LENTEN FIRE: March 3

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


This is the great work

Abba Antony said to Abba Poemen, “This is the great work of a person: always to take the blame for his own sins before God and to expect temptation to his last breath.”

I will never grow tired

Abba Macarius beseeched Christ, “Jesus, Jesus, if my cries do not ring in your ears when I call out day and night to you in Heaven to have mercy on me and to pity me on account of my sins, I will still not grow tired of imploring you.”

Fruit-bearing struggles

A disciple of a great old man was once besieged by sin.  When the old man saw him struggling, he said to him: “Do you want me to entreat God to lift the warfare from you?”

The disciple said, “No.  Although I am struggling, I nevertheless see my struggles bearing fruit for me.  Instead, entreat God in your prayers to give me the patient endurance to bear up under my struggles.”

His spiritual father said to him, “Today I know that you are making progress and are surpassing me.”

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