From Becoming Fire: Through the Year with the Desert Fathers and Mothers
The brother and the dove (continued)
So the brother came to himself and was restored to his right mind and he left and went into the desert and when he came to a great old man he related to him what had happened.
In reply, the old man said to him, “Stay with me in my cave and fast for three weeks and I will entreat God on your behalf.” And so the old man labored on the brother’s behalf and entreated God, saying, “I beg you, Lord, grant me this soul and accept his repentance.” And God heard him.
When the first week was completed, the old man went to the brother and asked him, “Have you seen anything?”
The brother answered and said, “Yes, I saw the dove up above in the highest heavens stationed above my head.”
The old man replied and said to him, “Pay attention to what’s going on inside you and fervently entreat God.”
After the second week, once again the old man went to the brother and asked him, “Have you seen anything?”
The brother said, “I saw the dove come down and light upon my head.” (Mark 1:10) So the old man commanded him, “Be vigilant and pray.”
And when the third week was completed, once again the old man went and asked the brother, “Have you seen anything more?”
The brother replied and said, “I saw the dove: it came and stood on my head and, stretching out my hand, I took hold of it and it flew up and went into my mouth.”
Then the old man gave thanks to God and said to the brother, “Look, God has accepted your repentance. From now on, watch yourself.”
The brother replied and said to him, “From now on I will remain with you, Abba, until I die.”