Saturday, October 17, 2009

Blessed Are The Meek

A brother from Scetis was going to harvest: and he went to one of the great hermits and said, "Tell me, abba, what am I to do, while I am harvesting?"

The hermit said, "If I tell you, you will do as I say?"

The brother answered, "Yes, I will obey you."

He said, "If you do what I say, you will give up your harvesting: and come here, and I will tell you what to do." So the brother abandoned his harvesting, and came to the hermit who said, "Go into your cell and stay there fifty days without a break. Eat bread and salt once a day. At the end of that time I will tell you what to do next."

He did so, and came back to the hermit. The hermit realized he was in earnest and told him how he ought to live in his cell. The brother went into his cell, and for three days and nights, he lay prone upon the ground in penitence before God.

Then the thought came into his mind, "You are very good, you are a great man," but he took control of his thoughts, and in humility called his sins to mind, saying, "What about all the sins I have committed?"

If the thought rose in his mind that he had neglected the commandments of God, he said to himself, "I will offer God a little service, and I believe he will have mercy upon me."

So he conquered the demons that sent him wicked thoughts: and they appeared before him in a visible form, and said, "You are making us angry."

He said to them, "Why?"

They said, "If we praise you, you are quick to be humble; if we humble you, you rise up on high."

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