Sunday, May 29, 2011

On the one hand, on the other II

"[Epiphanius] also said, 'The acquisition of Christian books is necessary for those who can use them.  For the mere sight of these books renders us less inclined to sin, and incites us to believe more firmly in righteousness.'"

"Abba Theodore of Pherme had acquired three good books.  He came to Abba Macarius and said to him, 'I have three excellent books from which I derive profit; the brethren also make use of them and derive profit from them.  Tell me what I ought to do:  keep them for my use and that of the brethren, or sell them and give the money to the poor?'  The old man answered him in this way, 'Your actions are good; but it is best of all to possess nothing.'  Hearing that, he went and sold his books and gave the money for them to the poor."

"A brother said to Abba Serapion, 'Give me a word.'  The old man said to him, 'What shall I say to you?  You have taken the living of widows and orphans and put it on your shelves.'  For he saw them full of books."

The desert Christian: sayings of the desert fathers: the alphabetical collection, trans. Benedicta Ward (New York, NY: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1980 [1975]), 58 (lacking in the systematic collection), 73 (VI.7 =SC 387, p. 318), 227 (VI.16 =SC 387, p. 324).


sensei jfk said...

certainly not the citation we think of when fighting for more texts in the library is it?

Steve Perisho said...

Not the second one, Jeff, no.