Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Desert Fathers



XI. A brother asked the abbot Mathois, saying, "If I go to live in a certain place, how wouldst thou have me behave there?" The old man said to him, "If thou dost dwell in a place, seek not to make thyself a name for this or that, saying, 'I do not come into the assembly of the brethren,' or 'I do not eat this or that,' for these things make thee an empty name, but thereafter thou shalt suffer annoyance, for when men hear of such, thither they run."

XII. The abbot Nisteron the elder was walking in the desert with a certain brother and seeing a dragon they fled. And the brother said to him, "Art thou also afraid, Father?" The old man replied, "I am not afraid, my son: but it was expedient that I should flee at sight of the dragon, that I might not have to fly the spirit of vainglory."

XVIII. Another time another judge came to see him [Simon] and the clergy that went before him said to him, "Father, make thyself ready, for the judge hath heard of thee and comes for thy blessing." And he covered himself with his sackcloth, and taking in his hand bread and cheese, sat down at the doorway of his cell and began to eat. In due course the judge came with his escort, and at the sight they made a scorn of him, saying, "Is this the solitary monk of whom we have heard such great things?" And straightway they turned about, and departed to their own place.

No comments: