”The sayings of the Desert Fathers and Mothers possess the imprint of eternity”
A hermit was asked by a brother, ‘How do I find God? With fasts, or labour, or vigils, or works of mercy?’ He replied, ‘You will find Him in all those, and also in discretion. I tell you many have been very stern with their bodies, but have gained nothing by it because they did it without discretion. Even if our mouths stink from fasting, and we have learnt all the Scriptures, and memorized the whole Psalter, we may still lack what God wants, humility and love.’
They said of this Abba John that he once made enough rope for two baskets, and twisted it all into one basket, but he did not see what he was doing until he tried to hang it up, for his mind was occupied in the contemplation of God.
Abba Hyperichius said, ‘The tree of life is high, and humility climbs it.’
A brother asked the Abba Euprepius, How does the fear of God dwell in the soul? The old man said, If a man is possessed of humility and poverty, and if he does not judge others, the fear of God will come to him.
Two hermits lived together for many years without a quarrel. One said to the other, ‘Let’s have a quarrel with each other, as other men do.’ The other answered, I don’t know how a quarrel happens.’ The first said, ‘Look her, I put a brick between us, and I say, “That’s mine.” Then you say, “No, it’s mine.” That is how you begin a quarrel.’ So they put a brick between them, and one of them said, ‘That’s mine.’ The other said, ‘No; it’s mine.’ He answered, ‘Yes, it’s yours. Take it away.’ They were unable to argue with each other.
O Lord, implant in me the root of all blessings: the fear of Thee in my heart; O Lord, grant me humility and charity. O Lord, vouchsafe that I may love Thee with all my heart and soul, and that I may obey in all things Thy will;