After decades of persecution, Christianity
had become the official religion of
It was then that some men and women
called to go into the desert of Egypt,
Arabia and Persia. Not to live an epic
or to be peculiar. They simply felt
to be alone with the Alone. They led
life. Sleeping little. Eating little.
a lot. Heroes? Hardly! They were simply
and women who fell in love with Him.
when you are in love, you can climb
A brother came to Abba Macarius one day and
asked how he could be saved and the Abba
told him to go to the cemetery and insult
the dead. So he did so, hurling insults and
stones at the graves. When he got back, Macarius
asked him if they had responded and the brother
said they had said nothing. So Macarius told
him to go and honor the dead. He went to
the cemetery and praised the men buried there.
When he reported back, Macarius asked how
the dead had taken his compliments and the
brother replied that they had said nothing.
So the Abba said: 'You know all those insults
you hurled at them and they said nothing
and all the praises you heaped on them and
they said nothing; you also, if you want
to be saved - be a dead man, taking no notice
either of the injustice of men or of their
praises. Behave like the dead and you will
be saved'. Gosh!
Two brothers had lived together for many
years and they had never quarreled. One day,
the first said: 'Let's quarrel like men in
the world outside do.' The second replied:
'But I don't know how to have a quarrel.'
So the first said: 'Look, I will put down
this rock between us and I'll say: "It's
mine". Then you must reply: "No,
it's mine". And so the quarrel will
begin. So they found a rock and put it between
them and the first said: 'It's mine', and
the second said: "No, it's mine."
This continued for some time until one of
them replied: "Oh well then, if it's
yours, take it." And so they did not
succeed in having a quarrel. Amazing, no?
A very important man from the city came to
see Abba Moses. Somebody informed Abba and
he instantly fled into the marsh. It just
happened that they met in the marsh but he
did not recognize him. The man of the city
asked Abba, 'Tell us, old man, where is the
cell of Abba Moses?' He answered: 'What do
you want with him? He is crazy'. When the
man of the city told the other monks that
had happened, they immediately realized that
the 'old man' was none other than Abba Moses.
When a band of thieves robbed the hermitage
of this Abba, his reaction was Gospel like:
'My children, take everything you like'.
So they took everything in the cell and left.
But they forgot a little tool-bag that was
hanging on the wall so he ran after them,
calling: 'My children, you forgot this! Take
Abba Poemen said about Abba Pior that every
single day he made a fresh beginning. Let
us begin again.
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
granted for any non-commercial use,
that the content is unaltered from
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