Thankfulness in humility – Abba Arsenius the Great

Once at Scetis Abba Arsenius was ill and he was without even a scrap of linen.  As he had nothing with which to buy any, he received some through another’s charity and he said, ‘I give you thanks, Lord, for having considered me worthy to receive this charity in your name.’

[Abba Arsenius,  Apophthegmata Patrum]

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Walk the royal road – Abba Benjamin

Abba Benjamin said, “Walk the royal road and count the miles, and you will not be tired.”

[Apophthegmata Patrum]

How to vanquish devils, purify the heart and make perfect love – Abba Arsenius and Abba Macarius

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The brethren said, “Abba Arsenius said unto one of the brethren, ‘Lead the ascetic life with all the strength that you have, and the hidden labour which is within, and which is performed for God’s sake, shall vanquish your external passions’; to what does he give the name of passions?”

The old man said, “In this case, Abba Arsenius call the labours of the body ‘passions,’ because they constrain those who toil, and make them feel pain, even as Abba Macarius said, “Constrain your soul with pains and labours of every kind in ascetic excellence.” And this is what Abba Arsenius said to that brother, “Labour with all your might in the work of righteousness, and toil with the labours of the mind more than with all the various kinds of work of the body. For the labours of the body only incite and gratify the passions of the body, but the labours of the mind, that is to say, the thought which is in God, and prayer without ceasing, and the suppression of the thought(s) with humility liberate a man from all the passions, and they vanquish devils, and purify the heart, and make perfect love, and make him worthy of the revelations of the spirit.'”

[Abba Arsenius and Abba Macarius, Apophthegmata Patrum]

We bring more wars upon ourselves than devils do – Abba Agathon

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Abba Abraham asked Abba Agathon, saying, “How is it that the devils make war upon me? And Abba Agathon said unto him, “Do the devils make war upon thee? But they do not make war against us so fiercely as we ourselves do with our own wishes, though they do make war against us in proportion as our wishes do. Our desires become devils, and they force us to fulfil them. Now if thou wishest to see against whom they have made war, [it is] against Moses and those who resemble him.”

[Apophthegmata Patrum]

Spread abroad the Name of Jesus in humility and He will strengthen you – Apophthegmata Patrum

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An old man used to say, “Spread abroad the Name of Jesus in humility, and with a meek heart; show your feebleness before Him, and He will become strength unto you.”

[Apopthegmata Patrum]

Humility sold Joseph and made him governor over Egypt – Abba Muthues

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The old man (Abba Muthues) used to say, “Who sold Joseph?” They said unto him, “His brethren” and the old man said unto them, “No, it was humility that sold him. For he never said, ‘I am your brother’, and he never answered them, but held his peace. He sold himself by his humility, and this humility made him governor over the land of Egypt.”

[Apophthegmata Patrum]