism, would have known.

Here is a story from his life: ‘Once, Abba Theodore went to Abba Pachomius crying “I would like you, Father, to declare to me that I shall see God; if not, what is the profit for me to have been brought into the world?” Abba Pachomius asked, “Do you wish to see God in this age or the age to come?” Abba Theodore responded, “I wish to see him for the age that lasts eternity.” Abba Pachomius answered, “Make haste to bring for the fruit the Gospel speaks of, blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  And if an impure thought enters your mind, be it hatred or wickedness, jealousy, envy, contempt for your brother, or human vainglory, remember at once and say, ‘If I consent to any one of those things, I shall not see the Lord’.”’

The vision of God is set before us all, to draw us in this life, and to be our ultimate fulfilment in eternity. May the intercession of St Pachomius assist us, and may God bless you this day.