Monday, January 13, 2014

A Father on "reading the Lives of the Fathers but not imitating [them]"

"The same [elder] said:  'There are those who are wasting away their own days in negligence, who are seeking to be saved by thought and word but do not practise in deed.  They are reading the Lives of the Fathers but not imitating [the Fathers'] humility, indifference to possessions, prayer, vigil, self-discipline, hêsychia, sleeping on the ground, kneeling down,but are giving the lie to the Lives of the Fathers by their inactivity, saying that it is impossible for a person to tolerate such practices, never considering that, where God dwells through the grace of sacred baptism and performing the commandments, the [deeds] and the spiritual gifts exceed the natural ones."

     Anonymous saying of the Desert Fathers no. 748.  The anonymous sayings of the Desert Fathers:  a select edition and complete English translation,ed. & trans. John Wortley (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2013), 605-605.

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