Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

pambo_abba

14 Entries

Abba Pambo said, “By the grace of God, since I left the world, I have not said one word of which I repented afterwards.” Abba Pambo, from Sr. Benedicta Ward, “The Desert Christian,” (New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1975), pp. 195 - 198



Abba Pambo said, “If you have a heart, you can be saved.” Abba Pambo, from Sr. Benedicta Ward, “The Desert Christian,” (New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1975), pp. 195 - 198

Abba Theodore of Pherme asked Abba Pambo, “Give me a word.” With much difficulty he said to him, “Theodore, go and have pity on all, for through pity, one finds freedom of speech before God.” Abba Pambo, from Sr. Benedicta Ward, “The Desert Christian,” (New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1975), pp. 195 - 198

Athanasius, Archbishop of Alexandria, of holy memory, begged Abba Pambo to come down from the desert to Alexandria. He went down, and seeing an actress he began to weep. Those who were present asked him the reason for his tears, and he said, “Two things make me weep: one, the loss of this woman; and the other, that I am not so concerned to please God as she is to please wicked men.” Abba Pambo, from Sr. Benedicta Ward, “The Desert Christian,” (New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1975), pp. 195 - 198

Four monks of Scetis, clothed in skins, came one day to see the great Pambo. Each one revealed the virtue of his neighbor. The first fasted a great deal; the second was poor; the third had acquired great charity; and they said of the fourth that he had lived for twenty-two years in obedience to an old man. Abba Pambo said to them, “I tell you, the virtue of this last one is the greatest. Each of the others has obtained the virtue he wished to acquire; but the last one, restraining his own will, does the will of another. Now it is of such men that the martyrs are made, if they persevere to the end.” Abba Pambo, from Sr. Benedicta Ward, “The Desert Christian,” (New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1975), pp. 195 - 198

He also said, “The monk should wear a garment of such a kind that he could throw it out of his cell and no-one would steal it from him for three days.” Abba Pambo, from Sr. Benedicta Ward, “The Desert Christian,” (New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1975), pp. 195 - 198

He was greater than many others in that if he was asked to interpret part of the Scriptures or a spiritual saying, he would not reply immediately, but he would say he did not know that saying. If he was asked again, he would say no more. Abba Pambo, from Sr. Benedicta Ward, “The Desert Christian,” (New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1975), pp. 195 - 198

The brethren said, "There were two brothers who were the sons of a merchant and their father died and they divided their inheritance between themselves. Unto each one, there came five thousand dinars. One of the brothers divided his inheritance among the churches, and the monasteries, and the poor, and he himself became a monk, and he chose for himself a life of continual silence, and fasting, and prayer. Now the other one built a monastery for himself, and gathered brethren to him, and he took care of the strangers, and the poor, and the sick, whom he received and relieved.

"When the two brothers were dead, there was questioning among the brethren about them, and they went to Abba Pambo and asked him, ‘Which manner of life and conduct was the more excellent and exalted?’ And having learned from God, he said unto them, ‘They were both perfect, and in my sight they appear to be of equal merit.’ Explain to us now the old man’s words, for how can the man who is destitute, and the man who hath possessions be equal in merit?’ The old man said, ‘Since the whole conduct of these brethren was to God, and since whatsoever they did they did it for God, with an upright aim, and since the aim of each was the same, they appeared to be in the old man’s opinion of equal merit before God.’" "The Paradise of the Holy Fathers," trans. by E. A. Wallis Budge, (Seattle, St. Nectarios Press, 1984), p. 283



The priest of Nitria asked him how the brethren ought to live. He replied, “With much labor, guarding their consciences towards their neighbor.” Abba Pambo, from Sr. Benedicta Ward, “The Desert Christian,” (New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1975), pp. 195 - 198

The said of Abba Pambo that his face never smiled. So one day, wishing to make him laugh, the demons stuck wing feathers on to a lump of wood and brought it in making an uproar and saying, “Go, go!” When he saw them, Abba Pambo began to laugh and the demons started to say in chorus, “Ha! Ha! Pambo has laughed!” But in reply he said to them, “I have not laughed, but I made fun of your powerlessness, because it takes so many of you to carry a wing.” Abba Pambo, from Sr. Benedicta Ward, “The Desert Christian,” (New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1975), pp. 195 - 198

There was a monk named Pambo and they said of him that he spent three years saying to God, “Do not glorify me on earth.” But God glorified him so that one could not gaze steadfastly at him because of the glory of his countenance. Abba Pambo, from Sr. Benedicta Ward, “The Desert Christian,” (New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1975), pp. 195 - 198

They said of Abba Pambo that as he was dying, at the very hour of his death, he said to the holy men who were standing near him, “Since I came to this place of the desert and built my cell and dwelt here, I do not remember having eaten bread which was not the fruit of my hands and I have not repented of a word I have said up to the present time; and yet I am going to God as one who has not yet begun to serve him.” Abba Pambo, from Sr. Benedicta Ward, “The Desert Christian,” (New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1975), pp. 195 - 198

They said of Abba Pambo that he was like Moses, who received the image of the glory of Adam when his face shone. His face shone like lightning and he was like a king sitting on his throne. It was the same with Abba Silvanus and Abba Sisoes. Abba Pambo, from Sr. Benedicta Ward, “The Desert Christian,” (New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1975), pp. 195 - 198

Two brethren came to see Abba Pambo one day and the first asked him, “Abba, I fast for two days, then I eat two loaves; am I saving my soul, or am I going the wrong way?” The second said, “Abba, every day I get two pence from my manual work, and I keep a little for my food and give the rest in alms; shall I be saved or shall I be lost?” They remained a long time questioning him and still the old man gave them no reply.

After four days they had to leave and the priests comforted them saying, “Do not be troubled, brothers. God gives the reward. It is the old man’s custom not to speak readily till God inspires him.” So they went to see the old man and said to him, “Abba, pray for us.” He said to them, “Do you want to go away?” They said, “Yes.” Then, giving his mind to their works and writing on the ground he said, “If Pambo fasted for two days together and ate two loaves, would he become a monk that way? No. And if Pambo works to get two pence and gives them in alms, would he become a monk that way? No, not that way either.” He said to them, “The works are good, but if you guard your conscience towards your neighbor, then you will be saved.” They were satisfied and went away joyfully. Abba Pambo, from Sr. Benedicta Ward, “The Desert Christian,” (New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1975), pp. 195 - 198







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