HOLY SPIRIT: On Divine Gifts by Smaragdus of Saint-Mihiel

On Divine Gifts by Smaragdus of Saint-Mihiel

From The Crown of Monks

By the secret regulation of an inner judgment Almighty God grants to one the word of wisdom, to another full faith, to another gifts of healing, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues, (see 1 Corinthians 12:9-10).

Our Creator and Mover arranges all things in such a way that those who could be lifted up because of the gift they have are humbled because of the virtue they do not have.  And so it comes about that when he lifts someone up through a grace bestowed, he also subjects one person to another by bestowing a different gift.

The Almighty Lord so arranges all things that every single thing belongs to everyone separately and, when a need of charity occurs, everything belongs to everyone individually.  What individuals have not received they possess in other people, so that they may humbly make available for another’s possession what they themselves have received.

Holy Church is the body of its Heavenly head; in it one is the eye by seeing high things, another is the hand by performing right things, another the foot by running everywhere, another the ear by understanding the message of the precepts, another the nose by discerning the stench of evil things and the fragrance of good things.  For in the manner of the bodily members they exercise for one another the offices they have received, thus making one body out of them all.

By a wonderful plan our Author and Mover bestows on this one those things that he denies to another, and denies to another things that he bestows on the former.  And so all who try to do more than has been given are endeavoring to go beyond the limits set for them.  If every member of the faithful [whose gift perhaps is only to treat of the hidden aspects of the precepts] attempts to shine with miracles as well; or if those whose gift is Heavenly power only for performing miracles also strive to open up the hidden things of the divine law, they are stretching out their foot over a precipice and not attending to the limits of the measure set for them.

They used to say of Abba Hor that he never lied, swore, or cursed anyone, and he did not speak to anyone if it was not necessary.

At one time Abba Hilarion came from Palestine to Abba Anthony at the mountain, and Abba Anthony said to him, “You are welcome, light-bringer, who rise in the morning.”  And Abba Hilarion said to him, “Peace to you, column of light, who sustains the whole Earth.”

A certain abba said that a certain solitary had lived in the desert forty years.  When questioned by Abba John he replied, “From the time I began to be a solitary, the sun has never seen me eating.”  “Nor me being angry,” replied Abba John.

They used to say of Abba Arsenius that he would keep vigil all night, and when towards morning he wished to sleep, he used to say to sleep, “Come, bad slave.”  And he would steal a little sleep while seated, and would rise at once.

 

 

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