Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Desert Fathers

XX. At one time there came heretics to the abbot Poemen, and they began to speak ill of the archbishop of Alexandria: but the old man kept silence. But calling his disciple he said to him, "Set the table, and give them to eat, and so send them away in peace."

XXII. A brother asked an old man saying, "My heart is hard, and doth not fear God: what shall I do, that I may fear God?" He made answer, "I think myself that if a man would forever accuse himself in his heart, he would come to fear of God." The brother said, "What is it, to accuse one's self?" The old man answered, "That in every conjuncture he should accuse his soul, saying to it that he must stand before God, and again should say, Why should I bear any malice against man? For I think that if a man would abide in these things the fear of God would come upon his soul."

XXIV. An old man said, "Rising and walking and sitting, if God is before thine eyes, there is naught in which the Enemy can affright thee. If that thought abides in a man, the strength of God shall cleave to him."

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