Unlike yesterday’s parable about the need to stay awake, all ten virgins (the wise and the foolish) do actually fall asleep. However, this is not what excludes the foolish ones from the wedding feast, but the fact that by not bringing extra oil they were not there to greet the arrival of the bridegroom. Perhaps the wise virgins would have thus made their own that line from the Song of Songs: I was sleeping, but my heart was awake. The heart being awake is another way of speaking of that longing and desire for the arrival of the heavenly bridegroom. Keeping alive that longing desire can then be understood as symbolized by those flasks of oil the wise virgins brought with them. As monks we know the challenge involved in keeping alive our longing and desire for Christ’s return. For, as the months and years go by there are times when our spiritual progress seems to stall and come to a standstill. At such times we are at risk of growing indifferent as our desire and longing for God wanes and seems to cease. Heartfelt and resolute ongoing conversion is our way of bringing flasks of extra oil to keep the light of faith and the lamp of holy longing alive. And so, we need to ask ourselves: Who am I emulating at this moment—the wise or the foolish virgins?