As today is the last of the Desert Father quotations I’m going to be doing for a while, I’m going to end with my favourite, the Desert Mother Syncletica:
[Syncletica] also said, “When the devil does not use the goad of poverty to tempt us, he uses wealth for the same purpose. When he cannot win by scorn and mockery, he tries praise and flattery. If he cannot win by giving health, he tries illness. If he cannot win by comfort, he tries to ruin the soul by vexations that lead us to act against our monastic vows. He inflicts severe illness on people whom he wants to tempt and so makes them weak, and thereby shakes the love they feel towards God…
Iron is cleaned of rust by fire. If you are righteous and suffer, you grow to a higher sanctity. Gold is tested by fire.
When a messenger from Satan is given to you to be a thorn in your flesh, lift up your heart, for you have received a gift like that of St. Paul.
- De vitis Patrum, Sive Verba Seniorum, Liber V