Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

pastor_abba

A brother inquired of Abba Pastor saying: "My soul suffers harm from living with the Spiritual Father that I have. What, then, do you command me to do? Shall I go on staying with him?"

Now Abba Pastor knew that the brother's soul would be harmed by this other Abba, and he was surprised that he even asked whether he ought to go on staying with him. And he said to him, "If you like, stay with him." The brother went off and remained with that Father. But he came back again, saying to Abba Pastor, "It is a great burden on my soul!" And still Abba Pastor did not tell him to leave the man.

Finally the brother came back a third time and said, "Believe me, I am through with him!" Then the elder said, "See! Now you are saved, go, and have no more to do with him."

And Abba Pastor told the same brother, "When a man sees that his soul is suffering harm, he has no need to ask advice about it. When it is a matter of secret thoughts, one asks advice, that the elders may test them. But when there are manifest sins there is no need to inquire - you just break off at once." "The Wisdom of the Desert," Thomas Merton (trans), (New York: New Directions Publishing Corp., 1970), p. 44







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