August 7

From the Prologue

Narcissus was beheaded at the time of Antoninus in the year 213 A.D. being one hundred sixteen years of age.



To the monks, honor; to the monk's glory,

Head of the monks, Or, the all-wise Abba,

With great labor, with many sighs,

Of a true monk, reached perfection.

Teach us a lesson, they once pleaded to him!

Never tell a lie, speak the truth.

I know a man, who never swore,

Never lied, never wished evil to another.

Then the elder after his reply, remained silent.

Then holy Sisoes asked of Or:

Tell me father some instruction.

"Live," Or said to him, "as you see me!"

Tell me more clearly, how should I see you.

Everyman, a secret within himself conceals?

Again Or said to him: Behold, to you I am speaking:

Of all God's things, myself I consider the worse.

Paul, the disciple, Or taught thusly:

For from every sin you will easily flee

But only from evil conversation, if you flee,

For from this evil, every other sin sprouts

To the soul of a man, evil conversation is death,

Every good seed in the heart, it smothers.

One more thing will I say and let it be enough,

The thoughts of vanity, drive away; insane desires, drive away,

From that which is material, distance yourself,

And son, the spiritual you will attain.

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