Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Life is No Picnic

Before Poemen went to Egypt, there was a hermit there who was very famous. But when Poemen came up from Scetis with his monks, the people left this hermit in favor of Poemen. The hermit was jealous and criticized Poemen and his group. When Poemen heard this, he was sorry, and said to his monks, "What can we do about this hermit? These people have made us suffer by leaving him and visiting us who are nobody. How can we soothe his mind?"

Poemen continued, "Make something to eat, and take a little jug of wine; we will go and eat with him, perhaps we'll be able to heal his mind." So they took the bread that they had made ready, and went to the hermit's cell.
When they knocked, his disciple answered the door and said, "Who are you?"

They said, "Tell the abba, 'Poemen is here, and he wants to be blessed by you.'"

The disciple told the hermit, who returned the message, "Go away, I am busy."

But they persevered and said, "We won't go away till we have had the hermit's blessing."

Seeing their perseverance and humility, the hermit was stricken with remorse and opened the door to them. They went in and ate with him. While they were having supper, the hermit said, "Indded, I have heard less than the truth about you. I see that you do a hundredfold more than I was told." So he became their friend in that moment.

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