Desert Wisdom

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Desert Wisdom

Postby Theophilus » August 12th, 2011, 9:39 pm

      Image

          The Evergetinos - A Spiritual Goldmine from the Elders of the Desert


The Evergetinos is a source of inspiration, spiritual guidance, and insight into the lives of men and women who, during the first few centuries of Christianity, attained to the highest ideals of the spiritual life. In the spiritual battleground of the Egyptian deserts, these seekers after salvation, enlightenment, and union with Christ brought into sharp focus the teachings of the Apostles and the message of Holy Writ in their daily lives and activities.

The stern, the loving, “fools for Christ”—all of the exemplars of Christian Sainthood, the many inhabitants of the many mansions above, are to be found in the rich and profitable lives portrayed in this collection. Also to be found are perfect models for every Christian who wishes sincerely to imitate those who have walked the path towards moral and spiritual perfection.

This thread gives a small selection of these spiritual lives, sayings and anecdotes.


A Prayer from the Desert
------------------------

Lord Jesus Christ, whose will all things obey:
pardon what I have done and grant that I, a sinner, may sin no more.
Lord, I believe that though I do not deserve it, you can cleanse me from all my sins.
Lord, I know that man looks upon the face, but you see the heart.
Send your spirit into my inmost being, to take possession of my soul and body.
Without you I cannot be saved; with you to protect me, I long for your salvation.
And now I ask you for your salvation.
And now I ask you for wisdom:
Deign of your great goodness to help and defend me.
Guide my heart, almighty God, that I may remember your presence day and night.

++ Amen ++
Last edited by Theophilus on September 22nd, 2012, 12:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Desert Wisdom

Postby Theophilus » August 12th, 2011, 9:46 pm

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Abba Anthony said: "The time is coming when people will be seized by manias and will behave like madmen. And if they see anyone acting reasonably, they will rise up against him saying: 'You are insane.' And they will be correct to say this, for he will not be like them."

~~~

Several brothers went to Abba Anthony to relate to him certain visions which they beheld and to ascertain from him whether the visions were true or of demonic origin. They had along with them a small donkey which died on the way. Just as they reached Abba Anthony, he, expecting them, said: “How did the little donkey die on the road?”

“How did you know this, Abba?” they said to him.

“The demons revealed it to me.”

And they answered him: “It is for this reason that we came to see you, for fear of being deceived, since we see visions and many times they come true.”

Thus, with the foregoing example of the donkey, the elder made it known to them that even though their visions came true, they were given with the intent to deceive.

~~~

Abba Anthony received a letter from emperor Constantine to visit him in Constantinople. He wondered if he should go and asked Abba Paul who said:

“If you go, you will be called Anthony, but if you stay here, you will be called Abba Anthony. “

~~~
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Re: Desert Wisdom

Postby Theophilus » October 8th, 2011, 12:29 pm

“Never look down on anyone. You do not know whether the Spirit of God prefers to dwell in you or in them.”
- Sayings of the Desert Fathers.
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Re: Desert Wisdom

Postby Theophilus » December 7th, 2011, 8:35 pm

A hunter in the desert saw Abba Anthony enjoying himself with the brethren and was shocked. Wanting to show him that it was necessary sometimes to meet the needs of the brethren, the old man said to him, "Put an arrow in your bow and shoot it." So he did. The old man then said, "Shoot another," and he did so. Then the old man said, "Shoot yet again," and the hunter replied, "If I bend my bow so much I will break it."

Then the old man said to him, "It is the same with the work of God. If we stretch the brethren beyond measure they will soon break. Sometimes it is necessary to come down to meet their needs." When he heard these words the hunter was pierced by compunction and, greatly edified by the old man, he went away. As for the brethren, they went home strengthened.
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Re: Desert Wisdom

Postby Theophilus » December 8th, 2011, 5:02 pm

Abba Zeno said, 'If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks.'
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Re: Desert Wisdom

Postby Theophilus » February 28th, 2012, 9:02 pm

You must not wage your Christian struggle with sermons and arguments, but with true secret love. When we argue, others react. When we love people, they are moved and we win them over. When we love, we think that we offer something to others, but in reality we are the first to benefit.
- Elder Porphyry Bairaktaris
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Re: Desert Wisdom

Postby Theophilus » March 4th, 2012, 1:27 pm

A disciple told his elder about a man who saw visions of angels.
"It does not surprise me that a man sees angels," replied the elder. "But I would marvel at a person who saw his own sins"

(from the Paterikon; quoted in "Christ in our midst - Letters from a Russian monk", by Fr John)
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Re: Desert Wisdom

Postby Theophilus » March 28th, 2012, 10:47 pm

When we say that somebody is “sensitive”, this means he suffers because his ego is hurt and because he is proud. The same happens with children, who as soon as somebody scolds them or opposes them, immediately start crying. This is not permissible for a person of God. The saints didn’t have pride, and whatever people did to them they accepted it because they had humility and meekness. In this case the soul is not “sensitive”, is not offended; it has love and dispassion…

- Mother Gabriella
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Re: Desert Wisdom

Postby Theophilus » September 22nd, 2012, 12:14 pm

Do not be surprised
if you fall back into the old ways every day.
Do not be disheartened
but resolve to do something positive,
and without question,
that angel who stands guard over you will honour your perseverance.

-St John Climacus
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Re: Desert Wisdom

Postby Theophilus » September 25th, 2012, 8:26 pm

A young man sought to renounce the world, and every time he would leave, his thoughts upset him and entangled him in worldly matters, for he was rich. One day when he was leaving they obsessed him and stirred up a great deal of dust in order to turn him back. Suddenly, having stripped and cast away his clothes, he ran naked to the monastery. The Lord revealed to an old man, “Get up and receive my athlete.” The old man got up, met him, and learning the situation, marveled, and gave him the monastic habit. Whenever people came to the old man to ask him about thoughts of various kinds he answered them, but if they asked about renunciation, he said, “Ask the brother.”
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