LENTEN FIRE: March 20

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

Angels and unclean spirits

One of Abba Longinus’s disciples had done some inappropriate things.  When Abba Theodore of Enaton found out, he came to Abba Longinus with another elder.  They implored him to expel the disciple.  But Abba Longinus did not listen to them, thinking that perhaps his disciple would repent and God would forgive him; he did not desire the death of the sinner but hoped he would repent and live. (Ezekiel 33:11; James 5:20)  He said to them just these words: “Woe to us because we renounce the world and have entered into the monastic life saying, ‘We are like angels,’ but in reality we are more evil than unclean spirits!”

Nothing hanging on the line

Pachomius’s brother according to the flesh, who was called John, heard about him and came to him.  Pachomius rejoiced greatly when he saw him, for he had never visited his relatives after his discharge from the army.  John, choosing the same life, remained with him.  And there they both were, having nothing save the law of God.   For if they obtained anything from their labors, they gave the surplus to those in need, keeping for themselves what was necessary to live.  In clothing, too, they were exceedingly poor, so poor that soon they did not have a second tunic to wear while they washed the one they wore.

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