Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers


3 Entries

Abba Or said to his disciple Paul, "Be careful never to let an irrelevant word come into this cell." "The Lives of the Desert Fathers," trans. by Normal Russell, (Kalamazoo, Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 1981), pp. 63-64

Q: When a brother asks me about some word or matter which I do not know, should I reply to him or not? Likewise, when I am not asked, but I myself see that someone is doing something badly, should I at least once speak about this to the one who is doing badly, or not?

A: To all these questions there is a single answer: be careful not to speak out of vainglory, but speak with humility and the fear of God. In all the cases (about which you ask), speak and remind another, if necessary – but only in your own monastery, and not in a different place; because those who live in one community are as it were one body. But when you are in a different place, say nothing of yourself, so as not to show yourself a teacher; but when you are asked, speak with humility, and God will instruct you, O brother. "Saints Barsanuphius and John: Guidance Toward Spiritual Life," trans. by Fr. Seraphim Rose, (Platina, California: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1990)

Watch constantly, learning to understand God's law, for this warms the heart with heavenly fire. Guard your lips from the idle word, or empty talk, lest the heart gets used to evil words. St.Barsanuphius and St.John

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