From Becoming Fire: Through the Year with the Desert Fathers and Mothers
Deaf and dumb
Strive to render your mind deaf and dumb at the time or prayer and then you will be able to pray.
Now Abba Aaron and I rose and came out from the desert, and he took me to a priest to clothe me in the monastic habit. And when we called inside the priest’s house he came outside and greeted us and took us inside his place. Right away my father told him about me and immediately the priest shaved the hair from my head and clothed me in the monastic habit. We rose and went home. Now my holy father, Aaron, spent a week in helping me lay the foundations for doing work in the service of God. After a week he said to me, “Stay here while I go visit this brother and then I will come back and see you.” (Now he did not want me to know that he wanted to go keep his own monastic observances.) And I said to him, “Will you come back today?” And he said to me, “No, my dear brother. Give me until the Sabbath.”
He spent the first day and the second and the third and even the fourth and fifth away from me. As for me, demons were severely abusing me: “Why did your father leave and leave you all alone? Why didn’t he take you so you too could be blessed by that brother?” Now when they continued to trouble me, I rose and set out into the desert to where I had found him the first time. He said to me, “Why have you come here my son?”
I said to him, “The Nubians have been tormenting me, and I’ve come to tell you.”
He smiled and said, “Truly, they are invisible Nubians, my son.”