An abused child, St. Sabas had an unhappy childhood.
He ran away from home multiple times, until he finally found refuge in a monastery.
Even when his family members attempted reconciliation, Sabas found that he loved the hermit’s life.
As the years passed, he found even more joy in a solitary life in a cave, living on wild herbs and where water was difficult to come by.
Despite being secluded, his life inspired other men to follow his footsteps, and though he resisted at first, his followers reached more than 150 men, who built a community with him.
Due to this “enforced” leadership role, the bishop persuaded him to accept the role of abbot to pastor these men who were drawn to him, which he reluctantly did.
Sabas faithfully shepherded these monks but would regularly leave them for long periods, usually during Lent, to live out the life of a hermit.
And yet when some monks left the monastery to settle in a nearby ruined church, Sabas generously assisted them in the repair and provided much-needed supplies.
In later years, the call to defend the faith also moved Sabas to join a delegation to oppose the Emperor in his persecution of orthodox bishops and religious.
While reading about St. Sabas’ life, I remember the numerous times when God called me out of my comfort zone into a bigger mission in the courage zone.
I’m sure that Sabas would’ve been perfectly content to remain in solitude, away from the distractions of others in his journey to holiness.
And yet, Sabas, willingly or reluctantly, still picked up the cross to enter into the courage zone of leading others closer to Christ, when he would’ve probably been happier being by himself.
Everybody has a “preferred” way of serving in God’s vineyard.
But remaining in one’s comfort zone doesn’t push us to work on becoming better versions of ourselves, which is what God is calling us to become.
May we, like St. Sabas, become generous in our time, talent, and treasure beyond our comfort zones in our own journey to holiness.
1. How do I allow myself to enter the courage zones that God is calling me to in my pursuit of holiness?
1. Offer up a Hail Mary for your eyes to be opened to the parts of your life where you are afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone.
References for further reading:
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