ADVENT FIRE: December 12

ADVENT FIRE: December 12

From Becoming Fire: Through the Year with the Desert Fathers and Mothers 

Did You See Anything Here?

A brother came to the cell of Abba Arsenius in Scetis.  Waiting outside the door, he saw the old man entirely like a flame.  (The brother was worthy of this sight.)  When he knocked, the old man came out and saw the brother marveling.  He said to him, “Have you been knocking long? Did you see anything here?”

The other answered, “No.”

So then Arsenius talked with him and sent him away.

I Do Not Know

One day some old men came to see Abba Antony.  In the midst of them was Abba Joseph.  Wanting to test them, the old man suggested a text from the Scriptures, and, beginning with the youngest, he asked them what it meant.  Each gave his opinion as he was able.  But to each one the old man said, “You have not understood it.”

Last of all he said to Abba Joseph, “How would you explain this saying?” and he replied, “I do not know.”  Then Abba Antony said, “Indeed, Abba Joseph has found the way, for he has said, “I do not know.”

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