“We came to take your things,” they said to him viciously.
Without losing composure, he said to them, “Come in and take whatever you like.”
They emptied his poor hut of every last thing and left hurriedly. They forgot, however, to take a small flask that was hanging from a beam of the roof. The hermit took it down and, running behind the robbers, shouted for them to listen and to stop.
“Come back, brothers, to take this too.” And he showed them from afar the small flask.
They were amazed by his forgiving nature and returned, not to take the flask, but to offer repentance and to return all of his things.
“This is, indeed, a man of God,” they said among themselves.
“It is impossible for a monk to have Christ continuously in his heart without silence, humility, and unceasing prayer,” the same elder used to say.