Courage, humility & modesty

Courage stands in the middle between cowardice and foolhardiness; humility in the middle between arrogance and servility. Modesty is a mean between timidity and boldness.

– Dorotheos

Trusting in yourself

The thief was on the cross and he was justified by a single word; and Judas who was counted in the number of the apostles lost all his labor in one single night and descended from heaven to hell. Therefore, let no-one boast of his good works, for all those who trust in themselves fall.

– Xanthias

Desert Wanderings

Poemen said, “It is written, ‘Like as the hart longs for the waterbrooks, so longs my soul for you, O my God” (Ps 42:1). Indeed, the harts in the desert eat many snakes and when their venom makes them burn with thirst they come to the waters to assuage their burning thirst. Is it the same for monks: in the desert, they are burned by the poison of the demons and they long for Saturday and Sunday to come so that they can go to the springs of water, that is, to the Body and Blood of the Lord, to be purified from the poison of the evil ones.”

– De vitis Patrum, Sive Verba Seniorum, Liber V

Conquering a city

If a king wishes to subdue a city belonging to enemies, he first of all keeps them without bread and water, and the enemy harassed by hunger, surrenders; so it is in respect of the hostile passions, for if a man endures fasting and hunger , his enemies become stricken with weakness in the soul.

– John

Humble Armour

Humility protects the soul from all the passions and also from every temptation.

– Dorotheos

Drawing near to God

Mathois said, “The nearer a man comes to God, the more he sees himself to be a sinner. Isaiah the prophet saw the Lord and knew himself to be wretched and unclean (Isaiah 6:5).”

– De vitis Patrum, Sive Verba Seniorum, Liber V

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