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Saints' Discussion Forums  |  Forums  |  Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion  |  Topic: Quotes from the Desert Fathers 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Quotes from the Desert Fathers  (Read 63366 times)
Shin
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« Reply #32 on: June 24, 2013, 04:00:13 AM »

Once an Elder lived in solitude as a monk in the desert, beseeching God to grant him the following gift: that whenever a spiritual and edifying conversation was in progress, he would not grow sleepy; but whenever someone spoke idly or gossiped, a deep sleep would come upon him, so that his hearing would not be touched by the poison of those words.

And, indeed, that which he asked, God gave him. Now, this virtuous Elder used to say that the Devil is a fashioner of idle talk and an  enemy of every spiritual teaching. He confirmed this point with the following example:

"Once I was talking with some brothers who were visiting me about various spiritual matters beneficial to the soul. My listeners grew so sleepy that they could not even move their eyelids. Seeing this deep sleepiness, I wanted to show them that this was an obvious operation of the Devil. I began idly to discuss various things. As soon as those whom I was conversing with heard this aimless talk, they immediately came out of their slumber and joyfully began to follow the conversation. So, I sighed," continued the Elder, "and said to my fellow conversants: 'Brothers, when we were talking of heavenly things, your eyes were overcome with sleep. But as soon as vain and unedifying talk came up, then all of you eagerly woke up. I implore you, then, my brothers: Reflect well on the action of the evil demon and be careful of yourselves, protecting yourselves from drowsiness whenever you do or hear something spiritual."

. . .

Abba Isaac said to the brethren: "Our Fathers and Abba Pambo used to wear much-patched old garments made of palm fibers; you now wear costly clothing. Get away from here, you have ruined this place." When he was about to go to the harvest, he said to them, "I am no longer giving you instructions, since you do not keep them."

. . .

 Abba Palladios said: More than a well-lighted window, a man must seek after the company of holy men, so that he can see his heart as if reading a clearly written book, and thus come to perceive the idleness in his way of life by contrast with their lives. For many are the traits of virtuous men which bear witness to the purity of their souls -- such as the subtle look that a Godly way of life imprints on the face, the style of dress, the simplicity of character, humility in discourse, the absence of an inquisitive tone in their words, the prudence of their expressions, the piety of their manner. All of these things benefit greatly those who attend to them and engrave on their souls the immutable archetypes of virtue.

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Shin
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« Reply #33 on: July 03, 2013, 02:43:08 AM »

Abba Poemon said, "If a man has sinned and denies it, saying: "I have not sinned," do not reprimand him for that will discourage him. But say to him, "Do not lose heart brother, but be on guard in the future," and you will stir his soul to repentance.

He also said, "A man who teaches without doing what he teaches is like a spring which cleanses and gives drink to everyone but is not able to purify itself."

He also said, "A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from orning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable."

A brother came to see Abba Poemen and said to him, "Abba, I have many thoughts and they put me in danger." The old man led him outside and said to him, "Expand your chest and do not breath in." He said, "I cannot do that." The old man said to him, "If you cannot do that, no more can you prevent thoughts from arising, but you can resist them."

A brother asked Abba Poemen, "An inheritance has been left me, what ought I to do?" The old man said to him, "Go, come back, in three days I will tell you." So he returned as it had been deciced. Then the old man said, "What shall I say to you, brother? If I tell you to give it to the church, they will make banquets with it; if I tell you to give it to your relations, you will not receive any profit from it; if I tell you to give it to the poor, you will not do it. Do as you like, it is none of my business."

Abba Poemen said, "Vigilance, self-knowledge and discernment; these are the guides of the soul."

He also said, "To throw yourself before God, not to measure your progress, to leave behind all self-will; these are the instruments of the works of the soul."

He also said, "All bodily comfort is an abomination to the Lord."

He also said, "Compunction has two sides: it is a good work, and a good protection."

He also said, "If I thought about bodily needs overtakes you, put the matter right at once; and if it comes a second time, put it right again, but the third time, if it presents itself, do not pay any attention to it, for it is not being any use to you."

He also said that a brother questioned Abba Adonias, saying, "What does it mean to become nothing?" The old man said, "It means to place oneself beneath irrational beings and to know that they are without blame."

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« Reply #34 on: July 07, 2013, 08:29:14 PM »

A brother asked Abba Sisoes, "Did Satan pursue them like this in the early days?" The old man said to him, "He does this more at the present time, because his time is nearly finished and he is enraged."

Abba Sisoes' disciple said to him, "Father, you are growing old. Let us now go back nearer to inhabited country." The old man said to him, "Let us go where there are no women." His disciple said to him, "Where is there a place where there are no women except the desert?" So the old man said, "Take me to the desert."

It was said of Abba Sisoes that when he was at the point of death, while the Fathers were sitting beside him, his face shone like the sun.

He said to them, "Look, Abba Anthony is coming." A little later he said, "Look, the choir of prophets is coming." Again his countenance shone with brightness and he said, "Look, the choir of apostles is coming." His countenance increased in brightness, and lo, he spoke with someone. Then the old men asked him, "With whom are you speaking, Father?" He said, "Look the angels are coming to fetch me, and I am begging them to let me do a little penance."

The old man said to him, "You have no need to do penance, Father." The old man said to them, "Truly, I do not think I have even made a beginning yet." Now they all knew he was perfect.

Once more his countenance suddenly became like the sun, and they were all filled with fear. He said to them, "Look, the Lord is coming and he's saying, 'Bring me the vessel from the desert.'" Then there was a flash of lightning and all the house was filled with a sweet odour.

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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
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« Reply #35 on: August 09, 2013, 03:06:44 AM »

Yes, quite so.. And where do temptations come from?  Grin
They come from three sources; the world, the Devil, and from our own concupiscience.
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« Reply #36 on: August 09, 2013, 04:01:09 AM »

Yes, the world, the flesh and the devil..

How forgotten are all three today as enemies. . . but rather everywhere there are people embracing each one. .  To make the world happy, to make the flesh happy, to sympathize even with Satan. . .

'Unless a man hates all the activity of this world, he cannot worship God.'

St. Isaiah the Solitary

'He who hates the passions gets rid of their causes. But he who is attracted by their causes is attacked by the passions even though he does not wish it.'

St. Mark the Ascetic

'They [Saints Catherine and Margaret] love that which our Lord loves, and hate that which God hates.'

St. Joan of Arc
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« Reply #37 on: August 09, 2013, 02:21:38 PM »

But what of God making the world and saying it was good? Was it good only before the Fall?
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« Reply #38 on: August 13, 2013, 12:25:24 AM »

Well the material world is still in and of itself good.

It's the world of men, human customs, ways of life, thinking, culture, entertainment, et all that is the problem.

The concupiscence part, 'the flesh', is what makes the material world a problem?

...

Well, thinking about it, everything material is going to be burned to ashes rather on the Last Day, when the new earth replaces the old, no?
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« Reply #39 on: August 22, 2013, 02:10:03 PM »

Abba Anthony said to Abba Poemen,
 'this is the great work of a man: always to take the blame for his own sins
before God and to expect temptation to his last breath.'
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Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
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« Reply #40 on: August 24, 2013, 08:17:19 AM »


Abba Pambo asked Abba Anthony,
'What ought I to do?' and the old man said to him 'Do not trust in your own
righteousness do not worry about the past, but control your
tongue and your stomach.'
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Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
George
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« Reply #41 on: August 24, 2013, 01:50:56 PM »


Abba Pambo asked Abba Anthony,
'What ought I to do?' and the old man said to him 'Do not trust in your own
righteousness do not worry about the past, but control your
tongue and your stomach.'

Great words of wisdom, and so true.
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George ( Haji )
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« Reply #42 on: August 30, 2013, 03:39:20 AM »

A brother came to see Abba Poemen and said to him,
 "Abba, I have many thoughts and they put me in danger."
 The old man led him outside and said to him,
"Expand your chest and do not breathe in."
 He said, "I cannot do that."
Then the old man said to him,
 "If you cannot do that, no more can you prevent
thoughts from arising, but you can resist them."
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Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
odhiambo
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« Reply #43 on: August 31, 2013, 09:55:33 AM »

"When the holy Abba Anthony lived in the desert he
was beset by accidie, and attacked by many sinful thoughts.
He said to God, 'Lord, I want to be saved but these thoughts
do not leave me alone; what shall I do in my affliction? How
can I be saved?' A short while afterwards, when he got up to
go out, Anthony saw a man like himself sitting at his work,
getting up from his work to pray, then sitting down and
plaiting a rope, then getting up again to pray. It was an
angel of the Lord sent to correct and reassure him. He heard
the angel saying to him, 'Do this and you will be saved.' At7
these words, Anthony was filled with joy and courage. He
did this, and he was saved."
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Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
Shin
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« Reply #44 on: September 01, 2013, 03:40:23 AM »

Ora et labora!  Cheesy
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odhiambo
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« Reply #45 on: September 01, 2013, 08:24:56 AM »

Ora et labora!  Cheesy

Exactly! An idle mind being the devil's workplace as they say!
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Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
odhiambo
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« Reply #46 on: September 02, 2013, 01:32:11 PM »

A  brother who had sinned was turned out of the church by the priest.  Abba
Bessarion got up and went out with him, saying, "I, too, am a sinner."
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Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
odhiambo
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« Reply #47 on: September 05, 2013, 01:44:47 PM »

 Abba John the Dwarf said, 'If a king wanted to take
possession of his enemy's city, he would begin by cutting off
the water and the food and so his enemies, dying of hunger,
would submit to him. It is the same with the passions of the
flesh: if a man goes about fasting and hungry the enemies of
his soul grow weak.'
 
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Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
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