Three stories from The Holy Fathers




The following is an excerpt from a letter of Saint Basil the Great to a certain noble patrician: "It is good and profitable to communicate everyday and to partake of the holy Body and Blood of Christ, for He Himself tells us: 'Whoever eats my Body and drinks my Blood has eternal life!' Who, then, doubts that partaking continually of life means nothing other than having manifold life? We, here, have the custom of communicating four times a week; namely, Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, or any other day on which the memory of a Saint falls."


A young monk, going down from the skete to the city, passed by the but of Abba Ammoun and confessed to him: "My elder, Abba, is sending me to the city on an errand. I, however, who am a man of weakness, fear temptation."
"Be obedient," the holy man advised him, "and if temptation should arise before you, say these words: 'O God of powers, through the intercession of my spiritual Father, deliver me.'"

The brother took courage from the words of the Abba and went immediately about his duty. The devil, however, who had been biding his time to bring harm to the monk, sent a woman of evil ways hastily to entrap him in her evil den. In his despair, the monk suddenly remembered the advice of Abba Ammoun and shouted with faith: "O God of powers, through the intercession of my spiritual Father, deliver me."
He then found himself, without knowing how, on the road that led to the desert.


"With what difficulty I work to control my tongue," a young monk agitatedly said one day to Abba Nistheros.
"When you talk, do you find peace?"
"Never."
"Then why do you talk? Learn to be silent. When it is a matter of something of profit, it is better to listen to others than to speak," the wise elder advised him.



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