From Becoming Fire: Through the Year with the Desert Fathers and Mothers
What Would You Say Then?
One day when Abba John the Little was sitting in front of the church, the brothers were consulting him about their thoughts. One of the old men who saw it became a prey to jealousy and said to him, “John, your vessel is full of poison.”
Abba John said to him, “That is very true, abba; and you have said that when you see only the outside. But if you were able to see the inside, too, what would you say then?” (Luke 11:39; Matthew 23:27)
A Wonderful Book
While Father Copres was telling us about the signs and wonders performed by Abba Patermuthius, one of our party, overcome with incredulity at what was being said, dozed off. And he saw a wonderful book lying in the father’s hands, inscribed in letters of gold. And beside the father stood a white-haired man who said to him in a threatening manner, “Are you dozing instead of listening attentively to the readings?” He immediately woke up and, in Latin, told the rest of us who were listening to Copres what he had seen.