Sunday, April 25, 2010

From the Evergetinos

Abba Isaac relates the following: "When I was younger, I stayed with Abba Kronios, who never asked me to do any work, even though he was old and had palsy. He would get up and give water from a pitcher both to me and others. As well, I stayed with Abba Theodore; neither did he ask me to do anything. He would set the dinner table himself and say to me: 'Brother, if you like, come to eat.' I would say to him, 'Abba, I moved in with you to be useful; why do you not, then, let me do something?' But the Elder always remained silent.

"I went to the Elders and told them this. Going to him, they said: 'Abba Theodore, this brother came to stay with your holiness in order to be useful; why do you not tell him to do something, too?' The Elder replied to them: 'Am I perhaps the Superior of some coenobitic monastery, so that I can give him orders? It is not mine in the least to tell him anything. If he likes, let him do what he sees me doing.'

"From that time I managed to do whatever the Elder did. But he, in all that he performed, did so silently. And this taught me to do my work in silence."

The Evergetinos, Vol II, I, E, 3.

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