Love covers a multitude of sins – Abba Poemen

[On this day, the Church commemorates the departure of the great Abba Poemen, a shining star of the wilderness. This Father is the most heavily quoted in the Apophthegmata, his intercessions be with us all].

Poemen-15-sleep

Some old men came to Abba Poemen and said to him, “When we see brothers who are dozing at the synaxis (services), shall we rouse them so they will be watchful?” He said to them, “For my part when I see a brother dozing, I put his head on my knees and let him rest.”

[Abba Poemen, Apophthegmata Patrum]

Temptation is for today, worry not for tomorrow – Abba Poemen

cro3

A brother asked Abba Poemen, saying, “For what purpose were spoken the words, ‘Take no thought for the morrow?’ (Mat 6:34) The old man said unto him, “For the man who is under temptation, and is in affliction; for it is not right that such a man should take thought for the morrow, or should say, ‘How long shall I have to endure this temptation’, but he should think upon patient endurance, saying: ‘It is today, and the temptation will not remain thus for a long time.'”

[Abba Poemen, Apophthegmata Patrum]

Abase yourself so that you never fall – Abba Poemen

St._Poimen_the_Great

Abba Poemen used to say, “As the earth falls not, because it is fixed from below, even so he who abases himself shall never fall.”

[Abba Poemen, Apophthegmata Patrum]

Error leading to neglect leading to lust – Abba Poemen

Image

Abba Poemen used to say, “Satan has three kinds of power which precede all sin. The first is error, the second is neglect (or laxity), and the third is lust. When error has come it produces neglect, and from neglect springs lust, and by lust man fell; if we watch against error neglect will not come, and if we be not negligent, lust will not appear, and if a man works not lust, he will, through the help of Christ, never fall.

[Apophthegmata Patrum]

The working tools of the soul – Abba Poemen

Image

Abba Poemen said, “Being on the alert, paying attention to oneself, and discretion – these three virtues are the working tools of the soul.”

[Apophthegmata Patrum]

Take care of your speech – Abba Poemen

Image

Abba Poemen said, “If a person remembers the saying that is written, ‘By your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned’ [Mat 12:37], he would rather choose to keep silent.”

[Apophthegmata Patrum]

Flee from bodily matters – Abba Poemen

Image

He also said, “To flee from the things of the body is a good thing; for the person who is close to the war against the body is like somebody standing above a very deep pit. Whenever it seems fit to the enemy, he easily throws the person down. But if he is some distance from bodily matters, he is like one far removed from the pit, so that even if the enemy drags him along to throw him down, even while he is dragging and coercing him, God sends him help.”

[Abba Poemen, Apophtegmata Patrum]