Humility is least among men but precious and glorious before God – Abba Pachomius

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Above all this, we have been given humility, which watches over all the virtues and is that great holy strength with which God clothed himself when he came into the world. Humility is the rampart of the virtues, the treasury of works, the saving armour and the cure for every wound. When they made fine linens, the wrought gold, and all the fittings of the Tabernacle, they covered them with sackcloth (Ex 27:9-16, Jdt 4:11). Humility is least among men but precious and glorious before God. If we acquire it we shall trample the whole force of the enemy underfoot (Luk 10:19). It is said, Whom shall I consider, if not the humble and meek? (Is 66:2).

[Abba Pachomius of the Koinonia, The Instructions of Pachomius]

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How long will you be negligent? – Abba Pachomius the Great

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You too my son, how long will you be negligent? What is the limit of your negligence? As it was last year, so it is this year; as it was yesterday, so it is today. As long as you are negligent, there will be no progress for you.

Be watchful, lift up your heart, because you will have to stand before the judgement seat of God and give an accounting for what you have done both in private and in public (Rm 14:10).

[St. Pachomius, The Instructions of St. Pachomius]

Serve God faithfully – Abba Pachomius the Great

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Recite constantly the word of God. Put up with fatigue and “be grateful for everything” (1 Th 5:18). Shun the praise of men and love the one who, in the fear of the Lord, reprimands you. Let every man be profitable to you so that you may be good to everyone. Persevere in your work, and in language be above reproach. Do not take one step forward, then a step backward, that God may not detest you; for the crown shall go to the one who perseveres (c.f. Mt. 10:22). Be ever more obedient to God and He will save you.

[St. Pachomius the Great, Instruction Concerning a Spiteful Monk (Pach. Instr. 1), 14]

Be watchful – Abba Pachomius the Great

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My son, I ask you to be watchful and to be on your guard, acquainted with those who lie in ambush against you.

The spirit of cowardice and the spirit of distrust walk hand in hand; the spirit of lying and the spirit of deceit walk hand in hand;

the spirits of greed and trafficking, of perjury and dishonesty, and that of jealousy walk hand in hand;

the spirit of vanity and the spirit of gluttony walk hand in hand;

the spirit of fornication and the spirit of impurity walk hand in hand;

the spirit of enmity and the spirit of sadnesss walk hand in hand.

Woe to the wretched soul in which they make their home and of which they make themselves masters. They hold such a soul far from God, because it is in their power. It sways from side to side till it ends in the abyss of hell.

[St. Pachomius the Great, Instruction Concerning a Spiteful Monk (Pach. Instr. 1), 10]

Practise all virtues in patience – Abba Pachomius the Great

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It is patience that reveals every grace to you, and it is through patience that the saints received all that was promised them. Patience is the pride of the saints. Be patient, to be admitted to the saints’ legion, confident that you will be given a crown that will never rust.

A thought? Come to terms with it in patience, waiting for God to give you calm. Fasting? Put up with it in perseverance. Prayer? Without letup, in your room between you and God. One single heart with your brother. Virginity in all your members: virginity in your thoughts, purity of body, and purity of heart. Head bowed, and a humble heart; gentleness in the hour of anger.

[Abba Pachmious the Great, Instructions Concerning a Spiteful Monk (Pach Instr 1.), 8]

Why do we fail when it comes to practically living as a Christian? – Abba Pachomius the Great

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“The great Pachomius was once asked by a brother, ‘Why is it that before the demon comes to trouble us, we possess out mind’s understanding in a healthy state and we philosophise about temperance, humility, and other virtues, but when the hour comes to display in deed what we have been philosophising about, such as longsuffering in the time of anger, absence of vainglory when subjected to praise, and many other similar things, we are often defeated?’

In answer to this the Great Man said, ‘Because we do not pursue the active life perfectly – this is why we do not understand all the demon’s mind and versatility well enough to be able, when the troubler manifests his presence, to repel swiftly the confusion of such thoughts which surrounds us by the contemplative power of the soul. Therefore,’ he said, ‘let us pour the fear of God like oil upon the contemplative part of the soul, every day and every hour. That fear, which accomplishes works and is a lamp for the contemplation of the things which concern us, makes our mind unshakeable, not carried away by anger, wrath, rancor, and any of the other passions which lead us to wickedness. It makes it contemplative and raises it to that incorporeal region; it forces it to hold in contempt the things which are wrought by devils and prepares it to tread underfoot serpents and scorpions and all the whole strength of the enemy.’ (Luke 10:19)

[Abba Pachomius the Great, Paralipomena, Chapter VI]