Tuesday, October 6, 2009
The Desert Fathers
CLXVII. The abbot Agathonicus, head of the monastery of our holy father Saba, used to tell, "I went down one day into Ruba, to make my way to the abbot Poemen the solitary. And when I had found him and had told him my thoughts, he sent me when it came to evening into a cave: it was winter, and that night was bitter chill, and I was stiff with the fierceness of the cold. The old man came to me in the morning, and said to me, 'What ails thee, my son?' I said to him, 'Forgive me, Father, but I passed a bitter night with the cold.' He said to me, 'For my part, my son, I felt no cold.' I was mightily astonished to hear it, for indeed he was naked. And I said to him, 'Of thy charity, tell me how it came that thou didst not feel so fierce a frost?' And he said to me, 'There came a lion, and went to sleep beside me, and he kept me warm.' "