Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

praise

7 Entries

A brother came to see Abba Macarius the Egyptian, and said to him, "Abba, give me a word, that I may be saved." So the old man said, "Go to the cemetery and abuse the dead." The brother went there, abused them and threw stones at them; then he returned and told the old man about it. The latter said to him, "Didn't they say anything to you?" He replied, "No."

The old man said, "Go back tomorrow and praise them." So the brother went away and praised them, calling them, "Apostles, saints, and righteous men." He returned to the old man and said to him, "Did they not answer you?" The brother said, "No."

The old man said to him, "You know how you insulted them and they did not reply, and how you praised them and they did not speak; so you too, if you wish to be saved, must do the same and become a dead man. Like the dead, take no account of either the scorn of men or their praises, and you can be saved." "The Desert Christian," by Sr. Benedicta Ward, (New York: MacMillan, 1975), p. 132



A brother came to see Abba Macarius the Egyptian, and said to him, "Abba, give me a word, that I may be saved." So the old man said, "Go to the cemetery and insult the dead." The brother went there, abused them and threw stones at them; then he returned and told the old man about it. The latter said to him, "Didn't they say anything to you?" He replied, "No." The old man said, "Go back tomorrow and praise them." So the brother went away and praised them, calling them, "Apostles, saints, and righteous men." He returned to the old man and said to him, "I have complimented them." And the old man said to him, "You know how you insulted them and they did not reply, and how you praised them and they did not speak. So you too, if you wish to be saved, must do the same and become a dead man. Like the dead, take no account of either the scorn of men or their praises, and you can be saved. The Desert Fathers

Abba Cronius said that Abba Joseph of Pelusia told him the following story, "When I was living in Sinai, there was a brother who was good, ascetic and handsome. He came to church for the Synaxis (the liturgical office said by monks in common, usually on Saturday or Sunday) dressed in an old robe darned all over. Once when I saw him coming to the Synaxis, I said to him, 'Brother, do you not see the brothers, looking like angels for the Synaxis in church? How can you always come here in that garb?' He said to me, 'Forgive me, abba, but I have nothing else.' So I took him in to my cell and gave him a tunic and whatever else he needed. After that he wore them like the other brethren and was like an angel to look at.

Now once it was necessary for the Fathers to send ten brethren to the emperor about something or other and he was chosen as one of the group to go. When he heard this, he made a prostration before his Father saying, 'In the Lord's name, excuse me, for I am the slave of a great man down there and if he recognizes me, he will deprive me of my habit and force me to serve him again.' The brothers were convinced and left him behind. But later, they learned from someone who had known him well when he was in the world that he had been head of the administration and that he had spoken as he did as a ruse, so that no one should know this or bother him about it. So great, amongst the Fathers, was their concern to flee from glory and the peace of this world!" "The Desert Christian," by Sr. Benedicta Ward, (New York: Macmillan, 1975), p. 116



Abba Or said, "He who is honored and praised beyond his merits, will suffer much condemnation, but he who is held as of no account among men will receive glory in heaven." "The Lives of the Desert Fathers," trans. by Normal Russell, (Kalamazoo, Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 1981), pp. 63-64

Avoid praise, but do not be ashamed of reproach. Venerable St. Nilus of Sinai

69. When God allows you to be praised, do not become boastful on account of this divine providence, lest you then fall into dishonor. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779

165. The man who loves God benefits from both praise and blame: if commended for his good actions he grows more zealous, and if reproved for his sins he is brought to repentance. Our outward life should accord with our inner progress, and our prayers to God with our life. REF:Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779





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