The Greek Alphabetical Collection

Ρ  ̶  Ω  (Rho to Omega)


The Alphabetical Collection Translated, with a foreword by Benedicta Ward, SLG ;Patrologia Graeca, vol.65, col. 71-440  DOC

17. RHO

1. An Abba of Rome

2. Rufus

3. Romanus


 1. Sisoes

 2. Silvanus

 3. Simon

 4. Sopatrus

 5. Sarmatas

 6. Serapion

 7. Serinus

 8. Spyridon

 9. Saius

10. Sarah

11. Syncletica

 19. TAU

1. Tithoes

2. Timothy


1. Hyperechius

 21. PHI

1. Phocas

2. Felix

3. Philagrius

4. Phortas

 22. CHI

1. Chomas

2. Chaeremon

 23. PSI

1. Psenthaisius

 24. OMEGA

1. Or








Ἀρχὴ τοῦ Ρ στοιχείου.









[almost certainly

Περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ τοῦ Ρωμαίου





1. There was a monk from Rome who lived at Scetis near the church. He had a slave to serve him. The priest, knowing his bad health and the comfort in which he used to live, sent him what he needed of whatever anyone brought to the church. Having lived twenty-five years at Scetis he had acquired the gift of insight and became famous. One of the great Egyptians heard about him and came to see him, thinking he would find him leading a life of great corporal austerity. He entered and greeted him. They said the prayer and sat down. Now the Egyptian saw he was wearing fine clothing, and that he possessed a bed with a coverlet and a small pillow. He saw that his feet were clean and shod in sandals. Noticing all this, he was shocked, because such a way of life is not usual in that district; much greater austerity is required. Now the old man had the gift of insight and he understood that he was shocked, and so he said to him who served him, ‘We will celebrate a feast today for the abba’s sake.’ There were a few vegetables, and he cooked them and at the appointed hour, they rose and ate. The old man had a little wine also, because of his illness; so they drank some. When evening came, they recited the twelve psalms and went to sleep. They did the same during the night. On rising at dawn, the Egyptian said to him, ‘Pray for me,’ and he went away without being edified. When he had gone a short distance, the old man, wishing to edify him, sent someone to bring him back. On his arrival he received him once again with joy and asked him, ‘Of what country are you?’ He said, ‘Egypt.’ ‘And of what city?’ ‘I am not a citizen at all.’ ‘And what was your work in the village?’ ‘I was a herdsman.’ ‘Where did you sleep?’ He replied, ‘In the field.’ ‘Did you have anything to lie upon?’ He said, ‘Would I go and put a bed under myself in a field?’ ‘But how did you sleep?’ He said, ‘On the bare ground.’ The old man said next, ‘What was your food in the fields, and what wine did you drink?’ He replied, ‘Is there food and drink in the fields?’ ‘But how did you live?’ ‘I ate dry bread, and, if I found any, green herbs and water.’ The old man replied, ‘Great hardship! Was there a bath-house for washing in the village?’ He replied, ‘No, only the river, when we wanted it.’ After the old man had learnt all this and knew of the hardness of his former life, he told him his own former way of life when he was in the world, with the intention of helping him. ‘I, the poor man whom you see, am of the great city of Rome and I was a great man in the palace of the emperor.’ When the Egyptian heard the beginning of these words, he was filled with compunction and listened attentively to what the other was saying. He continued, ‘Then I left the city and came to this desert. I whom you see had great houses and many riches and having despised them I have come to this little cell. I whom you see had beds all of gold with coverings of great value, and in exchange for that, God has given me this little bed and this skin. Moreover, my clothes were the most expensive kind and in their stead I wear these garments of no value. Again, at my table there was much gold and instead of that God has given me this little dish of vegetables and a cup of wine. There were many slaves to serve me and see how in exchange for that, God troubles this old man to serve me. Instead of the bath-house, I throw a little water over my feet and wear sandals because of my weakness. Instead of music and lyres, I say the twelve psalms and the same at night; instead of the sins I used to commit I now say my rule of prayer. So then I beg you, abba, do not be shocked at my weakness.’ Hearing this, the Egyptian came to his senses and said, ‘Woe to me, for after so much hardship in the world, I have found ease; and what I did not have before, that I now possess. While after so great ease, you have come to humility and poverty.’ Greatly edified, he withdrew, and he became his friend and often went to him for help. For he was a man full of discernment and the good odour of the Holy Spirit.

α. ῏Ηλθέ ποτε μοναχός τις Ρωμαῖος͵ καὶ ᾤκη σεν ἐν Σκήτει ἐγγύτερον τῆς ἐκκλησίας· εἶχε δὲ καὶ ἕνα δοῦλον ὑπηρετοῦντα αὐτῷ. Ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ πρεσβύτε ρος τὴν ἀσθένειαν αὐτοῦ͵ καὶ μαθὼν ἐκ ποίας ἀνα παύσεώς ἐστιν͵ εἴ τι ᾠκονόμει καὶ ἤρχετο εἰς τὴν ἐκκλησίαν͵ ἔπεμπεν αὐτῷ. Καὶ ποιήσας εἰκοσιπέντε ἔτη ἐν Σκήτει͵ γέγονε διορατικὸς καὶ ὀνομαστός. Ἀκούσας δέ τις τῶν μεγάλων Αἰγυπτίων περὶ αὐτοῦ͵ ἦλθεν ἰδεῖν αὐτὸν͵ προσδοκῶν σωματικήν τινα πολι τείαν περισσοτέραν εὑρεῖν ἐν αὐτῷ. Εἰσελθὼν δὲ ἠσπάσατο αὐτόν· καὶ ποιήσαντες εὐχὴν ἐκάθισαν. Βλέπει δὲ αὐτὸν ὁ Αἰγύπτιος φοροῦντα ἱμάτια τρυ φερὰ͵ καὶ χαράδριον καὶ δέρμα ὑποκάτω αὐτοῦ͵ 388 καὶ προσκεφάλαιον μικρόν· ἔχοντα δὲ καὶ τοὺς πόδας καθαρούς μετὰ σανδαλίων· καὶ ταῦτα ἰδὼν ἐσκανδα λίσθη͵ ὅτι ἐν τῷ τόπῳ οὐχ ὑπῆρχε τοιαύτη διαγωγὴ͵ ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον σκληραγωγία. Καὶ διορατικὸς ὢν ὁ γέ ρων ἐνόησεν ὅτι ἐσκανδαλίσθη͵ καὶ λέγει τῷ ὑπηρε τοῦντι αὐτόν· Ποίησον ἡμῖν ἑορτὴν διὰ τὸν ἀββᾶν σήμερον. Εὐκαίρησε δὲ μικρὸν λάχανον͵ καὶ ἥψησε· καὶ τῇ ὥρᾳ ἀναστάντες ἔφαγον. Εἶχε δὲ καὶ μικρὸν οἶνον διὰ τὴν ἀσθένειαν αὐτοῦ ὁ γέρων· καὶ ἔπιον. Καὶ ὡς ἐγένετο ὀψὲ͵ ἔβαλον τοὺς δώδεκα ψαλμοὺς͵ καὶ ἐκοιμήθησαν· ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ τὴν νύκτα. Ἀναστὰς δὲ τὸ πρωῒ ὁ Αἰγύπτιος͵ λέγει αὐτῷ· Εὖξαι ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ. Καὶ ἐξῆλθε μὴ ὠφεληθείς. Καὶ ὡς ἀπῆλθε μικρὸν͵ θέλων ὁ γέρων ὠφελῆσαι αὐτὸν πέμψας μετ εκαλέσατο αὐτόν· καὶ ὡς ἦλθε͵ μετὰ χαρᾶς πάλιν ἐδέξατο αὐτὸν͵ καὶ ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτὸν͵ λέγων· Ποίας χώρας εἶ; Καὶ λέγει· Αἰγύπτιος. Ποίας δὲ πόλεως; Ὁ δὲ ἔφη· Ἐγὼ ὅλως οὐκ εἰμὶ πολίτης. Καὶ λέγει· Τί ἦν τὸ ἔργον σου εἰς τὴν κώμην σου; Καὶ λέγει· Τηρητής. Καὶ λέγει· Ποῦ ἐκοιμῶ; Ὁ δὲ εἶπεν· Εἰς τὸν ἀγρόν. Εἶχες͵ φησὶ͵ στρωμνὴν ὑπο κάτω σου; Καὶ λέγει· Ναὶ͵ εἰς ἀγρὸν εἶχον θεῖναι στρῶμα ὑποκάτω μου; Ἀλλὰ πῶς· Εἶπε δέ· Χαμαί. Λέγει αὐτῷ πάλιν· Καὶ τί εἶχες βρῶμα εἰς τὸν ἀγρόν; ἢ ποῖον οἶνον ἔπινες; Ἀπεκρίθη πάλιν· Ἔνι βρῶμα ἢ πόμα εἰς ἀγρόν; Ἀλλὰ πῶς ἔζης; φησί. Λέγει· ῎Ησθιον ξηρὸν ἄρτον͵ καὶ εἰ εὕρισκον μικρὸν ταρί χιν͵ καὶ ὕδωρ. Ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ γέρων εἶπε· Μέγας κόπος. Ἔνι δὲ καὶ βαλανεῖον εἰς τὴν κώμην͵ ἵνα λούησθε; Ὁ δὲ εἶπεν· Οὐχί· ἀλλὰ εἰς τὸν ποταμὸν ὅτε θέλομεν. Ὡς οὖν ἐξέλαβεν αὐτὸν ὁ γέρων εἰς ταῦτα πάντα͵ καὶ ἔμαθε τοῦ προτέρου βίου αὐτοῦ τὴν θλῖψιν͵ θέλων αὐτὸν ὠφελῆσαι͵ διηγήσατο αὐτῷ τὴν προτέραν αὐτοῦ διαγωγὴν τὴν ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ͵ λέγων· Ἐμὲ τὸν ταπεινὸν ὃν βλέπεις͵ ἐκ τῆς μεγά λης πόλεως Ρώμης εἰμὶ͵ καὶ μέγας γέγονα εἰς τὸ παλάτιον τοῦ βασιλέως. Καὶ ὡς ἤκουσε ὁ Αἰγύπτιος τὴν ἀρχὴν τοῦ λόγου͵ κατενύγη͵ καὶ ἤκουεν ἀκριβῶς τὰ λεγόμενα παρ΄ αὐτοῦ. Πάλιν δὲ λέγει αὐτῷ· Κατέλιπον οὖν τὴν πόλιν͵ καὶ ἦλθον εἰς τὴν ἔρημον ταύτην· καὶ πάλιν ἐμὲ ὃν βλέπεις͵ οἴκους μεγάλους εἶχον καὶ χρήματα πολλά· καὶ καταφρονήσας αὐ τῶν͵ ἦλθον εἰς τὸ μικρὸν κελλίον τοῦτο· καὶ πάλιν ἐμὲ ὃν βλέπεις͵ κραββάτους εἶχον ὁλοχρύσους͵ ἔχοντας πολυτίμους στρωμνάς· καὶ ἀντ΄ αὐτῶν͵ δέδωκέ μοι ὁ Θεὸς τὸ χαράδριον τοῦτο καὶ τὸ δέρμα· πάλιν τὰ ἐν δύματά μου πολλῆς τιμῆς ἄξια ἦν· καὶ ἀντὶ ἐκείνων͵ φορῶ τὰ εὐτελῆ ταῦτα ἱμάτια· πάλιν εἰς τὸ ἄριστόν μου πολὺ χρυσίον ἀνηλίσκετο· καὶ ἀντὶ ἐκείνου͵ ἔδωκέ μοι ὁ Θεὸς τὸ μικρὸν λάχανον τοῦτο͵ καὶ τὸ μικρὸν ποτήριον τοῦ οἴνου. ῏Ησαν δὲ οἱ ὑπηρετοῦντές μοι παῖδες πολλοί· καὶ ἰδοὺ ἀντ΄ ἐκείνων͵ κατένυξεν ὁ Θεὸς τὸν γέροντα τοῦτον ὑπηρετῆσαί μοι· ἀντὶ δὲ βαλανείου͵ βάλλω τὸ μικρὸν ὕδωρ εἰς τοὺς πόδας μου͵ καὶ τὰ σανδάλια διὰ τὴν ἀσθένειάν μου· πάλιν ἀντὶ μουσικῶν καὶ κιθαρῶν͵ λέγω τοὺς δώδεκα ψαλ μούς· ὁμοίως καὶ τὴν νύκτα͵ ἀντὶ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν 389 ὦν ἐποίουν͵ ἄρτι μετὰ ἀναπαύσεως ποιῶ μικράν μου λειτουργίαν. Παρακαλῶ οὖν σε͵ ἀββᾶ͵ μὴ σκανδαλι σθῇς εἰς τὴν ἀσθένειάν μου. Ταῦτα ἀκούσας ὁ Αἰ γύπτιος͵ εἰς ἑαυτὸν ἐλθὼν͵ εἶπεν· Οὐαί μοι͵ ὅτι ἀπὸ πολλῆς θλίψεως τοῦ κόσμου εἰς ἀνάπαυσιν ἦλθον͵ καὶ ἃ οὐκ εἶχον τότε͵ νῦν ἔχω· σὺ δὲ ἀπὸ πολλῆς ἀναπαύσεως εἰς θλῖψιν ἦλθες͵ καὶ ἀπὸ πολλῆς δόξης καὶ πλούτου ἦλθες εἰς ταπείνωσιν καὶ πτωχείαν. Πολλὰ δὲ ὠφεληθεὶς ἀπῆλθε͵ καὶ ἐγένετο αὐτοῦ φίλος͵ καὶ παρέβαλλεν αὐτῷ συχνῶς δι΄ ὠφέλειαν· ἦν γὰρ ἀνὴρ διακριτικὸς͵ καὶ πλήρης εὐωδίας τοῦ ἁγίου Πνεύματος



2. The same monk used to say that there was a certain old man who had a good disciple. Through narrowmindedness he drove him outside with his sheepskin. The brother remained sitting outside. When the old man opened the door, he found him sitting, and he repented saying, ‘O Father, the humility of your patience has overcome my narrowmindedness. Come inside and from now on you are the old man and the father, and I am the younger and the disciple.’

β. Ὁ αὐτὸς εἶπεν͵ ὅτι ἦν τις γέρων ἔχων καλὸν μαθητήν· καὶ ἀπὸ ὀλιγωρίας ἔβαλεν αὐτὸν ἔξω μετὰ τῆς μηλωτῆς αὐτοῦ. Ὁ δὲ ἀδελφὸς ὑπέμεινεν έξω καθήμενος. Καὶ ἀνοίξας ὁ γέρων͵ εὗρεν αὐτὸν καθήμενον͵ καὶ ἔβαλεν αὐτῷ μετάνοιαν͵ λέγων· Ὦ Πάτερ͵ ἡ ταπείνωσις τῆς μακροθυμίας σου ἐνίκησε τὴν ἐμὴν ὀλιγωρίαν. Δεῦρο ἔσω· ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν σὺ γέρων εἶ καὶ Πατὴρ͵ ἐγὼ δὲ νεώτερος καὶ μα θητής.



RUFUS 17_02




RUFUS 17_02

Περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Ρούφου





1. A brother asked Abba Rufus, ‘What is interior peace, and what use is it?’ The old man said, ‘Interior peace means to remain sitting in one’s cell with fear and knowledge of God, holding far off the remembrance of wrongs suffered and pride of spirit. Such interior peace brings forth all the virtues, preserves the monk from the burning darts of the enemy, and does not allow him to be wounded by them. Yes, brother, acquire it. Keep in mind your future death, remembering that you do not know at what hour the thief will come. Likewise be watchful over your soul.’

α. Ἀδελφὸς ἠρώτησε τὸν ἀββᾶν Ροῦφον· Τί ἐστιν ἡσυχία͵ καὶ τίς ἡ ὠφέλεια αὐτῆς; Ὁ δὲ γέρων λέγει αὐτῷ· Ἡσυχία ἐστὶ͵ τὸ καθεσθῆναι ἐν τῷ κελλίῳ μετὰ φόβου καὶ γνώσεως Θεοῦ͵ ἀπεχόμενος μνησικα κίας καὶ ὑψηλοφροσύνης. Ἡ τοιαύτη ἡσυχία γεννή τρια οὖσα πασῶν τῶν ἀρετῶν͵ φυλάσσει τὸν μοναχὸν ἀπὸ τῶν πεπυρωμένων βελῶν τοῦ ἐχθροῦ͵ μὴ ἐῶσα αὐτὸν τιτρώσκεσθαι ὑπ΄ αὐτῶν. Ναὶ͵ ἀδελφὲ͵ ταύτην κτῆσαι͵ μνημονεύων τῆς ἐξόδου τοῦ θανάτου σου͵ ὅτι οὐκ οἶδας ποίᾳ ὥρᾳ ὁ κλέπτης ἔρχεται. Λοιπὸν οὖν͵ νῆφε περὶ τῆς ἰδίας ψυχῆς



2. Abba Rufus said, ‘He who remains sitting at the feet of his spiritual father receives a greater reward than he who lives alone in the desert.’ He added that one of the Fathers said, ‘I have seen four orders in heaven: in the first order is the sick man who gives thanks to God; in the second, the man who observes hospitality and for that reason, gets up to serve; in the third, the man who crosses the desert without seeing anyone; in the fourth, the man who obeys his Father and remains in submission to him for the Lord’s sake. The one who was living in submission was wearing a chain of gold and a shield Romanus  and had greater glory than the others. I said to him who was guiding me, “Why does the one who is least have more glory than the others?” He answered me, “He who practises hospitality acts according to his own will; but the last one possesses obedience. Having abandoned all his desires, he depends on God and his own Father; it is because of this that he has received more glory than the others.” See, my child, how good obedience is when it is undertaken for the Lord. You have partly understood the elements of this virtue, my children. O obedience, salvation of the faithful! O obedience, mother of all the virtues! O obedience, discloser of the kingdom! O obedience opening the heavens, and making men to ascend there from earth! O obedience, food of all the saints, whose milk they have sucked, through you they have become perfect! O obedience, companion of the angels!’

β. Εἶπεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Ροῦφος͵ ὅτι ὁ καθήμενος ἐν ὑποταγῇ πατρὸς πνευματικοῦ͵ πλείονα μισθὸν ἔχει τοῦ ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ καθ΄ ἑαυτὸν ἀναχωροῦντος. Ἔλεγε δὲ οὗτος͵ ὅτι διηγήσατό τις τῶν Πατέρων͵ λέγων͵ ὅτι Εἶδον τέσσαρα τάγματα ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ· τὸ πρῶτον τάγμα͵ ἄνθρωπος ἀσθενῶν καὶ εὐχαριστῶν τῷ Θεῷ· τὸ δεύτερον τάγμα͵ ὁ τὴν φιλοξενίαν διώκων καὶ εἰς τοῦτο ἱστάμενος καὶ διακονῶν· τὸ τρίτον τάγμα͵ ὁ τὴν ἔρημον διώκων καὶ μὴ βλέπων ἄνθρωπον· τὸ τέταρτον τάγμα͵ ὁ ἐν ὑποταγῇ καθήμενος πατρὸς καὶ ὑποτασσόμενος αὐτῷ διὰ τὸν Κύριον. Ἐφόρει δὲ ὁ διὰ τὴν ὑπακοὴν μανιάκην χρυσοῦν καὶ γοργόνα͵ καὶ πλείονα τῶν ἄλλων δόξαν εἶχεν. Ἐγὼ δὲ͵ φησὶ͵ εἶπον τῷ ὁδηγοῦντί με͵ ὅτι Πῶς οὗτος ὁ μικρό τερος παρὰ τοὺς ἄλλους πλείονα δόξαν ἔχει; Ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπέ μοι· Ἐπειδὴ ὁ τὴν φιλοξενίαν διώκων ἰδίῳ θελήματι ποιεῖ· καὶ ὁ εἰς τὴν ἔρημον ὢν ἰδίῳ θελήματι ἀνεχώρησεν· οὗτος δὲ ὁ τὴν ὑπακοὴν ἔχων. 392 πάντα τὰ θελήματα αὐτοῦ καταλείψας͵ κρέμαται τῷ Θεῷ καὶ τῷ ἰδίῳ Πατρί· ἕνεκα τούτου πλείονα δόξαν ἔλαβε παρὰ τοὺς ἄλλους. Διὰ τοῦτο͵ ὦ τέκνα͵ καλὴ ἡ ὑπακοὴ ἡ διὰ τὸν Κύριον γινομένη. Ἠκούσατε͵ τέκνα. ἐκ μέρους͵ τοῦ κατορθώματος τούτου ὀλίγον τι ἴχνος. Ὦ ὑπακοὴ σωτηρία πάντων τῶν πιστῶν ὦ ὑπακοὴ γεννήτρια πασῶν τῶν ἀρετῶν ὦ ὑπακοὴ βασιλείας εὑρέτις ὦ ὑπακοὴ οὐρανοὺς ἀνοίγουσα͵ καὶ ἀνθρώπους ἀπὸ γῆς ἀνάγουσα ὦ ὑπακοὴ πάντων τῶν ἁγίων τροφὲ͵ ἐξ ἧς ἐθήλασαν͵ καὶ διὰ σοῦ ἐτελειώθησαν ὦ ὑπακοὴ σύνοικε ἀγγέλων








Περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Ρωμανοῦ.





1. When Abba Romanus was at the point of death, his disciples gathered round him and said, ‘How ought we to conduct ourselves?’ The old man said to them, ‘I do not think I have ever told one of you to do something, without having first made the decision not to get angry, if what I said were not done; and so we have lived in peace all our days.’

Μέλλοντος τοῦ ἀββᾶ Ρωμανοῦ τελευτᾷν͵ συν ήχθησαν πρὸς αὐτὸν οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ͵ λέγοντες αὐτῷ· Πῶς ὀφείλομεν διοικηθῆναι; Ὁ δὲ γέρων εἶπεν· Οὐδέποτε οἶδα εἰπών τινι ὑμῶν ποιῆσαί τί ποτε͵ εἰ μὴ πρότερον ἐποίησα τὸν λογισμὸν͵ μὴ ὀργισθῆναι ἐὰν μὴ ποιήσῃ ὃ εἶπον γενέσθαι· καὶ οὕτως ὅλον τὸν χρόνον ἡμῶν ᾠκήσαμεν μετ΄ εἰρήνης.








Ἀρχὴ τοῦ Σ στοιχείου.




SISOES 17_01




SISOES 17_01

Περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σισόη





Sisoes was trained as an ascetic with Abba Or in Scetis. He left Scetis after the death of St. Anthony, saying it had become too popular and settled on St. Anthony s mountain for seventy-two years. He found it deserted, which may indicate a time after the Saracen attack there in 557.

 He received supplies from Pispir by a servant and was in touch with Rhaithou and Clysma.



1. A brother whom another brother had wronged came to see Abba Sisoes and said to him, ‘My brother has hurt me and I want to avenge myself.’ The old man pleaded with him saying, ‘No, my child, leave vengeance to God.’ He said to him, ‘I shall not rest until I have avenged myself.’ The old man said, ‘Brother, let us pray.’ Then the old man stood up and said, ‘God, we no longer need you to care for us, since we do justice for ourselves.’ Hearing these words, the brothers fell at the old man’s feet, saying, ‘I will no longer seek justice from my brother; forgive me, abba.

α. Ἀδελφὸς ἀδικηθεὶς ὑπὸ ἑτέρου ἀδελφοῦ͵ ἦλθε πρὸς τὸν ἀββᾶν Σισόην͵ καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ· Ἠδικήθην παρά τινος ἀδελφοῦ͵ κἀγὼ θέλω ἐμαυτὸν ἐκδικῆσαι. Ὁ δὲ γέρων παρεκάλει αὐτὸν͵ λέγων· Μὴ͵ τέκνον͵ κα τάλειψον δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ Θεῷ τὰ τῆς ἐκδικήσεως. Ὁ δὲ ἔλεγεν· Οὐ παύσομαι ἕως οὗ ἐκδικήσω ἐμαυτόν. Εἶπε δὲ ὁ γέρων· Εὐξώμεθα͵ ἀδελφέ. Καὶ ἀναστὰς εἶπεν ὁ γέρων· Ὁ Θεὸς͵ οὐκ ἔτι σου ἔχομεν χρείαν φροντίζειν περὶ ἡμῶν· ἡμεῖς γὰρ τὴν ἐκδίκησιν ἑαυ τῶν ποιοῦμεν. Τοῦτο οὖν ἀκούσας ὁ ἀδελφὸς͵ ἔπεσε παρὰ τοὺς πόδας τοῦ γέροντος͵ εἰπών· Οὐκ ἔτι δι κάζομαι μετὰ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ͵ συγχώρησόν μοι͵ ἀββᾶ



2. A brother asked Abba Sisoes saying, ‘What should I do? When I go to the church, often there is an agape there after the service and they make me stay for it?’ The old man said to him, ‘It is a difficult question.’ Then Abraham, his disciple, said, ‘If the gathering takes place on Saturday or Sunday and a brother drinks three cups of wine, is that not a lot?’ The old man said, ‘If Satan is not in it, it is not much.’

β. Ἀδελφὸς ἠρώτησε τὸν ἀββᾶν Σισόην͵ λέγων· Τί ποιήσω; ὅτι ἀπαντῶ εἰς τὴν ἐκκλησίαν͵ καὶ πολ λάκις γίνεται ἀγάπη͵ καὶ κρατοῦσί με. Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Κόπον ἔχει τὸ πρᾶγμα. Λέγει οὖν Ἀβραὰμ ὁ μαθητὴς αὐτοῦ· Ἐὰν γένηται ἀπάντησις ἐν σαβ βάτῳ ἢ ἐν Κυριακῇ͵ καὶ πίῃ ἀδελφὸς τρία ποτήρια͵ μὴ πολλά ἐστι; Λέγει ὁ γέρων· Ἐὰν οὐκ ἔστι Σατα νᾶς͵ πολλὰ οὐκ ἔστιν



3. Abba Sisoes’ disciple said to him, ‘Father, you are growing old. Let us now go back nearer to inhabited country.’ The old man said to him, ‘Let us go where there are no women.’ His disciple said to him, ‘Where is there a place where there are no women except the desert?’ So the old man said, ‘Take me to the desert.’

γ. Ἔλεγεν ὁ μαθητὴς τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σισόη πρὸς αὐτόν· Πάτερ͵ ἐγήρασας͵ ἀπέλθωμεν ἐγγὺς τῆς οἰκουμένης͵ λοιπόν. Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Ὅπου οὐκ ἕνι γυνὴ͵ ἐκεῖ ἀπέλθωμεν. Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ μαθητὴς αὐτοῦ· Καὶ ποῦ ἔστι τόπος ὁ μὴ ἔχων γυναῖκα͵ εἰ μὴ ἡ ἔρημος; Λέγει οὖν ὁ γέρων· Εἰς τὴν ἔρημον ἆρόν με



4. Abba Sisoes’ disciple often said to him, Abba, get up, and let us eat.’ And he would say to him, ‘Have we not eaten, my child?’ He would reply, ‘No, Father.’ The the old man would say, If we have not eaten, bring the food, and we will eat.’

δ. Πολλάκις ἔλεγεν ὁ μαθητὴς τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σισόη· Ἀββᾶ͵ ἀνάστα͵ φάγωμεν. Ὁ δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ἔλεγεν· Οὐκ ἐφάγομεν͵ τέκνον; Ὁ δὲ· Οὐχὶ͵ Πάτερ. Καὶ ἔλεγεν ὁ γέρων· Εἰ οὐκ ἐφάγομεν͵ φέρε͵ καὶ ἐσθί ομεν. 393



5. Abba Sisoes expressed himself freely one day, saying, ‘Have confidence: for thirty years I have not prayed to God about my faults, but I have made this prayer to him: “Lord Jesus, save me from my tongue,” and until now every day, I fall because of it, and commit sin.’

ε. Εἶπέ ποτε ὁ ἀββᾶς Σισόης μετὰ παῤῥησίας· Θάρσει· ἰδοὺ τριάκοντα ἔτη ἔχω μηκέτι δεόμενος τοῦ Θεοῦ περὶ ἁμαρτίας· ἀλλὰ τοῦτο εὔχομαι͵ λέγων· Κύριε Ἰησοῦ͵ σκέπασόν με ἀπὸ τῆς γλώσσης μου· κύριε Ἰησοῦ͵ σκέπασόν με ἀπὸ τῆς γλώσσης μου· καὶ ἕως νῦν καθ΄ ἡμέραν πίπτω δι΄ αὐτῆς καὶ ἁμαρ τάνω. .



6. A brother said to Abba Sisoes, ‘How is it that the passions do not leave me?’ The old man said, ‘Their tools are inside you; give them their pay and they will go.’

ϛ. Ἀδελφὸς εἶπε τῷ ἀββᾷ Σισόῃ· Πῶς οὐκ ἀνα χωροῦσι τὰ πάθη ἀπ΄ ἐμοῦ; Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Τὰ σκεύη αὐτῶν ἔνδοθέν σού εἰσιν· δὸς αὐτοῖς τὸν ἀῤῥα βῶνα αὐτῶν͵ καὶ ὑπάγουσιν



7. Abba Sisoes was living for a time on the mountain of Abba Anthony, and his disciple was a long time coming, so he did not see anyone for ten months. Now while he was walking on the mountain he met a Pharanite who was hunting wild animals. The old man said to him, ‘Where have you come from? And how long have you been here?’ He replied, ‘Indeed, abba, I have been eleven months on this mountain and I have not seen anyone except you.’ Hearing this the old man entered his cell and beat his breast saying, ‘Look, Sisoes, you thought you had done something special but you have not even equalled this layman.’

ζ. Ἐκάθητό ποτε ὁ ἀββᾶς Σισόης εἰς τὸ ὅρος τοῦ ἀββᾶ Ἀντωνίου· καὶ χρονίσαντος τοῦ διακονητοῦ αὐτοῦ ἐλθεῖν πρὸς αὐτὸν͵ ἕως μηνῶν δέκα οὐκ εἶδεν ἄνθρωπον. Περιπατῶν δὲ ἐν τῷ ὄρει͵ εὑρίσκει Φαρα νίτην ἀγρεύοντα ἄγρια ζῶα· καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Πόθεν ἔρχῃ; καὶ πόσον χρόνον ἔχεις ὧδε; Ὁ δὲ ἔφη· Φύσει͵ ἀββᾶ͵ ἔχω ἕνδεκα μῆνας ἐν τῷ ὄρει τούτῳ͵ καὶ οὐκ εἶδον ἄνθρωπον εἰ μὴ σέ. Ἀκού σας δὲ ὁ γέρων ταῦτα͵ εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὸ κελλίον͵ ἔτυ πτεν ἑαυτὸν͵ λέγων· Ἰδοὺ͵ Σισόη͵ ἐνόμισας τίποτε πεποιηκέναι· καὶ οὐδὲ ὡς ὁ κοσμικὸς οὗτος ἀκμὴν πεποίηκας



8. There was a liturgy on the mountain of Abba Anthony and they had a small bottle of wine there. One of the old men took a 2 jug and a cup and offered some to Abba Sisoes. He drank some. A second time, he also accepted some. But when he was offered some a third time, he did not accept it, saying, ‘Stop, brother, don’t you know that it is of Satan?’

η. Ἐγένετο προσφορὰ εἰς τὸ ὄρος τοῦ ἀββᾶ Ἀν τωνίου͵ καὶ εὑρέθη ἐκεῖ κνίδιον οἴνου· καὶ λαβὼν εἷς τῶν γερόντων μικρὸν ἀγγεῖον καὶ ποτή ριον͵ ἀπήνεγκε πρὸς τὸν ἀββᾶν Σισόην͵ καὶ ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ͵ καὶ ἔπιεν. Ὁμοίως καὶ δεύτερον͵ καὶ ἐδέξατο. Παρέσχεν αὐτῷ καὶ τρίτον͵ καὶ οὐκ ἔλαβεν͵ εἰπών· Παῦσαι͵ ἀδελφὲ͵ ἢ οὐκ οἶδας ὅτι ἔστι Σατανᾶς;

9. One of the brethren went to see Abba Sisoes on Abba Anthony’s mountain. While they were talking, he said to Abba Sisoes, ‘Have you already reached Abba Anthony’s stature, Father?’ The old man said to him, ‘If I had one of Abba Anthony’s thoughts, I should become all flame; but I do know a man, who with difficulty is able to bear Anthony’s thoughts.’

θ. Παρέβαλέ τις τῶν ἀδελφῶν πρὸς τὸν ἀββᾶν Σισόην͵ εἰς τὸ ὄρος τοῦ ἀββᾶ Ἀντωνίου· καὶ λαλούν των αὐτῶν͵ ἔλεγε τῷ ἀββᾷ Σισόῃ· Ἄρτι οὐκ ἔφθα σας εἰς τὰ μέτρα τοῦ ἀββᾶ Ἀντωνίου͵ Πάτερ; Καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Εἰ εἶχον ἕνα τῶν λογισμῶν τοῦ ἀββᾶ Ἀντωνίου͵ ἐγινόμην ὅλος ὡς πῦρ· πλὴν οἶδα ἄνθρωπον͵ ὅτι μετὰ καμάτου δύναται βαστάσαι τὸν λογισμὸν αὐτοῦ



10. One of the inhabitants of the Thebaid came to see Abba Sisoes one day because he wanted to become a monk. The old man asked him if he had any relations in the world. He replied, ‘I have a son.’ The old man said, ‘Go and throw him into the river and then you will become a monk. As he went to throw him in, the old man sent a brother in haste to prevent him. The brother said, ‘Stop, what are you doing?’ But the other said to him, ‘The abba told me to throw him in.’ So the brother said, ‘But afterwards he said do not throw him in.’ So he left his son and went to find the old man and he became a monk, tested by obedience.

ι. ῏Ηλθέ ποτέ τις τῶν Θηβαίων πρὸς τὸν ἀββᾶν Σι σόην͵ θέλων γενέσθαι μοναχός. Καὶ ἠρώτησεν αὐ τὸν ὁ γέρων͵ εἰ ἔχει τινὰ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ. Ὁ δὲ ἔφη· Ἔχω ἕνα υἱόν. Καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Ὕπαγε͵ ῥίψον αὐτὸν εἰς τὸν ποταμὸν͵ καὶ τότε γίνῃ μοναχός. Ὡς οὖν ἀπῆλθε ῥίψαι αὐτὸν͵ ἔπεμψεν ὁ γέρων ἀδελ φὸν τοῦ κωλῦσαι αὐτόν. Λέγει ὁ ἀδελφός· Παῦσαι͵ τί ποιεῖς; Ὁ δὲ εἶπεν· Ὁ ἀββᾶς μοι εἶπε ῥίψαι αὐτόν. 396 Λέγει οὖν ὁ ἀδελφός· Ἀλλὰ πάλιν εἶπε͵ μὴ ῥίψῃς αὐτόν. Καὶ καταλιπὼν αὐτὸν͵ ἦλθε πρὸς τὸν γέ ροντα· καὶ γέγονε δόκιμος μοναχὸς διὰ τὴν ὑπακοὴν αὐτοῦ



11. A brother asked Abba Sisoes, ‘Did Satan pursue them like this in the early days?’ The old man said to him, ‘He does this more at the present time, because his time is nearly finished and he is enraged.’

ια. Ἀδελφὸς ἠρώτησε τὸν ἀββᾶν Σισόην͵ λέγων· Ἆρα οὕτως ἐδίωκεν ὁ Σατανᾶς τοὺς ἀρχαίους; Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Ἄρτι πλέον͵ ὅτι ὁ καιρὸς αὐτοῦ ἤγ γισε͵ καὶ ταράσσεται



12. Abraham, Abba Sisoes’ disciple, was tempted one day by the devil and the old man saw that he had given way. Standing up, he stretched his hands towards heaven, saying, ‘God, whether you will, or whether you will not, I will not let you alone till you have healed him,’ and immediately the brother was healed.

ιβ. Ἐπειράσθη ποτὲ Ἀβραὰμ ὁ μαθητὴς τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σισόη ἀπὸ δαίμονος· καὶ εἶδεν ὁ γέρων ὅτι πέπτωκεν͵ καὶ ἀναστὰς ἐξέτεινε τὰς χεῖρας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν͵ λέ γων· Θεὸς͵ θέλεις͵ οὐ θέλεις͵ οὐκ ἀφῶ σε͵ ἐὰν μὴ αὐτὸν θεραπεύσῃς. Καὶ εὐθέως ἐθεραπεύθη



13. A brother said to Abba Sisoes, ‘I am aware that the remembrance of God stays with me.’ The old man said to him, ‘It is no great thing to be with God in your thoughts, but it is a great thing to see yourself as inferior to all creatures. It is this, coupled with hard work, that leads to humility.’

ιγ. Ἀδελφὸς ἠρώτησε τὸν ἀββᾶν Σισόην͵ λέγων· Ὁρῶ ἐμαυτὸν͵ ὅτι ἡ μνήμη τοῦ Θεοῦ παραμένει μοι. Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Οὐκ ἔστι μέγα͵ τὸ εἶναι τὸν λογισμόν σου μετὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ· μέγα δέ ἐστι͵ τὸ ἑαυτὸν ὁρᾷν ὑποκάτω πάσης τῆς κτίσεως. Τοῦτο γὰρ καὶ ὁ σωματικὸς κόπος ὁδηγεῖ εἰς τὸν τῆς ταπεινο φροσύνης τρόπον



14. It was said of Abba Sisoes that when he was at the point of death, while the Fathers were sitting beside him, his face shone like Sisoes [215 the sun. He said to them, ‘Look, Abba Anthony is coming.’ A little later he said, ‘Look, the choir of prophets is coming.’ Again his countenance shone with brightness and he said, Look, the choir of apostles is coming,’ His countenance increased in brightness and lo, he spoke with someone. Then the old men asked him, ‘With whom are you speaking, Father?’ He said, ‘Look, the angels are coming to fetch me, and I am begging them to let me do a little penance.’ The old man said to him, ‘You have no need to do penance, Father.’ But the old man said to them, ‘Truly, I do not think I have even made a beginning yet.’ Now they all knew that he was perfect. Once more his countenance suddenly became like the sun and they were all filled with fear. He said to them, ‘Look, the Lord is coming and he’s saying, “Bring me the vessel from the desert.” ‘ Then there was as a flash of lightening and all the house was filled with a sweet odour.

ιδ. Ἔλεγον περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σισόη͵ ὅτι ὅτε ἔμελλε τελευτᾷν͵ καθημένων τῶν Πατέρων πρὸς αὐτὸν ἔλαμ ψε τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ὡς ὁ ἥλιος· καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· Ἰδοὺ ὁ ἀββᾶς Ἀντώνιος ἦλθε. Καὶ μετὰ μικρὸν λέ γει· Ἰδοὺ ὁ χορὸς τῶν προφητῶν ἦλθε. Καὶ πάλιν τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ περισσῶς ἔλαμψε· καὶ εἶπεν· Ἰδοὺ ὁ χορὸς τῶν ἀποστόλων ἦλθε. Καὶ ἐδιπλασίασε τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ πάλιν· καὶ ἰδοὺ αὐτὸς ὡς μετά τι νων λαλῶν. Καὶ ἐδεήθησαν αὐτοῦ οἱ γέροντες͵ λέγον τες· Μετὰ τίνος ὁμιλεῖς͵ Πάτερ; Ὁ δὲ ἔφη· Ἰδοὺ ἄγγελοι ἦλθον λαβεῖν με͵ καὶ παρακαλῶ ἵνα ἀφεθῶ μετανοῆσαι μικρόν. Καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ οἱ γέροντες· Οὐ χρείαν ἔχεις μετανοῆσαι͵ Πάτερ. Εἶπε δὲ αὐτοῖς ὁ γέρων· Φύσει οὐκ οἶδα ἐμαυτὸν ὅτι ἔβαλον ἀρχήν. Καὶ ἔμαθον πάντες ὅτι τέλειός ἐστι. Καὶ πάλιν ἄφνω ἐγένετο τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ὡς ὁ ἥλιος· καὶ ἐφοβή θησαν πάντες. Καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· Βλέπετε͵ ὁ Κύριος ἦλθε͵ καὶ λέγει· Φέρετέ μοι τὸ σκεῦος τῆς ἐρήμου. Καὶ εὐθέως παρέδωκε τὸ πνεῦμα. Καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἀστραπή· καὶ ἐπλήσθη ὅλος ὁ οἶκος εὐωδίας



15. Abba Adelphius, bishop of Nilopolis, went to find Abba Sisoes on the mountain of Abba Anthony. When they were ready to leave, before setting out on their road Abba Sisoes made them eat before morning. Now it was a fast day. As he was setting the table, behold, some brothers came and knocked on the door. He said to his disciple, ‘Give them a little to eat, for they are tired.’ Abba Adelphius said to him, ‘No, don’t do that, in case they say that Abba Sisoes eats before morning.’ So the old man thought about it and then he said to the brother, ‘Go on, give them something.’ Now when they saw the food they said, ‘Have you visitors, and is that why the old man is eating with you?’ The brother replied it was so. They they were very distressed and they said, ‘May God forgive you, because you have let the old man eat now. Do you not know that because of this, he will mortify himself for a long time?’ Hearing this, the bishop did penance before the old man saying, ‘Forgive me, abba, for I reasoned on a human level while you do the work of God.’ Abba Sisoes said to him, ‘If God does not glorify a man, the glory of men is without value.’

ιε. Παρέβαλεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Ἀδέλφιος ἐπίσκοπος Νει λουπόλεως πρὸς τὸν ἀββᾶν Σισόην͵ εἰς τὸ ὄρος τοῦ ἀββᾶ Ἀντωνίου. Καὶ ὡς ἤμελλον ἐξελθεῖν͵ πρὶν αὐ τοὺς ὁδεῦσαι͵ ἐποίησεν αὐτοὺς γεύσασθαι ἀπὸ πρωΐ· ἦν δὲ νηστεία. Καὶ ὡς ἔθηκαν τράπεζαν͵ ἰδοὺ ἀδελφοὶ κρούουσιν. Εἶπε δὲ τῷ μαθητῇ αὐτοῦ· Δὸς αὐτοῖς μικρὰν ἀθήραν͵ ὅτι ἀπὸ κόπου εἰσί. Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ ἀββᾶς Ἀδέλφιος· Ἄφες τέως͵ ἵνα μὴ εἴπωσιν ὅτι ὁ 397 ἀββᾶς Σισόης ἀπὸ πρωῒ ἐσθίει. Καὶ προσέσχεν αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων͵ καὶ λέγει τῷ ἀδελφῷ· Ὕπαγε͵ δὸς αὐτοῖς. Ὁς οὖν εἶδον τὴν ἀθήραν͵ εἶπον· Μὴ ξένους ἔχετε; μὴ ἄρα καὶ ὁ γέρων μεθ΄ ὑμῶν ἐσθίει; Καὶ εἶπεν αὐ τοῖς ὁ ἀδελφός· Ναί. ῎Ηρξαντο οὖν θλίβεσθαι͵ καὶ λέγειν· Συγχωρήσῃ ὑμῖν ὁ Θεὸς͵ ὅτι τὸν γέροντα ἀφήκατε φαγεῖν ἄρτι. ῍Η οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ἐπὶ πολλὰς ἡμέρας ἔχει κοπιάσαι; Καὶ ἤκουσεν αὐτῶν ὁ ἐπίσκο πος͵ καὶ ἔβαλε μετάνοιαν τῷ γέροντι͵ λέγων· Συγχώ ρησόν μοι͵ ἀββᾶ͵ ὅτι ἀνθρώπινόν τι ἐλογισάμην· σὺ δὲ τὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐποίησας. Καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ ἀββᾶς Σι σόης· Ἐὰν μὴ ὁ Θεὸς δοξάσῃ ἄνθρωπον͵ ἡ δόξα τῶν ἀνθρώπων οὐδέν ἐστιν



16. Some brothers went to see Abba Sisoes to hear a word from him. But he did not speak to them saying, ‘Excuse me.’ Seeing his little baskets, the visitors asked his disciple Abraham, ‘What do you do with these little baskets?’ He said, ‘We sell them here and there.’ Hearing this the old man said, ‘Even Sisoes eats now and then.’ By these words the visitors were greatly helped and they returned with joy, edified by his humility.

ιϛ. Παρέβαλόν τινες πρὸς τὸν ἀββᾶν Σισόην ἀκοῦ σαι παρ΄ αὐτοῦ λόγον͵ καὶ οὐδὲν αὐτοῖς ἐλάλησε· πάν τα δὲ ἔλεγε· Συγχωρήσατέ μοι. Ἰδόντες δὲ αὐτοῦ τὰ σπυρίδια͵ εἶπον τῷ μαθητῇ αὐτοῦ Ἀβραάμ· Τί ποιεῖτε τὰ σπυρίδια ταῦτα; Ὁ δὲ εἶπεν· Ὧδε κἀκεῖ ἀναλίσκομεν αὐτά. Ἀκούσας δὲ ὁ γέρων͵ εἶπε· Καὶ Σισόης ἔνθεν κἀκεῖθεν ἐσθίει. Οἱ δὲ ἀκούσαντες͵ πάνυ ὠφελήθησαν· καὶ ἀπῆλθον μετὰ χαρᾶς͵ οἰκοδομηθέν τες εἰς τὴν ταπείνωσιν αὐτοῦ



17. Abba Ammoun of Rhaithou asked Abba Sisoes, ‘When I read the Scriptures, my mind is wholly concentrated on the words so that I may have something to say if I am asked.’ The old man said to him, ‘That is not necessary; it is better to enrich yourself through purity of spirit and to be without anxiety and then to speak.’

ιζ. Ἠρώτησεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Ἀμμὼν ὁ τῆς Ραϊθοῦ τὸν ἀββᾶν Σισόην· Ὅταν ἀναγινώσκω Γραφὴν͵ θέλει ὁ λογισμός μου φιλοκαλῆσαι λόγον͵ ἵνα ἔχω εἰς ἐπερώ τημα. Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Οὐκ ἔστι χρεία· ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον ἐκ τῆς καθαρότητος τοῦ νοὸς κτῆσαι σεαυτῷ καὶ τὸ ἀμεριμνεῖν καὶ τὸ λέγειν



18. A secular who had a son came to see Abba Sisoes on Abba Anthony’s mountain. On the way, it happened that his son died. He was not troubled by this but brought him with confidence to the old man and bowed down with his son, as though making prostration, so that he would be blessed by the old man. Then the father stood up, left the child at the old man’s feet and went outside. The old man, thinking that the boy was bowing said to him, ‘Get up, go outside.’ For he did not know that he was dead. Immediately the boy stood up and went out. When he saw it, his father was filled with amazement and went back inside. He bowed before the old man and told him the whole story. When he heard it the old man was filled with regret, for he had not intended that to happen. So the disciple asked the father of the child not to speak of it to anyone before the old man’s death.

ιη. Παρέβαλέ ποτε κοσμικὸς ἔχων τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ πρὸς τὸν ἀββᾶν Σισόην͵ εἰς τὸ ὄρος τοῦ ἀββᾶ Ἀν τωνίου· καὶ κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν συνέβη ἀποθανεῖν τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ· καὶ οὐκ ἐταράχθη͵ ἀλλ΄ ἔλαβεν αὐτὸν πρὸς τὸν γέροντα πίστει͵ καὶ προσέπεσε μετὰ τοῦ υἱοῦ ὡς με τάνοιαν ποιῶν͵ ὥστε εὐλογηθῆναι παρὰ τοῦ γέροντος. Καὶ ἀναστὰς ὁ πατὴρ κατέλιπε τὸ παιδίον πρὸς τοὺς πόδας τοῦ γέροντος͵ καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἔξω. Ὁ δὲ γέρων͵ νομίζων ὅτι μετάνοιαν αὐτῷ βάλλει͵ λέγει αὐτῷ· Ἀνάστα͵ ἔξελθε ἔξω· οὐ γὰρ ᾔδει ὅτι ἀπέθανε. Καὶ παραχρῆμα ἀνέστη καὶ ἐξῆλθε. Καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ͵ ἐξέστη· καὶ εἰσελθὼν προσεκύνησε τῷ γέροντι͵ καὶ ἀνήγγειλεν αὐτῷ τὸ πρᾶγμα. Ἀκούσας δὲ ὁ γέρων͵ ἐλυπήθη· οὐ γὰρ ἤθελε τοῦτο γενέσθαι. Παρήγγειλε δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ μαθητὴς αὐτοῦ͵ μηδενὶ εἰπεῖν͵ ἕως τῆς τελευτῆς τοῦ γέροντος



19. Three old men came to see Abba Sisoes, having heard about him. The first said to him, ‘Father, how shall I save myself from the river of fire?’ He did not answer him. The second said to him, ‘Father, how can I be saved from the gnashing of teeth and the worm which dieth not?’ The third said, ‘Father, what shall I do, for the remembrance of the outer darkness is killing me?’ By way of reply the old man said to them, ‘For my part, I do not keep in mind the remembrance of any of these things, for God is compassionate and I hope that he will show me his mercy.’ Hearing this, the old men went back offended. But the old man, not wishing to let them go away hurt, said to them, ‘Blessed are you, my brothers; truly I envy you. The first speaks of the river of fire, the second of hell and the third of darkness. Now if your spirit is filled with such remembrances, it is impossible for you to sin. What shall I do, then? I who am hard of heart and to whom it has not been granted so much as to know whether there is a punishment for men; no doubt it is because of this that I am sinning all the time.’ They prostrated themselves before him and said, ‘Now we have seen exactly that of which we have heard tell.’

ιθ. Τρεῖς γέροντες παρέβαλον τῷ ἀββᾷ Σισόῃ͵ ἀκούσαντες τὰ περὶ αὐτοῦ. Καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ πρῶτος· Πάτερ͵ πῶς δύναμαι σωθῆναι ἀπὸ τοῦ πυρίνου ποτα μοῦ; Ὁ δὲ οὐκ ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῷ. Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ δεύ τερος· Πάτερ͵ πῶς δύναμαι σωθῆναι ἀπὸ τοῦ βρυ γμοῦ τῶν ὀδόντων͵ καὶ ἐκ τοῦ σκώληκος τοῦ ἀκοιμή του; Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ τρίτος· Πάτερ͵ τί ποιήσω͵ ὅτι ἡ μνήμη τοῦ ἐξωτέρου σκότους φονεύει με; Ἀποκρι θεὶς δὲ ὁ γέρων εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· Ἐγὼ οὐδενὸς τούτων μέμνημαι· φιλεύσπλαγχνος γὰρ ὢν ὁ Θεὸς͵ ἐλπίζω  400 ὅτι ποιεῖ μετ΄ ἐμοῦ ἔλεος. Ἀκούσαντες δὲ τὸν λόγον τοῦτον οἱ γέροντες ἀπῆλθον λυπούμενοι. Μὴ θέλων δὲ ὁ γέρων ἐᾶσαι αὐτοὺς λυπουμένους ἀπελθεῖν͵ ὑποστρέ ψας αὐτοῖς εἶπε· Μακάριοί ἐστε͵ ἀδελφοί· ἐζήλωσα γὰρ ὑμᾶς. Ὁ πρῶτος γὰρ ὑμῶν εἶπε περὶ τοῦ πυρί νου ποταμοῦ͵ καὶ ὁ δεύτερος περὶ τοῦ Ταρτάρου͵ καὶ ὁ τρίτος περὶ τοῦ σκότους. Εἰ οὖν τοιαύτης μνήμης κυριεύει ὁ νοῦς ὑμῶν͵ ἀδύνατον ὑμᾶς ἁμαρτῆσαι. Τί δὲ ποιήσω ἐγὼ ὁ σκληροκάρδιος͵ μὴ συγχωρούμενος εἰδέναι ὅτι κἄν ἐστι κόλασις τοῖς ἀνθρώποις· καὶ ἐκ τούτου͵ ἐν πάσῃ ὥρᾳ ἁμαρτάνω; Καὶ μετανοήσαντες αὐτῷ εἶπον· Καθάπερ ἠκούσαμεν͵ οὕτως καὶ εἴδομεν



20. They asked Abba Sisoes, If a brother sins, surely he must do penance for a year?’ He replied, ‘That is a hard saying.’ The visitors said, ‘For six months?’ He replied, ‘That is a great deal.’ They said, ‘For forty days?’ He said, ‘That is a great deal, too.’ They said to him, ‘What then? If a brother falls, and the agape is about to be offered, should he simply come to the agape, too?’ The old man said to them, ‘No, he needs to do penance for a few days. But I trust in God that if such a man does penance with his whole heart, God will receive him, even in three days.’

κ. Ἠρώτησάν τινες τὸν ἀββᾶν Σισόην͵ λέγοντες· Ἐὰν πέσῃ ἀδελφὸς͵ οὐ χρείαν ἔχει μετανοῆσαι ἐνιαυ τόν; Ὁ δὲ εἶπε· Σκληρόν ἐστι τὸ ῥῆμα. Οἱ δέ φασιν· Ἀλλ΄ ἓξ μῆνας; Καὶ πάλιν εἶπε· Πολύ ἐστιν. Οἱ δὲ ἔφασκον· Ἕως τεσσαράκοντα ἡμερῶν; Πάλιν ἔφη· Πολύ ἐστι. Λέγουσιν αὐτῷ· Τί οὖν; ἐὰν πέσῃ ἀδελ φὸς͵ καὶ εὑρεθῇ εὐθὺς ἀγάπη γινομένη͵ καὶ αὐτὸς εἰσέλθῃ εἰς τὴν ἀγάπην; Λέγει αὐτοῖς ὁ γέρων· Οὐχί. Ἀλλὰ χρείαν ἔχει μετανοῆσαι ὀλίγας ἡμέρας. Πιστεύω γὰρ τῷ Θεῷ͵ ὅτι ὁλοψύχως ἐὰν μετανοήσῃ ὁ τοιοῦτος͵ καὶ εἰς τρεῖς ἡμέρας δέχεται αὐτὸν Θεός



21. When Abba Sisoes went to Clysma one day, some seculars came to see him. Though they talked a great deal, he did not answer them by so much as a word. Later, one of them said, ‘Why do you bother the old man? He does not eat; that is why he cannot speak.’ The old man replied, ‘For my part, I eat when the need arises.’

κα. Ἐλθόντος ποτὲ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σισόη εἰς τὸ Κλύ σμα͵ παρέβαλον αὐτῷ κοσμικοὶ ἰδεῖν αὐτόν. Καὶ πολλὰ λαλησάντων αὐτῶν͵ οὐκ ἀπεκρίθη αὐτοῖς λόγον. Ὕστερον δὲ εἷς αὐτῶν εἶπε· Τί θλίβετε τὸν γέ ροντα; οὐκ ἐσθίει· διὰ τοῦτο οὐδὲ λαλεῖν δύναται. Ἀπεκρίθη ὁ γέρων· Ἐγὼ ὅτε γένηταί μοι χρεία͵ ἐσθίω



22. Abba Joseph asked Abba Sisoes, ‘For how long must a man cut away the passions?’ The old man said to him, ‘Do you want to know how long?’ Abba Joseph answered, ‘Yes.’ The the old man said to him, ‘So long as a passion attacks you, cut it away at once.’

κβ. Ἠρώτησεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Ἰωσὴφ τὸν ἀββᾶν Σισόην͵ λέγων· Διὰ πόσου χρόνου ὀφείλει ἄνθρωπος ἐκ κόπτειν τὰ πάθη; Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Τοὺς χρόνους θέλεις μαθεῖν; Λέγει ὁ ἀββᾶς Ἰωσήφ· Ναί. Λέγει οὖν ὁ γέρων· Οἵαν ὥραν ἔρχεται τὸ πάθος͵ εὐθέως κόψον αὐτό



23. A brother asked Abba Sisoes of Petra how to live and the old man said to him, ‘Daniel said: do not eat the bread of desires.’ (cf. Dan. 10.3)

κγ. Ἀδελφὸς ἠρώτησε τὸν ἀββᾶν Σισόην τὸν τῆς Πέτρας περὶ πολιτείας. Καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Εἶπε Δανιήλ· Ἄρτον ἐπιθυμιῶν οὐκ ἔφαγον



24. It was said of Abba Sisoes that when he was sitting in the cell he would always close the door.

κδ. Ἔλεγον περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σισόη͵ ὅτι καθήμενος εἰς τὸ κελλίον πάντοτε τὴν θύραν ἔκλειεν



25. One day some Arians came to see Abba Sisoes on Abba Anthony’s mountain and they began to speak against the orthodox faith. The old man gave them no answer but he called his disciple and said to him, Abraham, bring me the book of Saint Athanasius and read it.’ Then they were silent as their heresy was unmasked and he sent them away in peace.

κε. ῏Ηλθόν ποτε Ἀρειανοὶ πρὸς τὸν ἀββᾶν Σισόην εἰς τὸ ὄρος τοῦ ἀββᾶ Ἀντωνίου͵ καὶ ἤρξαντο κατα λαλεῖν τῶν ὀρθοδόξων. Ὁ δὲ γέρων οὐκ ἀπεκρίθη αὐτοῖς οὐδέν· καὶ φωνήσας τὸν ἑαυτοῦ μαθητὴν͵ εἶ πεν· Ἀβραὰμ͵ φέρε μοι τὸ βιβλίον τοῦ ἀγίου Ἀθανασίου͵ καὶ ἀνάγνωθι αὐτό. Καὶ σιωπώντων αὐτῶν͵ ἐγνώσθη ἡ αἵρεσις αὐτῶν. Καὶ ἀπέλυσεν αὐ τοὺς μετ΄ εἰρήνης



26. Abba Ammoun of Rhaithou came to Clysma one day to meet Abba Sisoes. Seeing that Abba Sisoes was grieved because he had left the desert, Abba Ammoun said to him, Abba, why grieve about 2 it? What would you do in the desert, now you are so old?’ The old man pondered this sorrowfully and said to him, ‘What are you saying to me, Ammoun? Was not the mere liberty of my soul enough for me in the desert?’

κϛ.. ῏Ηλθέ ποτε ὁ ἀββᾶς Ἀμοῦν ἀπὸ Ραϊθοῦ εἰς τὸ Κλύσμα͵ παραβαλεῖν τῷ ἀββᾷ Σισόῃ· καὶ βλέπων αὐτὸν θλιβόμενον͵ ὅτι ἀφῆκε τὴν ἔρημον͵ λέγει αὐ τῷ· Τί θλίβῃ͵ ἀββᾶ; τί γὰρ ἠδύνω ἀπάρτι ποιῆσαι 401 εἰς τὴν ἔρημον͵ οὕτως γηράσας; Ὁ δὲ γέρων προσ έσχεν αὐτῷ μετὰ στυφότητος͵ λέγων· Τί μοι λέγεις͵ Ἀμοῦν; οὐκ ἤρκει γάρ μοι ἡ ἐλευθερία μόνη τοῦ λογισμοῦ μου ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ



27. Abba Sisoes was sitting in his cell one day. His disciple knocked on the door and the old man shouted out to him saying, ‘Go away, Abraham, do not come in. From now on I have no time for the things of this world.’

κζ. Ἐκάθητό ποτε ὁ ἀββᾶς Σισόης ἐν τῷ κελλίῳ αὐτοῦ· καὶ κρούσαντος τοῦ μαθητοῦ αὐτοῦ͵ ἔκραξεν ὁ γέρων͵ λέγων· Φύγε͵ Ἀβραὰμ͵ μὴ εἰσέλθῃς͵ ἄρτι οὐ σχολάζει τὰ ὧδε



28. A brother asked Abba Sisoes, ‘Why did you leave Scetis, where you lived with Abba Or and come to live here?’ The old man said, At the time when Scetis became crowded, I heard that Anthony was dead and I got up and came here to the mountain. Finding the place peaceful I have settled here for a little while.’ The brother said to him, ‘How long have you been here?’ The old man said to him, ‘Seventy-two years.’

κη. Ἀδελφὸς ἠρώτησε τὸν ἀββᾶν Σισόην͵ λέγων· Πῶς κατέλιπες τὴν Σκῆτιν μετὰ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Ὢρ ὢν͵ καὶ ἦλθες καὶ ἐκάθισας ὧδε; Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Ἐν τῷ ἄρξασθαι πληθύνεσθαι τὴν Σκῆτιν͵ καὶ ἀκού σας ἐγὼ ὅτι ἐκοιμήθη ὁ ἀββᾶς Ἀντώνιος͵ ἀνέστην καὶ ἦλθον ὧδε εἰς τὸ ὄρος· καὶ εὑρὼν τὰ ὧδε ἡσυχά ζοντα͵ μικρὸν ἐκάθισα χρόνον. Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ ἀδελφός· Πόσον χρόνον ἔχεις ὧδε; Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Εἰσὶν ἑβδομηκονταδύο



29. He also said, ‘When there is someone who takes care of you, you are not to give him orders.’

κθ. Εἶπεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Σισόης· Ὅταν ᾗ ἄνθρωπος τὴν φροντίδα σου ποιούμενος͵ οὐ δεῖ σε διατάξαι



30. A brother asked Abba Sisoes, If we are walking along the road and the guide leads us astray, ought we to tell him so?’ The old man answered, ‘No.’ Then the brother said, ‘Should we let him lead us astray then?’ The old man said to him, ‘What else? Will you take a stick to beat him? I know some brethren who were walking and the guide misled them the whole night. There were twelve of them and they all knew that they were lost and each one struggled not to say so. When day came and the guide realized that they had lost their way and said to them, “Forgive me, but I am lost,” they all said to him, “We knew that but we kept silence.” Hearing this he was filled with wonder and said, “Even to the point of death, the brothers control themselves so as not to speak,” and he gave glory to God. The length of the road on which they had gone astray was twelve miles.’

λ. Ἀδελφὸς ἠρώτησε τὸν ἀββᾶν Σισόην λέγων· Ἐὰν περιπατῶμεν ἐν ὁδῷ͵ καὶ πλανηθῇ ὁ ὁδηγῶν ἡμᾶς͵ χρεία εἰπεῖν αὐτῷ; Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Οὐχί. Λέγει οὖν ὁ ἀδελφός· Ἀλλ΄ ἀφῶμεν αὐτὸν πλανῆσαι ἡμᾶς; Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Τί οὖν; λαβεῖν ἔχεις ῥάβδον δεῖ ραι αὐτόν; Ἐγὼ οἶδα ἀδελφοὺς ὅτι περιεπάτουν͵ καὶ ὁ ὁδηγῶν αὐτοὺς ἐπλανήθη τὴν νύκτα· ἦσαν δὲ δώ δεκα͵ καὶ πάντες ᾔδεισαν ὅτι ἐπλανῶντο· καὶ ἠγωνί σαντο ἕκαστος τοῦ μὴ εἰπεῖν. Ἡμέρας δὲ γενομένης͵ μαθὼν ὁ ὁδηγῶν αὐτοὺς ὅτι ἐπλανήθησαν τὴν ὁδὸν͵ λέγει αὐτοῖς· Συγχωρήσατέ μοι͵ ὅτι ἐπλανήθην. Καὶ εἶπον πάντες· Καὶ ἡμεῖς ᾔδειμεν͵ ἀλλ΄ ἐσιωπήσαμεν. Ὁ δὲ ἀκούσας ἐθαύμασε͵ λέγων͵ ὅτι Ἕως θανάτου ἐγκρατεύονται οἱ ἀδελφοὶ τοῦ μὴ λαλεῖν. Καὶ ἐδόξασε τὸν Θεόν. Τὸ δὲ μῆκος τῆς ὁδοῦ ἧς ἐπλανήθησαν͵ μίλια δώδεκα



31. One day the Saracens came and robbed the old man and his brother. As he was setting off into the desert to find something to eat, the old man found some camel dung and having broken it up, he found some grains of barley in it. He ate a grain and put the other into his hand. His brother came and saw him in the act of eating Sisoes [219 and said to him, ‘Is this charity, to find food and to eat it along without having called me?’ Abba Sisoes said to him, ‘I have not wronged you, brother, here is your share which I have kept in my hand.’

λα. ῏Ηλθόν ποτε Σαρακηνοὶ͵ καὶ ἐξέδυσαν τὸν γέ ροντα καὶ τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ. Καὶ ἐξελθόντων αὐτῶν εἰς τὴν ἔρημον ἵνα εὕρωσί τι βρώσιμον͵ εὗρεν ὁ γέ ρων βόλβιτα καμήλων͵ καὶ κλάσας εὗρε κοκκία κρι θῶν· ἔτρωγε δὲ ἓν κοκκὶν͵ καὶ τὸ ἓν εἰς τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ ἐτίθει. Ἐλθὼν δὲ ὁ ἀδελφὸς αὐτοῦ͵ εὗρεν αὐ τὸν ἐσθίοντα͵ καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ· Αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ ἀγάπη͵ ὅτι εὗρες βρώσιμον͵ καὶ μόνος ἐσθίεις͵ καὶ οὐκ ἐφώ νησάς με; Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ ἀββᾶς Σισόης· Οὐκ ἠδίκησά σε͵ ἀδελφέ· ἰδοὺ τὸ μέρος σου ἐν τῇ χειρί μου ἐτή ρησα



32. They said Abba Sisoes the Theban dwelt at Calamon of Arsinoe. Another old man was ill there in the other lavra and when he heard of it, Abba Sisoes was very sorry. Now Abba Sisoes used to fast for two days at a time, so there was one day when he did not eat. When he heard about the old man’s illness, he said to himself, ‘What shall I do? If I go and see him, I am afraid the brethren will compel me to eat, but if I wait until tomorrow, I am afraid he may die. This is what I will do; I will go and I will not eat.’ So he went fasting, both fulfilling the commandment of God and yet not relaxing his way of life for the sake of God.

λβ. Ἔλεγον περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σισόη τοῦ Θηβαίου͵ ὅτι ἔμεινεν εἰς τὸν Καλαμῶνα τοῦ Ἀρσενοΐτου· καὶ ἄλλος γέρων ἠσθένει εἰς τὴν ἄλλην λαύραν. Καὶ ὡς ἤκουσεν͵ ἐθλίβη. Ἐπειδὴ δὲ δύο δύο ἐνήστευε͵ καὶ ἦν ἡ ἡμέρα ἐν ᾗ οὐκ ἤσθιε· καὶ ὅτε ἤκουσε͵ λέγει τῷ λογισμῷ· Τί ποιήσω; ἐὰν ἀπέλθω͵ μήπως ἀναγ κάσωσί με οἱ ἀδελφοὶ φαγεῖν· καὶ ἐὰν παραμείνω εἰς τὴν αὔριον͵ μήποτε τελευτήσῃ. Πλὴν τοῦτο ποιῶ͵ 404 ὑπάγω καὶ οὐκ ἐσθίω. Καὶ οὕτως ἀπῆλθε νῆστις͵ πληρώσας τὴν ἐντολὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ· καὶ τὴν διὰ τὸν Θεὸν πολιτείαν αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἔλυσεν



33. One of the Fathers related of Abba Sisoes of Calamon that, wishing to overcome sleep one day, he hung himself over the precipice of Petra. An angel came to take him down and ordered him not to do that again and not to transmit such teaching to others.

λγ. Διηγήσατό τις τῶν Πατέρων περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σισόη τοῦ Καλαμῶνος͵ ὅτι θέλων ποτὲ νικῆσαι τὸν ὕπνον͵ ἐκρέμασεν ἑαυτὸν ἀπὸ τοῦ κρημνοῦ τῆς Πέ τρας· καὶ ἐλθὼν ἄγγελος ἔλυσε αὐτὸν͵ καὶ παρήγ γειλεν αὐτὸν μηκέτι τοῦτο ποιῆσαι͵ μήτε ἄλλοις παρα δοῦναι τὴν τοιαύτην παράδοσιν



34. One of the Fathers asked Abba Sisoes, ‘If I am sitting in the desert and a barbarian comes to kill me and if I am stronger than he, shall I kill him?’ The old man said to him, ‘No, leave him to God. In fact whatever the trial is which comes to a man, let him say, “This has happened to me because of my sins,” and if something good comes say, “It is through the providence of God.” ‘

λδ. Ἠρώτησέ τις τῶν Πατέρων τὸν ἀββᾶν Σισόην͵ λέγων· Ἐὰν κάθημαι ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ͵ καὶ ἔλθῃ βάρβα ρος͵ φονεῦσαί με θέλων͵ καὶ δυνηθῶ πρὸς αὐτὸν͵ φο νεύσω αὐτόν; Καὶ εἶπεν ὁ γέρων· Οὐχί· ἀλλὰ παράδος αὐτὸν τῷ Θεῷ. Οἷος γὰρ ἂν πειρασμὸς ἔλθῃ ἀνθρώπῳ͵ λεγέτω͵ ὅτι Διὰ τὰς ἁμαρτίας μου τοῦτο συνέβη· ἐὰν δὲ ἀγαθὸν͵ Οἰκονομίᾳ Θεοῦ



35. A brother asked Abba Sisoes the Theban, ‘Give me a word,’ and he said, ‘What shall I say to you? I read the New Testament, and I turn to the old.’

λε. Ἀδελφὸς ἠρώτησε τὸν ἀββᾶν Σισόην τὸν Θη βαῖον͵ λέγων· Εἰπέ μοι ῥῆμα. Καὶ λέγει· Τί σοι ἔχω εἰπεῖν; ὅτι εἰς τὴν Καινὴν Γραφὴν ἀναγινώσκω͵ καὶ εἰς τὴν Παλαιὰν ἀνακάμπτω



36. The same brother asked Abba Sisoes of Petra about the saying which Abba Sisoes the Theban had said to him and the old man said, ‘I go to sleep in sin and I awaken in sin.’

λϛ. Ὁ αὐτὸς ἀδελφὸς ἠρώτησε τὸν ἀββᾶν Σισόην τὸν τῆς πέτρας͵ τὸ ῥῆμα ὃ εἶπεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Σισόης ὁ Θηβαῖος. Καὶ λέγει ὁ γέρων· Ἐγὼ εἰς τὴν ἁμαρτίαν κοιμῶμαι͵ καὶ εἰς τὴν ἁμαρτίαν ἐγείρομαι



37. They said of Abba Sisoes the Theban that when the assembly was dismissed he used to flee to his cell and they used to say of him, ‘He is possessed by a devil.’ But he was really doing the work of God.

λζ. Ἔλεγον περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σισόη τοῦ Θηβαίου͵ ὅτι ὡς ἀπέλυεν ἡ ἐκκλησία͵ ἔφευγεν εἰς τὸ κελλίον αὐτοῦ. Καὶ ἔλεγον· Δαίμονα ἔχει. Αὐτὸς δὲ τὸ ἔργον τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐποίει



38. A brother asked Abba Sisoes, ‘What shall I do, abba, for I have fallen?’ The old man said to him, ‘Get up again.’ The brother 2 said, ‘I have got up again, but I have fallen again.’ The old man said, ‘Get up again and again.’ So then the brother said, ‘How many times?’ The old man said, ‘Until you are taken up either in virtue or in sin. For a man presents himself to judgement in the state in which he is found.’

λη. Ἀδελφὸς ἠρώτησε τὸν ἀββᾶν Σισόην͵ λέγων· Τί ποιήσω͵ ἀββᾶ͵ ὅτι πέπτωκα; Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Ἀνάστα πάλιν. Λέγει ὁ ἀδελφός· Ἀνέστην͵ καὶ πά λιν πέπτωκα. Καὶ λέγει ὁ γέρων· Ἀνάστα πάλιν καὶ πάλιν. Εἶπεν οὖν ὁ ἀδελφός· Ἕως πότε; Λέγει ὁ γέρων· Ἕως ἂν καταληφθῇς εἴτε ἐν τῷ ἀγαθῷ͵ εἴτε ἐν τῷ πτώματι· ἐν ᾧ γὰρ εὑρίσκεται ἄνθρωπος͵ ἐν αὐτῷ καὶ πορεύεται. 405



39. A brother asked an old man, ‘What shall I do, for I am troubled about manual work? I love making ropes and I cannot make them.’ The old man said that Abba Sisoes used to say, ‘You should not do work which gives you satisfaction.’

λθ. Ἀδελφὸς ἠρώτησε γέροντα͵ λέγων· Τί ποιήσω; ὅτι θλίβομαι διὰ τὸ ἐργόχειρον. Ἀγαπῶ γὰρ τὴν σει ρὰν͵ καὶ οὐ δύναμαι αὐτὴν ἐργάσασθαι. Λέγει ὁ γέ ρων͵ ὅτι ὁ ἀββᾶς Σισόης ἔλεγεν͵ ὡς οὐ χρὴ τὸ ἀνα παῦον ἡμᾶς ἔργον ἐργάζεσθαι



40. Abba Sisoes said, ‘Seek God, and do not seek where he dwells.’

μ. Εἶπεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Σισόης· Ζήτει τὸν Θεὸν͵ καὶ μὴ ζήτει ποῦ κατοικεῖ



41. He also said, ‘Shame and lack of fear often lead to sin.’

μα. Εἶπε πάλιν͵ ὅτι αἰδὼς καὶ ἀφοβία πολλάκις φέρει τὴν ἁμαρτίαν



42. A brother asked Abba Sisoes, ‘What am I to do?’ He said to him: ‘What you need is a great deal of silence and humility. For it is written: “Blessed are those who wait for him” (Is. 30.18) for thus they are able to stand.’

μβ. Ἀδελφὸς ἠρώτησε τὸν ἀββᾶν Σισόην͵ λέγων· Τί ποιήσω; Λέγει αὐτῷ· Τὸ πρᾶγμα ὃ ζητεῖς͵ τὸ σφόδρα σιωπᾷν͵ καὶ ταπείνωσις. Γέγραπται γάρ· Μακάριοι οἱ ἐμμένοντες ἐν αὐτῷ. Οὕτω δύνασαι στῆναι



43. Abba Sisoes said, ‘Let yourself be despised, cast your own will behind your back, and you will be free from care and at peace.’

μγ. Εἶπεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Σισόης· Γενοῦ ἐξουδενωμένος͵ καὶ τὸ θέλημά σου ὀπίσω βάλε͵ καὶ γενοῦ ἀμέριμνος· καὶ ἕξεις ἀνάπαυσιν



44. A brother asked Abba Sisoes, ‘What shall I do about the passions?’ The old man said, ‘Each man is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.’ (James 1.14)

μδ. Ἀδελφὸς ἠρώτησε τὸν ἀββᾶν Σισόην͵ λέγων· Τί ποιήσω διὰ τὰ πάθη; Καὶ λέγει ὁ γέρων· Ἕκα στος ἡμῶν πειράζεται ὑπὸ τῆς ἰδίας ἐπιθυμίας



45. A brother asked Abba Sisoes to give him a word. He said, ‘Why do you make me speak without need? Whatever you see, do that.’

με. Ἀδελφὸς ἠρώτησε τὸν ἀββᾶν Σισόην͵ λέγων· Εἰπέ μοι ῥῆμα. Ὁ δὲ ἔφη· Τί με ἀναγκάζεις λαλῆ σαι ἀργῶς; Ἰδοὺ ὃ βλέπεις ποίησον



46. One day Abba Abraham, Abba Sisoes’ disciple, went away on an errand. During his absence the old man did not wish to be served by anyone else. ‘Shall I let any other man, except my brother, get used to me?’ He refused till his disciple should return, and put up with the hardship.

μϛ. Ἀπῆλθέ ποτε ὁ ἀββᾶς Ἀβραὰμ ὁ μαθητὴς τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σισόη εἰς διακονίαν͵ καὶ ἐπὶ ἡμέρας οὐκ ἤθελε διακονηθῆναι ὑπὸ ἄλλου τινὸς͵ λέγων· Ἔχω ἀφεῖναι ἄνθρωπον ἄλλον ποιῆσαι συνήθειαν μετ΄ ἐμοῦ͵ ἐκτὸς τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ μου; Καὶ οὐ κατεδέξατο ἕως οὗ ἦλθεν ὁ μαθητὴς αὐτοῦ͵ ὑπομείνας τὸν κόπον



47. They said of Abba Sisoes that once when he was sitting down, he cried with a loud voice, ‘O misery!’ His disciple said to him, ‘What is the matter, father?’ The old man said to him, ‘I seek a man to speak to and I do not find one.’

μζ. Ἔλεγον περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σισόη͵ ὅτι καθημένου αὐτοῦ͵ ἔκραξε μεγάλῃ τῇ φωνῇ· Ὦ ταλαιπωρία Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ μαθητὴς αὐτοῦ· Τί ἔχεις͵ Πάτερ; Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Ἕν ἄνθρωπον ζητῶ λαλῆσαι͵ καὶ οὐχ εὑρίσκω



48. One day Abba Sisoes left Abba Anthony’s mountain to go to the outer mountain of the Thebaid! and there he stayed. Now there were some Meletians there who lived at Calamon of Arsinoe. Hearing that the old man had come to the outer mountain, some people wished to see him but they said, ‘What shall we do because the Meletians are on the mountain. We know that the old man does not suffer harm from them but we are afraid lest, in wanting to meet the old man, we fall into the temptation of the heretics.’ So as not to meet the heretics, they did not go to see the old man.

μη. Ἐξῆλθέ ποτε ὁ ἀββᾶς Σισόης ἐκ τοῦ ὄρους τοῦ ἀββᾶ Ἀντωνίου͵ εἰς τὸ ἐξώτερον ὄρος τῆς Θηβαΐδος͵ καὶ ᾤκησεν ἐκεῖ. ῏Ησαν δὲ ἐκεῖ Μελιτιανοὶ͵ οἰκοῦν τες ἐν τῷ Καλαμῶνι τοῦ Ἀρσενοΐτου. Τινὲς δὲ ἀκού σαντες ὅτι ἐξῆλθεν εἰς τὸ ἐξώτερον ὄρος͵ ἐπεθύμησαν αὐτὸν θεάσασθαι· ἔλεγον δέ· Τί ποιήσομεν; εἰς τὸ ὄρος γάρ εἰσι Μελιτιανοί. Οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι ὁ γέρων οὐ βλά πτεται ἐξ αὐτῶν· ἡμεῖς δὲ μήποτε θέλοντες συντυ χεῖν τῷ γέροντι͵ ἐμπέσωμεν εἰς πειρασμὸν τῶν αἱρε τικῶν. Καὶ ἕνεκεν τοῦ μὴ συναντῆσαι τοῖς αἱρετι κοῖς͵ οὐκ ἀπῆλθον ἰδεῖν τὸν γέροντα



49. This is what they relate about Abba Sisoes when he became ill. The old men were sitting beside him and he spoke to some of them. They said to him, ‘What do you see, abba?’ He said to them, ‘I see beings coming towards me, and I am begging them to leave me a little while so that I may repent.’ One of the old men said to him, And even if they allow you a respite, can you now profit by it and do penance?’ The old man said to him, ‘If I am not able to do that, at least I can groan a little over my soul and that is enough for me.’

μθ. Ἔλεγον περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σισόη͵ ὅτι ἠσθένησε· 408 καὶ καθημένων γερόντων πρὸς αὐτὸν ἐλάλησέ τισι. Λέγουσιν αὐτῷ· Τί βλέπεις͵ ἀββᾶ; Καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· Ὁρῶ τινας ἐλθόντας ἐπ΄ ἐμὲ͵ καὶ παρακαλῶ αὐτοὺς ἵνα ἐάσωσί με μικρὸν μετανοῆσαι. Λέγει αὐτῷ εἷς τῶν γερόντων· Καὶ ἐὰν ἐάσωσί σε͵ ἀπάρτι δύνασαι χρησιμεῦσαι εἰς μετάνοιαν; Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Εἰ δὲ οὐ δύναμαι ποιῆσαι͵ ἀλλὰ στενάζω ἐπάνω τῆς ψυχῆς μου μικρὸν͵ καὶ ἀρκεῖ μοι



50. They said of Abba Sisoes that when he came to Clysma he fell ill. While he was sitting with his disciple in his cell, someone knocked on the door. Then the old man understood and said to his disciple, Abraham, say to him who is knocking, “I am Sisoes on the mountain and I am Sisoes on my bed.” ‘ Hearing this, the one who knocked disappeared.

ν. Ἔλεγον περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σισόη͵ ὅτι ὅτε ἦλθεν εἰς τὸ Κλύσμα͵ ἠσθένησε· καὶ καθημένου αὐτοῦ μετὰ τοῦ μαθητοῦ αὐτοῦ εἰς τὴν κέλλαν͵ ἰδοὺ κροῦσμα γέγονεν εἰς τὴν θύραν. Καὶ νοήσας ὁ γέρων͵ λέγει τῷ μαθητῇ αὐτοῦ Ἀβραάμ· Εἰπὲ τῷ κρούσαντι· Ἐγὼ Σισόης εἰς τὸ ὄρος͵ ἐγὼ Σισόης εἰς τὸ χαρά δριον. Ὁ δὲ ἀκούσας ἀφανὴς ἐγένετο



51. Abba Sisoes, the Theban, said to his disciple, ‘Tell me what you see in me and then I will tell you what I see in you.’ His disciple said to him, ‘You are a good man, but a little hard.’ The old man said to him, ‘You are good, too, but you are not tough enough.’

να. Εἶπεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Σισόης ὁ Θηβαῖος τῷ μαθητῇ αὐτοῦ· Εἰπέ μοι τί βλέπεις εἰς ἐμὲ͵ κἀγώ σοι λέγω τί βλέπω εἰς σέ. Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ μαθητὴς αὐτοῦ· Σὺ καλὸς τῷ νῷ͵ καὶ σκληρὸς μικρόν. Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέ ρων· Σὺ καλὸς εἶ͵ ἀλλὰ χαῦνος τῷ νῷ



52. They said of Abba Sisoes the Theban that he did not eat bread. At the Paschal Feast the brothers bowed to him and invited him to eat with them. He answered them, ‘There is only one thing I can do: either I eat bread with you, or else I eat all the dishes you have prepared.’ They said to him, ‘Eat only bread,’ and he did so.

νβ. Ἔλεγον περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σισόη τοῦ Θηβαίου͵ ὅτι οὐκ ἤσθιεν ἄρτον. Καὶ εἰς τὴν ἑορτὴν τοῦ Πάσχα ἔβαλον αὐτῷ μετάνοιαν οἱ ἀδελφοὶ͵ ἵνα φάγῃ μετ΄ αὐτῶν. Καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· Ἓν ἔχω ποιῆσαι· ἢ ἄρτον ἔχω μεταλαβεῖν͵ ἢ ὅσα ἐποιήσατε φαγία. Οἱ δὲ εἶπον αὐτῷ· Ἄρτον μόνον φάγε. Ὁ δὲ ἐποίησεν οὕτως.



53. If anyone asked Abba Sisoes about Abba Pambo, he would say, ‘Pambo was very great in his works.’




54. Abba Sisoes said to a brother, ‘How are you getting on?’ and he replied, ‘I am wasting my time, father.’ The old man said, If I happen to waste a day, I am grateful for it.’









Περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σιλουανοῦ





Silvanus, a Palestinian by birth, was the head of a community of twelve disciples in Scetis, among whom was Mark the Calligrapher. The group moved to Sinai in 380, and later went to Syria where they settled in the region of Gaza. They lived in a lavra,

 with scattered cells and a central church for worship on Saturday and Sunday. Silvanus died before 414 and was succeeded by his disciple Zacharias.

1. Abba Silvanus and his disciple Zacharias went to a certain monastery one day. They were given something to eat a little before taking the road and when they got outside his disciple found some water beside the path and wanted to drink. The old man said to him, ‘Zacharias, it is a fast today.’ The latter said to him, ‘But, Father, have we not eaten?’ The old man said to him, ‘What we have eaten came through charity but, my child, let us keep our own fast.’

α. Παρέβαλέ ποτε ὁ ἀββᾶς Σιλουανὸς καὶ ὁ μαθη τὴς αὐτοῦ Ζαχαρίας εἰς μοναστήριον· καὶ ἐποίησαν αὐτοὺς γεύσασθαι μικρὸν πρὸ τοῦ ὁδεῦσαι. Καὶ ἐξελ θόντων αὐτῶν͵ εὗρεν ὁ μαθητὴς αὐτοῦ ὕδωρ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ͵ καὶ ἤθελε πιεῖν. Καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Ζα χαρία͵ νηστεία σήμερον. Ὁ δὲ λέγει· Οὐκ ἐφά γομεν͵ Πάτερ; Λέγει ὁ γέρων· Ἐκεῖνο τὸ͵ ἐφάγο μεν͵ τῆς ἀγάπης ἦν· ἡμεῖς δὲ τὴν ἑαυτῶν νηστείαν κρατήσωμεν͵ τέκνον



2. As Abba Silvanus was sitting with the brethren one day he was rapt in ecstasy and fell with his face to the ground. After a long time he got up and wept. The brethren besought him saying, ‘What is it, Father?’ But he remained silent and wept. When they insisted on his speaking he said, ‘I was taken up to see the judgement and I saw there many of our sort coming to punishment and many seculars going into the kingdom.’ The old man was full of compunction and never wanted to leave his cell. If he was obliged to go out, he hid his face in his cowl saying, ‘Why should I seek to see this earthly light, which is of no use?’

β. Ὁ αὐτὸς καθεζόμενός ποτε μετὰ ἀδελφῶν͵ ἐγέ νετο ἐν ἐκστάσει͵ καὶ πίπτει ἐπὶ πρόσωπον· καὶ μετὰ πολὺ ἀναστὰς ἔκλαιε. Καὶ παρεκάλεσαν αὐτὸν οἱ ἀδελφοὶ͵ λέγοντες· Τί ἔχεις͵ Πάτερ; Ὁ δὲ ἐσιώπα καὶ ἔκλαιεν. Ἀναγκαζόντων δὲ αὐτῶν εἰπεῖν͵ εἶπεν· Ἐγὼ εἰς τὴν κρίσιν ἡρπάγην· καὶ εἶδον πολλοὺς τοῦ γένους ἡμῶν ἀπερχομένους εἰς κόλασιν͵ καὶ πολλοὺς τῶν κοσμικῶν ἀπερχομένους εἰς βασιλείαν. Καὶ ἐπέν θει ὁ γέρων͵ καὶ οὐκ ἤθελεν ἐξελθεῖν ἐκ τοῦ κελλίου αὐτοῦ. Εἰ δὲ καὶ ἠναγκάζετο ἐξελθεῖν͵ ἔσκεπε τῷ κουκουλίῳ τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ͵ λέγων· Τί θέλω ἰδεῖν τὸ φῶς τοῦτο τὸ πρόσκαιρον͵ καὶ οὐδὲν ἔχον ὄφελος; 409



3. Another time his disciple Zacharias entered and found him in ecstasy with his hands stretched towards heaven. Closing the door, he went away. Coming at the sixth and the ninth hours he found him in the same state. At the tenth hour he knocked, entered, and found him at peace and said to him, ‘What has happened today, Father?’ The latter replied, ‘I was ill today, my child.’ But the disciple seized his feet and said to him, ‘I will not let you go until you have told me what you have seen.’ The old man said, ‘I was taken up to heaven and I saw the glory of God and I stayed there till now and now I have been sent away.’

γ. Ἄλλοτε εἰσῆλθεν ὁ μαθητὴς αὐτοῦ Ζαχαρίας͵ καὶ εὗρεν αὐτὸν ἐν ἐκστάσει͵ καὶ αἱ χεῖρες αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν ἡπλωμέναι. Καὶ κλείσας τὴν θύραν ἐξ ῆλθε. Καὶ ἐλθὼν περὶ ὥραν ἕκτην καὶ ἐννάτην͵ εὗρεν αὐτὸν οὕτως. Καὶ περὶ ὥραν δεκάτην ἔκρουσε· καὶ εἰσελθὼν͵ εὗρεν αὐτὸν ἡσυχάζοντα͵ καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ· Τί ἔχεις σήμερον͵ Πάτερ; Ὁ δὲ εἶπεν· Ἠσθένησα σήμερον͵ τέκνον. Ὁ δὲ κρατήσας τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ͵ ἔλεγεν· Οὐ μή σε ἐάσω͵ ἐὰν μὴ εἴπῃς μοι τί εἶδες. Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Ἐγὼ εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν ἡρπάγην͵ καὶ εἶδον τὴν δόξαν τοῦ Θεοῦ͵ καὶ ἐκεῖ ἱστάμην ἕως ἄρτι͵ καὶ νῦν ἀπελύθην



4. One day while Abba Silvanus was living on the mountain of Sinai his disciple Zacharias went away on an errand and said to the old man, ‘Open the well and water the garden.’ The old man went out with his face hidden in his cowl, looking down at his feet. Now at that moment a brother came along and seeing him from a distance he observed what he was doing. So he went up to him and said, ‘Tell me, abba, why were you hiding your face in your cowl while you watered the garden?’ The old man said to him, ‘So that my eyes should not see the trees, my son, in case my attention should be distracted by them.’

δ. Καθεζομένου ποτὲ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σιλουανοῦ εἰς τὸ ὄρος τὸ Σινὰ͵ ἀπῆλθεν ὁ μαθητὴς αὐτοῦ Ζαχαρίας εἰς διακονίαν͵ καὶ λέγει τῷ γέροντι· Ἀπόλυσον τὸ ὕδωρ͵ καὶ πότισον τὸν κῆπον. Ὁ δὲ ἐξελθὼν ἔσκεπε τὴν ὄψιν αὐτοῦ τῷ κουκουλίῳ͵ καὶ μόνον τὰ ἴχνη αὐτοῦ ἔβλεπε. Παρέβαλε δὲ ἀδελφὸς αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ· καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν ἀπὸ μακρόθεν͵ κατενόει τί ἐποίησεν. Εἰσελθὼν δὲ ὁ ἀδελφὸς πρὸς αὐτὸν͵ εἶπεν· Εἰπέ μοι͵ ἀββᾶ͵ τί τὸ πρόσωπόν σου κατεσκέπασας τῷ κουκου λίῳ͵ καὶ οὕτως τὸν κῆπον ἐπότιζες; Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Τέκνον͵ ἵνα μὴ ἴδωσιν οἱ ὀφθαλμοί μου τὰ δένδρα͵ καὶ ἀπασχοληθῇ ὁ νοῦς μου ἀπὸ τῆς ἐργασίας αὐτοῦ εἰς αὐτά



5. A brother went to see Abba Silvanus on the mountain of Sinai. When he saw the brothers working hard he said to the old man, ‘Do not labour for the food which perishes. (John 6.27) Mary has chosen the good portion.’ (Luke 10.42) The old man said to his disciple, ‘Zacharias, give the brother a book and put him in a cell without anything else.’ So when the ninth hour came the visitor watched the door expecting someone would be sent to call him to the meal. When no-one called him he got up, went to find the old man and said to him, ‘Have the brothers not eaten today?’ The old man replied that they had. Then he said, ‘Why did you not call me?’ The old man said to him, ‘Because you are a spiritual man and do not need that kind of food. We, being carnal, want to eat, and that is why we work. But you have chosen the good portion and read the whole day long and you do not want to eat carnal food.’ When he heard these words the brother made a prostration saying, ‘Forgive me, abba.’ The old man said to him, ‘Mary needs Martha. It is really thanks to Martha that Mary is praised.’

ε. Παρέβαλέ τις ἀδελφὸς τῷ ἀββᾷ Σιλουανῷ εἰς τὸ ὄρος τὸ Σινά· καὶ ἰδὼν τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς ἐργαζομέ νους͵ εἶπε τῷ γέροντι· Μὴ ἐργάζεσθε τὴν βρῶσιν τὴν ἀπολλυμένην. Μαρία γὰρ τὴν ἀγαθὴν μερίδα ἐξελέξατο. Λέγει ὁ γέρων τῷ μαθητῇ αὐτοῦ· Ζαχα ρία͵ δὸς τῷ ἀδελφῷ βιβλίον͵ καὶ βάλε αὐτὸν εἰς κελλίον μηδὲν ἔχον. Ὅτε οὖν ἐγένετο ἡ ὥρα τῆς ἐννάτης͵ προσεῖχε τῇ θύρᾳ͵ εἰ ἄρα πέμπουσι καλέσαι αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ φαγεῖν. Ὡς δὲ οὐδεὶς ἐκάλεσεν αὐτὸν͵ ἀναστὰς ἦλθε πρὸς τὸν γέροντα͵ καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ· Οὐκ ἔφαγον οἱ ἀδελφοὶ σήμερον͵ ἀββᾶ; Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Ναί. Εἶπε δέ· Διατί οὐκ ἐκαλέσατέ με; Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Ἐπειδὴ ἄνθρωπος πνευματικὸς εἶ͵ καὶ οὐ χρείαν ἔχεις τῆς βρώσεως ταύτης· ἡμεῖς δὲ σαρκι κοὶ ὄντες θέλομεν φαγεῖν͵ καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ἐργαζόμεθα· σὺ δὲ τὴν καλὴν μερίδα ἐξελέξω͵ ἀναγινώσκων ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν͵ καὶ οὐ θέλεις φαγεῖν σαρκικὴν βρῶσιν. Καὶ ὡς ἤκουσε ταῦτα͵ ἔβαλε μετάνοιαν͵ λέγων· Συγ χώρησόν μοι͵ ἀββᾶ. Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Πάντως χρείαν ἔχει καὶ ἡ Μαρία τῆς Μάρθας· διὰ γὰρ τῆς Μάρθας καὶ ἡ Μαρία ἐγκωμιάζεται. .



6. One day someone asked Abba Silvanus, ‘How have you lived, father, in order to become so wise?’ He replied, ‘I have never let a thought that would bring the anger of God upon me enter my heart.’

ϛ.Ἠρώτησάν ποτε τὸν ἀββᾶν Σιλουανὸν͵ λέγον τες· Ποίαν πολιτείαν εἰργάσω͵ Πάτερ͵ ἵνα λάβῃς τὴν φρόνησιν ταύτην; Καὶ ἀπεκρίθη· Οὐδέποτε ἀφῆκα εἰς τὴν καρδίαν μου λογισμὸν παροργίζοντα τὸν Θεόν. 412



7. It was said of Abba Silvanus that he stayed in his cell in secret. He had some small dried peas with which he made a hundred 2 necklaces to earn his food. Someone came from Egypt with an ass laden with loaves. He knocked and put them down in the cell. Then the old man, taking the necklaces, loaded them on the ass and sent him away.

ζ. Ἔλεγον περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σιλουανοῦ͵ ὅτι ἐκάθισεν εἰς κελλίον κρυφῆ͵ ἔχων μικρὰ ἐρεβίνθια͵ καὶ ἐποίη σεν εἰς αὐτὰ ἔργον ἑκατὸν κόσκινα. Καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄν θρωπος ἦλθεν ἀπὸ Αἰγύπτου͵ ἔχων ὄνον μεστὸν ἄρ των· καὶ κρούσας εἰς τὸ κελλίον αὐτοῦ ἔθηκε. Λα βὼν οὖν ὁ γέρων τὰ κόσκινα͵ ἐγέμισε τὸν ὄνον͵ καὶ ἀπέλυσεν αὐτόν



8. They said of Abba Silvanus that his disciple Zacharias went out without him and, taking some brothers with him, moved the garden fence back to make it larger. When he knew this, the old man took his sheepskin, went out and said to the brothers, ‘Pray for me.’ When they saw what he was doing they threw themselves at his feet saying, ‘Tell us what is the matter, Father.’ He said to them, ‘I shall not go back inside, nor take off my sheepskin till you have put the fence back where it was at first.’ So they moved the fence once again and put it back as it was. So the old man returned to his cell.

η. Ἔλεγον περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σιλουανοῦ͵ ὅτι ἐξῆλθεν ὁ μαθητὴς αὐτοῦ Ζαχαρίας χωρὶς αὐτοῦ· καὶ λαβὼν τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς͵ ἔστρεψε τὸν φραγμὸν τοῦ κήπου͵ καὶ μείζονα αὐτὸν ἐποίησε. Μαθὼν οὖν ὁ γέρων͵ ἔλαβε τὸ μηλωτάριον αὐτοῦ͵ καὶ ἐξῆλθε͵ καὶ λέγει τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς· Εὔξασθε περὶ ἐμοῦ. Οἱ δὲ ἰδόντες αὐ τὸν͵ ἔπεσον εἰς τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ͵ λέγοντες· Εἰπὲ ἡμῖν τί ἐστιν ὃ ἔχεις͵ Πάτερ. Ὁ δὲ πρὸς αὐτοὺς ἔφη· Οὐκ εἰσέρχομαι ἔσω͵ οὐ καταβαίνει τὸ μηλω τάριον ἀπ΄ ἐμοῦ͵ ἕως οὗ ἐνέγκητε τὸν φραγμὸν εἰς τὸν πρῶτον αὐτοῦ τόπον. Οἱ δὲ πάλιν ἔστρεψαν τὸν φραγμὸν͵ καὶ ἐποίησαν αὐτὸν ὡς ἦν. Καὶ οὕτως ὁ γέρων ὑπέστρεψε εἰς τὸ κελλίον αὐτοῦ



9. Abba Silvanus said, ‘I am a slave, and my master says to me: “Do your work, and I will feed you; but do not try to find out whence I shall feed you. Do not try to find out whether I have it, or whether I steal it, or whether I borrow it; simply work, and I will feed you.” Therefore, when I work, I eat the fruit of my wages; but if I do not work, I eat charity.’

θ. Εἶπεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Σιλουανός· Ἐγὼ δοῦλός εἰμι͵ καὶ ὁ κύριός μου εἶπέ μοι· Ἐργάζου τὸ ἔργον μου͵ κἀγώ σε τρέφω· πόθεν δὲ͵ μὴ ζήτει· εἴτε ἔχω͵ εἴτε κλέπτω͵ εἴτε δανείζομαι͵ σὺ μὴ ζήτει· ἐργάζου μό νον͵ καὶ τρέφω σε. Ἐγὼ οὖν ἐὰν ἐργάζωμαι͵ ἐκ τοῦ μισθοῦ μου ἐσθίω· ἐὰν δὲ μὴ ἐργάζωμαι͵ ἀγάπην ἐσθίω



10. He also said, ‘Unhappy is the man whose reputation is greater than his work.’

ι. Εἶπε πάλιν· Οὐαὶ τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ ἐκείνῳ͵ ὃς ἔχει τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ μεῖζον τῆς ἐργασίας αὐτοῦ



11. Abba Moses asked Abba Silvanus, ‘Can a man lay a new foundation every day?’ The old man said, ‘If he works hard, he can lay a new foundation at every moment.’

ια. Ἠρώτησεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Μωϋσῆς τὸν ἀββᾶν Σι λουανὸν͵ λέγων· Δύναται ἄνθρωπος καθ΄ ἡμέραν βάλλειν ἀρχήν; Καὶ εἶπεν ὁ γέρων· Ἐάν ἐστιν ἐρ γάτης͵ δύναται καὶ καθ΄ ὥραν βάλλειν ἀρχήν



12. The Fathers used to say that someone met Abba Silvanus one day and saw his face and body shining like an angel and he fell with his face to the ground. He said that others also had obtained this grace.

ιβ. Εἶπέ τις τῶν Πατέρων͵ ὅτι συνέτυχέ ποτέ τις τῷ ἀββᾷ Σιλουανῷ͵ καὶ ἑωρακὼς αὐτοῦ τὸ πρόσ ωπον καὶ τὸ σῶμα ὡς ἀγγέλου λάμψαν͵ ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον. Ἔλεγε δὲ καὶ ἄλλους τινὰς ἐσχηκέναι τοῦτο τὸ χάρισμα.



SIMON 18_03




SIMON 18_03

Περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σίμωνος





1. A magistrate came to see Abba Simon one day. When he heard of it, he put on his apron and went out to attend to a palm-tree. When the visitors arrived they called out to him, ‘Old man, where is the anchorite?’ He replied, ‘There is no anchorite here.’ Hearing these words, they went away again.

α. ῏Ηλθέ ποτε ἄρχων ἰδεῖν τὸν ἀββᾶν Σίμωνα. Ὁ δὲ ἀκούσας ἔλαβε τὴν ζώνην͵ καὶ ἀπῆλθεν εἰς φοίνικα καθαρίσαι αὐτόν. Οἱ δὲ ἐλθόντες͵ ἔκραξαν· Γέρον͵ ποῦ ἔστιν ὁ ἀναχωρητής; Ὁ δὲ εἶπεν· Οὐκ ἔστιν ὧδε ἀναχωρητής. Καὶ ἀκούσαντες ἀνεχώρη σαν



2. Another time, another magistrate came to visit him. The clergy went on ahead and said to the old man, ‘Abba, get ready, for this magistrate has heard of you and is coming for your blessing.’ So he said, ‘Yes, I will prepare myself.’ Then he put on a rough habit and taking some bread and cheese in his hands he went and sat in the doorway to eat it. When the magistrate arrived with his suite and saw him, he despised him and said, ‘Is this the anchorite of whom we have heard so much?’ and they went away at once.

β. Ἄλλοτε πάλιν ἦλθεν ἄλλος ἄρχων ἰδεῖν αὐτόν. Καὶ προλαβόντες οἱ κληρικοὶ εἶπον αὐτῷ· Ἀββᾶ͵ ἑτοίμασον͵ ὅτι ὁ ἄρχων ἀκούων περὶ σοῦ͵ ἔρχεται εὐλογηθῆναι παρὰ σοῦ. Ὁ δὲ εἶπε· Ναὶ͵ ἐγὼ ἑτοι μάζω ἑαυτόν. Φορέσας οὖν τὸ κεντόνιον αὐτοῦ͵ καὶ λαβὼν ἄρτον καὶ τυρὸν ἐν ταῖς χερσὶν αὐτοῦ͵ 413 ἀναστὰς εἰς τὸν πυλῶνα ἐκάθισεν ἐσθίων. Καὶ ἐλθὼν ὁ ἄρχων μετὰ τῆς τάξεως αὐτοῦ͵ καὶ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν͵ ἐξουθένησαν αὐτὸν͵ λέγοντες· Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ ἀναχω ρητὴς περὶ οὗ ἠκούσαμεν; Καὶ εὐθέως ἀνέκαμ ψαν.








Περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σωπάτρου.





Someone asked Abba Sopatrus, ‘Give me a commandment, abba, and I will keep it.’ He said to him, ‘Do not allow a woman to come into your cell and do not read apocryphal literature. Do not get involved in discussions about the image.* Although this is not heresy, there is too much ignorance and liking for dispute between the two parties in this matter. It is impossible for a creature to understand the truth of it.’

Ἠρώτησέ τις τὸν ἀββᾶν Σώπατρον͵ λέγων· Δός μοι ἐντολὴν͵ ἀββᾶ͵ καὶ φυλάξω αὐτήν. Ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· Μὴ εἰσέλθῃ γυνὴ εἰς τὸ κελλίον σου͵ καὶ μὴ ἀναγνώσῃς ἀπόκρυφα· καὶ μὴ ἐκζητήσῃς περὶ τῆς εἰκόνος· τοῦτο γὰρ οὐκ ἔστιν αἵρεσις͵ ἀλλ΄ ἰδιωτεία καὶ φιλονεικία ἀμφοτέρων τῶν μερῶν· ἀδύνατον γὰρ καταληφθῆναι τὸ πρᾶγμα τοῦτο ὑπὸ πάσης τῆς κτίσεως.








Περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σαρματᾶ





1. Abba Sarmatas said, ‘I prefer a sinful man who knows he has sinned and repents, to a man who has not sinned and considers himself to be righteous.’

α. Εἶπεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Σαρματᾶς· Θέλω ἄνθρωπον ἁμαρτήσαντα͵ εἰ οἶδεν ὅτι ἥμαρτε͵ καὶ μετανοεῖ͵ ὑπὲρ ἄνθρωπον μὴ ἁμαρτήσοντα͵ καὶ ἔχοντα ἑαυτὸν ὡς δικαιοσύνην ποιοῦντα



2. They said of Abba Sarmatas that on Abba Poemen’s advice, he was often alone for forty days. He completed this time as though he had done nothing special. Abba Poemen went to see him and said to him, ‘Tell me what you have seen by giving yourself such great hardship.’ The other said to him, ‘Nothing special.’ Abba Poemen said to him, ‘I shall not let you go till you tell me.’ Then he said, ‘I have discovered one simple thing: that if I say to my sleep, “Go,” it goes, and if I say to it, “Come,” it comes.’

β. Ἔλεγον περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σαρματᾶ͵ ὅτι πολλάκις ἐλάμβανε τεσσαράκοντα ἡμέρας τῇ βουλῇ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Ποιμένος· καὶ ὡς οὐδὲν ἐπληροῦντο αἱ ἡμέραι ἐν ώπιον αὐτοῦ. ῏Ηλθεν οὖν ὁ ἀββᾶς Ποιμὴν πρὸς αὐ τὸν͵ καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ· Εἰπέ μοι͵ τί ἑώρακας ποιῶν τὸν τοσοῦτον κόπον; Ὁ δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ἔλεγεν· Οὐ δὲν πλέον. Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ ἀββᾶς Ποιμήν· Οὐκ ἀφῶ σε͵ ἐὰν μή μοι εἴπῃς. Ὁ δὲ εἶπεν· Ἓν μόνον εὗρον͵ ὅτι ἐὰν εἴπω τῷ ὕπνῳ͵ Ὕπαγε͵ ὑπάγει͵ καὶ ἐὰν εἴπω͵ Ἐλθὲ͵ ἔρχεται



3. A brother asked Abba Sarmatas, ‘My thoughts say to me: “Do not work, but eat, drink and sleep.’“ The old man said to him, ‘When you are hungry, eat; when you are thirsty, drink; when you are drowsy, sleep.’ Fortunately another old man came to see the brother and the brother told him what Abba Sarmatas had said. Then the old man said to him, ‘This is what the old man said to you: when you are very hungry, and when you are thirsty to the point of not being able to stand it any more, then eat and drink; and when you have watched for a very long time and are drowsy, sleep. This is what the old man was saying to you.’

γ. Ἀδελφὸς ἠρώτησε τὸν ἀββᾶν Σαρματᾶν͵ λέ γων· Οἱ λογισμοὶ λέγουσί μοι· Μὴ ἐργάσῃ͵ ἀλλὰ φάγε͵ πίε͵ κοιμῶ. Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Ὅτε πει νᾷς͵ φάγε· ὅτε διψᾷς͵ πίε· ὅτε νυστάζεις͵ κοιμῶ. Ἄλλος δὲ γέρων κατ΄ εὐκαιρίαν ἦλθε πρὸς τὸν ἀδελ φόν· καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ ἀδελφὸς ἃ εἶπεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Σαρματᾶς. Λέγει οὖν αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Τοῦτό ἐστιν ὃ εἶπέ σοι ὁ ἀββᾶς Σαρματᾶς· Ὅταν πεινᾷς τόνῳ͵ καὶ διψήσῃς ἕως μηκέτι δυνηθῇς͵ φάγε τότε καὶ πίε· καὶ ὅταν ἀγρυπνήσῃς πάνυ πολὺ καὶ νυστάξῃς͵ κοιμῶ. Τοῦτό ἐστιν ὃ ἔλεγέ σοι γέρων



4. The same brother asked Abba Sarmatas again, ‘My thoughts say to me: “Come out and go and see the brethren.” ‘ The old man said, ‘Do not listen to them about this, but say: “I listened to you before, but I do not want to listen to you this time.’“

δ. Ἠρώτησε πάλιν ὁ αὐτὸς ἀδελφὸς τὸν ἀββᾶν Σαρματᾶν͵ λέγων· Οἱ λογισμοὶ λέγουσί μοι· Ὕπαγε ἔξω͵ καὶ παράβαλε τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς. Καὶ λέγει ὁ γέ ρων· Τοῦτο μὴ ἀκούσῃς αὐτῶν͵ ἀλλ΄ εἰπέ· Ἰδοὺ ἤκουσά σου τὸ πρῶτον͵ τοῦτο δὲ οὐ δύναμαί σου ἀκοῦσαι.

5. Abba Sarmatas also said, ‘If a man does not flee from everything possible, he makes sin inevitable.’











Περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σεραπίωνος





1. One day Abba Serapion passed through an Egyptian village and there he saw a courtesan who stayed in her own cell. The old man said to her, ‘Expect me this evening, for I should like to come and spend the night with you.’ She replied, ‘Very well, abba.’ She got ready and made the bed. When evening came, the old man came to see her and entered her cell and said to her, ‘Have you got the bed ready?’ She said, ‘Yes, abba.’ Then he closed the door and said to her, ‘Wait a bit, for we have a rule of prayer and I must fulfil that first.’ So the old man began his prayers. He took the psalter and at each psalm he said a prayer for the courtesan, begging God that she might be converted and saved, and God heard him. The woman stood trembling and praying beside the old man. When he had completed the whole psalter the woman fell to the ground. Then the old man, beginning the Epistle, read a great deal from the apostle and completed his prayers. The woman was filled with compunction and understood that he had not come to see her to commit sin but to save her soul and she fell at his feet, saying, ‘Abba, do me this kindness and take we where I can please God.’ So the old man took her to a monastery of virgins and entrusted her to the amma and he said, ‘Take this sister and do not put any yoke or commandment on her as on the other sisters, but if she wants something, give it her and allow her to walk as she wishes.’ After some days the courtesan said, ‘I am a sinner; I wish to eat every second day.’ A little later she said, ‘I have committed many sins and I wish to eat every fourth day.’ A few days later she besought the amma saying, ‘Since I have grieved God greatly by my sins, do me the kindness of putting me in a cell and shutting it completely and giving me a little bread and some work through the window.’ The amma did so and the woman pleased God all the rest of her life.

α. ῏Ηλθέ ποτε ὁ ἀββᾶς Σεραπίων παρερχόμενος διὰ κώμης τινὸς τῆς Αἰγύπτου· καὶ εἶδέ τινα πόρ νην ἑστῶσαν εἰς τὸ κελλίον αὐτῆς· καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ ὁ γέρων· Προσδόκησόν με ὀψέ· θέλω γὰρ ἐλθεῖν 416 πρὸς σὲ͵ καὶ ποιῆσαι τὴν νύκτα ταύτην ἔγγιστά σου. Ἡ δὲ ἀποκριθεῖσα͵ εἶπε· Καλῶς͵ ἀββᾶ. Καὶ ἡτοι μάσθη͵ καὶ ἔστρωσε τὴν κλίνην. Ὀψίας δὲ γενο μένης͵ ἦλθεν ὁ γέρων πρὸς αὐτὴν͵ καὶ εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὸ κελλίον͵ λέγει αὐτῇ· Ἡτοίμασας τὴν κλίνην; Ἡ δὲ εἶπε· Ναὶ͵ ἀββᾶ. Καὶ ἔκλεισε τὴν θύραν͵ καὶ λέγει αὐτῇ· Μεῖνον ὀλίγον͵ ἐπειδὴ νόμον ἔχομεν͵ ἕως οὗ ποιήσω αὐτόν. Καὶ ἤρξατο ὁ γέρων τῆς συν άξεως αὐτοῦ· καὶ ἀρξάμενος τὸ ψαλτήριον͵ κατὰ ψαλ μὸν ἐποίει εὐχὴν͵ δεόμενος τοῦ Θεοῦ ὑπὲρ αὐτῆς͵ ὅπως μετανοήσῃ καὶ σωθῇ. Καὶ εἰσήκουσεν αὐτοῦ ὁ Θεὸς͵ Καὶ ἕστηκεν ἡ γυνὴ τρέμουσα καὶ εὐχομένη ἐγγὺς τοῦ γέ ροντος. Καὶ ὡς ἐτέλεσεν ὁ γέρων ὅλον τὸ ψαλτήριον͵ ἔπεσεν ἡ γυνὴ χαμαί. Ὁ δὲ γέρων ἀρξάμενος τοῦ Ἀπο στόλου͵ εἶπε πολὺ ἐξ αὐτοῦ· καὶ οὕτως ἐπλήρωσε τὴν σύναξιν. Κατανυγεῖσα οὖν ἡ γυνὴ͵ καὶ νοήσασα ὅτι οὐ δι΄ ἁμαρτίαν ἦλθε πρὸς αὐτὴν͵ ἀλλ΄ ἵνα σώσῃ αὐτῆς τὴν ψυχὴν͵ προσέπεσεν αὐτῷ͵ λέγουσα· Ποίησον ἀγάπην͵ ἀββᾶ͵ καὶ ὅπου δύναμαι εὐαρεστῆσαι τῷ Θεῷ͵ ὁδή γησόν με. Τότε ὁ γέρων ὡδήγησεν αὐτὴν εἰς μονα στήριον παρθένων͵ καὶ παρέδωκεν αὐτὴν τῇ Ἀμμᾷ͵ καὶ εἶπε· Λάβε τὴν ἀδελφὴν ταύτην͵ καὶ μὴ θήσεις αὐτῇ ζυγὸν ἢ ἐντολὴν ὡς ταῖς ἀδελφαῖς· ἀλλ΄ εἴ τι θέλει͵ δὸς αὐτῇ· καὶ ὡς θέλει͵ συγχώρησον αὐτῇ πορεύεσθαι. Καὶ ὡς ἐποίησεν ὀλίγας ἡμέρας͵ εἶπεν· Ἐγὼ ἁμαρτωλός εἰμι͵ θέλω διὰ δύο ἐσθίειν. Καὶ μετ΄ ὀλίγας ἡμέρας εἶπεν· Ἐγὼ πολλὰς ἁμαρτίας ἔχω͵ θέλω διὰ τεσσάρων ἡμερῶν ἐσθίειν. Καὶ μετ΄ ὀλίγας ἡμέρας παρεκάλεσε τὴν Ἀμμᾶν͵ λέγουσα· Ἐπειδὴ πολλὰ ἐλύπησα τὸν Θεὸν ἐν ταῖς ἀνομίαις μου͵ ποίησον ἀγάπην͵ καὶ βάλε με εἰς κελλίον͵ καὶ ἀνάφραξον αὐτὸ͵ καὶ δι΄ ὁπῆς δίδου μοι μικρὸν ἄρτον καὶ τὸ ἐργόχειρον. Καὶ ἐποίησεν αὐτῇ ἡ Ἀμμᾶς οὕτως. Καὶ εὐηρέστησε τῷ Θεῷ τὸν ἐπίλοιπον χρόνον τῆς ζωῆς αὐτῆς



2. A brother said to Abba Serapion, ‘Give me a word.’ The old man said to him, ‘What shall I say to you? You have taken the living of the widows and orphans and put it on your shelves.’ For he saw them full of books.

β. Ἀδελφὸς ἠρώτησε τὸν ἀββᾶν Σαραπίωνα͵ λέ γων· Εἰπέ μοι λόγον. Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Τί σοι ἔχω εἰπεῖν; ὅτι ἔλαβες τὰ τῶν χηρῶν καὶ ὀρφανῶν͵ καὶ ἔθηκας εἰς τὴν θυρίδα ταύτην· εἶδε γὰρ αὐτὴν μεστὴν βιβλίων



3. Abba Serapion said, ‘When the soldiers of the emperor are standing at attention, they cannot look to the right or left; it is the same for the man who stands before God and looks towards him in fear at all times; he cannot then fear anything from the enemy.’

γ. Εἶπεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Σαραπίων͵ ὅτι Ὥσπερ οἱ στρα τιῶται τοῦ βασιλέως οὐ δύνανται ἱστάμενοι δεξιὰ ἢ ἀριστερὰ προσέχειν· οὕτως καὶ ὁ ἄνθρωπος͵ ἐὰν ἵσταται ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ͵ καὶ προσέχῃ ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ ἐν φόβῳ πάσῃ ὥρᾳ͵ οὐδὲν τοῦ ἐχθροῦ δύναται αὐτὸν ἐκφοβῆσαι



4. A brother went to find Abba Serapion. According to his custom, the old man invited him to say a prayer. But the other, calling himself a sinner and unworthy of the monastic habit, did not obey. Next Abba Serapion wanted to wash his feet, but using the same words again, the visitor prevented him. Then Abba Serapion made him eat and he began to eat with him. Then he admonished him saying, ‘My son, if you want to make progress stay in your cell and pay attention to yourself and your manual work; going out is not so profitable for you as remaining at home.’ When he heard these words the visitor was offended and his expression changed so much that the old man could not but notice it. So he said to him, ‘Up to now you have called yourself a sinner and accused yourself of being unworthy to live, but when I admonished you lovingly, you were 2 extremely put out. If you want to be humble, learn to bear generously what others unfairly inflict upon you and do not harbour empty words in your heart.’ Hearing this, the brother asked the old man’s forgiveness and went away greatly edified.

δ. Παρέβαλεν ἀδελφὸς τῷ ἀββᾷ Σαραπίωνι· προ ετρέπετο δὲ αὐτὸν ὁ γέρων εὐχὴν ποιῆσαι κατὰ τὴν συνήθειαν. Ὁ δὲ ἁμαρτωλὸν ἑαυτὸν λέγων͵ καὶ αὐ τοῦ τοῦ μοναχικοῦ σχήματος ἀνάξιον͵ οὐκ ἐπείθετο. Ἠθέλησε δὲ καὶ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ νίψαι· καὶ τοῖς αὐτοῖς πάλιν χρώμενος λόγοις͵ οὐκ ἠνέσχετο. Ἐποίησε δὲ αὐτὸν γεύσασθαι· ἐσθίειν δὲ ἤρξατο καὶ ὁ γέρων. Καὶ ἐνουθέτει αὐτὸν͵ λέγων· Τέκνον͵ εἰ 417 θέλεις ὠφεληθῆναι͵ καρτέρησον ἐν τῷ κελλίῳ σου͵ καὶ πρόσεχε σεαυτῷ καὶ τῷ ἐργοχείρῳ σου· οὐ γὰρ φέρει σοι τὸ προέρχεσθαι τοιαύτην ὠφέλειαν͵ ὅσον τὸ καθέζεσθαι. Ὁ δὲ ταῦτα ἀκούσας͵ ἐπικράνθη͵ καὶ ἠλλοιώθη τῇ μορφῇ͵ ὥστε μηδὲ δυνηθῆναι λαθεῖν τὸν γέροντα. Εἶπεν οὖν αὐτῷ ὁ ἀββᾶς Σαραπίων· Μέχρι τοῦ νῦν ἔλεγες͵ Ἁμαρτωλός εἰμι͵ καὶ κατ ηγόρεις ἑαυτοῦ καὶ τοῦ ζῇν ἀνάξιον εἶναι· καὶ ἐπειδὴ μετὰ ἀγάπης ὑπέμνησά σε͵ τοσοῦτον ἐθηριώθης; Ἐὰν οὖν θέλῃς ταπεινὸς εἶναι͵ τὰ παρ΄ ἄλλων ἐπ αγόμενά σοι μάθε φέρειν γενναίως͵ καὶ μὴ ῥήματα ἀργὰ κάτεσχε σεαυτῷ. Ταῦτα ἀκούσας ὁ ἀδελ φὸς μετενόησε τῷ γέροντι͵ καὶ πολλὰ ὠφεληθεὶς ἀνεχώρησεν.








Περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σερίνου





1. They said of Abba Serinus that he used to work hard and always ate two small loaves. Abba Job, his companion and Wmself a great ascetic, went to see him and said, ‘I am careful about what I do in the cell, but when I come out I do as the brothers do.’ Abba Serinus said to him, ‘There is no great virtue in keeping to your regime in your cell, but there is if you keep it when you come out of your cell’

α. Ἔλεγον περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σερίνου͵ ὅτι πολλὰ εἰργάζετο͵ καὶ δύο παξαμάτια ἤσθιε διαπαντός. Καὶ ἐλθὼν πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ ἀββᾶς Ἰὼβ͵ ὁ συμφω νητὴς αὐτοῦ͵ καὶ αὐτὸς δὲ μέγας ἀσκητὴς͵ εἶπεν αὐτῷ͵ ὅτι Εἰς τὸ κελλίον μου φυλάττω τὴν πρᾶξίν μου· ἐὰν δὲ ἐξέλθω͵ συγκαταβαίνω τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς. Καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ ἀββᾶς Σερῖνος· Οὐκ ἔστιν αὕτη μεγάλη ἀρετὴ͵ ὅταν ἐν τῷ κελλίῳ σου φυλάττῃς τὴν τάξιν σου͵ ἀλλ΄ ὅταν ἐκ τοῦ κελλίου σου μᾶλλον ἐξ έλθῃς



2. Abba Serinus said, ‘I have spent my time in harvesting, sewing and weaving, and in all these employments if the hand of God had not sustained me, I should not have been fed.’

β. Εἶπεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Σερῖνος͵ ὅτι Ἐποίησα τὸν χρόνον μου͵ θερίζων͵ καταῤῥάπτων͵ πλέκων· καὶ ἐν τούτοις πᾶσιν͵ εἰ μὴ ἡ χεὶρ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐχόρτασέ με͵ οὐκ ἠδυ νήθην χορτασθῆναι.








Περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σπυρίδωνος





1. It was said of Spyridon that he took care of his flock of sheep with such great holiness that he was judged worthy to be a shepherd of men too. He was called to the episcopate of one of the cities of Cyprus named Trimithuntes. Although he was charged with the episcopate, because of his great humility he pastured his sheep too. Now in the middle of the night some robbers came to the sheepfold secretly and tried to steal the sheep. But God, who saves the shepherd, saved the sheep also. Through an invisible power, the robbers found themselves bound to the sheepfold. Now at daybreak the shepherd comes to his sheep, and when he came and found the robbers with their hands behind their backs he understood what had happened. He said a prayer and released the robbers, then reprimanded them, and admonished them at length to give themselves henceforth to hardship and righteous suffering and no longer to live unrighteously. Then he freed them and gave them a ram, adding with a good grace, ‘So that you do not have the appearance of having watched in vain.’

α. Περὶ δὲ Σπυρίδωνος͵ τοσαύτη τῷ ποιμένι προσῆν ὁσιότης͵ ὡς ἀξιωθῆναι αὐτὸν καὶ ἀνθρώπων ποιμένα γενέσθαι. Μιᾶς γὰρ τῶν ἐν Κύπρῳ πόλεων͵ ὀνόματι Τριμιθούντων͵ οὗτος τὴν ἐπισκοπὴν ἐκεκλή ρωτο· διὰ δὲ ἀτυφίαν πολλὴν͵ ἐχόμενος τῆς ἐπι σκοπῆς͵ ἐποίμαινε καὶ τὰ πρόβατα. Μεσούσης δὲ τῆς νυκτὸς͵ κλέπται τῇ μάνδρᾳ τῶν προβάτων λαθραίως ἐπελθόντες͵ κλέψαι τῶν προβάτων ἐσπούδαζον. Ὁ δὲ Θεὸς ὁ τὸν ποιμένα σώζων͵ καὶ τὰ πρόβατα ἔσωζεν· οἱ γὰρ κλέπται ἀοράτῳ δυνάμει παρὰ τὴν μάνδραν ἐδέδεντο. Ὄρθρος δὲ ἦν· καὶ ἧκεν ὁ ποιμὴν πρὸς τὰ πρόβατα. Ὡς δὲ εὗρεν ὀπίσω τὰς χεῖρας ἔχοντας͵ ἔγνω τὸ γεγονός· καὶ εὐξάμενος λύει τοὺς κλέπτας. Πολλὰ δὲ νουθετήσας καὶ παραινέσας αὐτοῖς͵ ἐκ δικαίων πόνων σπουδάζειν μᾶλλον καὶ μὴ ἐξ ἀδικίας ζῇν͵ ἕνα κριὸν αὐτοῖς χαρισάμενος ἀπέλυσεν͵ καὶ χαριέντως ἐπι φθεγξάμενος εἶπεν· Ἵνα μὴ μάτην ἠγρυπνηκότες φανῆτε



2. It was also said of him that he had a young daughter who shared her father’s devotion and whose name was Irene. One of their acquaintances entrusted her with an ornament of great price. For greater safety she hid the treasure in the earth but shortly after, she departed this life. After a time, he who had made the deposit came. Not finding the girl he applied to her father, Abba Spyridon, at first demanding, then imploring. The old man grieved for the loss suffered by him who had made the deposit, so he went to his daughter’s tomb and begged God to show him, before the time, the resurrection promised her. He was not disappointed of his hope for immediately his daughter appeared alive to her father and named the place where the treasure lay and immediately she disappeared. So taking up the deposit, the old man returned it to its owner.

β. Ἔλεγον πάλιν͵ ὅτι θυγάτριον ἦν αὐτῷ παρθένος͵ τῆς τοῦ πατρὸς εὐλαβείας μετέχουσα͵ τοὔνομα Εἰ ρήνη. Ταύτῃ γνώριμός τις πολύτιμον παρέθετο κό σμιον. Ἡ δὲ ἀσφαλέστερον ποιοῦσα͵ γῇ τὴν παρα θήκην ἔκρυψε· μετ΄ ὀλίγον δὲ τὸν βίον ἀπέλιπεν. 420 ῏Ηλθε δὲ μετὰ χρόνον ὁ παραθέμενος· καὶ μὴ εὑρὼν τὴν παρθένον͵ ἔπλεκε τῷ πατρὶ αὐτῆς τῷ ἀββᾷ Σπυρίδωνι͵ νῦν μὲν ἕλκων͵ πάλιν δὲ παρακαλῶν. Ἐπειδὴ δὲ συμφορὰν ἐποιεῖτο τὴν τοῦ παραθεμένου ζημίαν ὁ γέρων͵ ἐλθὼν ἐπὶ τὸ μνημεῖον τῆς θυγα τρὸς͵ ἐπεκαλεῖτο τὸν Θεὸν͵ πρὸ καιροῦ δεῖξαι αὐτῷ τὴν ἐπηγγελμένην ἀνάστασιν· καὶ δὴ τῆς ἐλπίδος οὐχ ἥμαρτε. Ζῶσα γὰρ αὖθις ἡ παρθένος φαίνεται τῷ πατρί· καὶ τόπον σημάνασα ἔνθα τὸ κόσμιον ἔκειτο͵ αὖθις ἀπεχώρει. Καὶ λαβὼν τὴν παρα θήκην ὁ γέρων ἔδωκεν αὐτήν.



SAIUS 18_09




SAIUS 18_09

Περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σαϊώ.





1. It was said that Abba Saius and Abba Moue lived together. Abba Saius was very obedient, but he was very rigid. To test him, the old man said to him, ‘Go and steal.’ Through obedience Abba Saius went to steal from the brethren, giving thanks to the Lord in everything. Abba Moue took the things and returned them secretly. Now once when they were on the road, Abba Saius was overcome with weakness and the old man left him there exhausted and went to say to the brethren, ‘Go and carry Saius, because he is lying there helpless.’ So they went and brought him in.

Ἔλεγον περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Σαϊὼ͵ καὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Μούη͵ ὅτι ἔμειναν μετ΄ ἀλλήλων. Εἶχε δὲ πολλὴν ὑπακοὴν ὁ ἀββᾶς Σαϊὼ͵ σκληρὸς δὲ ἦν πάνυ. Καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων πειράζων· Ὕπαγε͵ σύλησον. Καὶ ὑπῆγε͵ καὶ ἐσύλα τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς διὰ τὴν ὑπακοὴν͵ εὐχαριστῶν τῷ Κυρίῳ ἐπὶ πᾶσιν. Ὁ δὲ γέρων ἦρεν αὐτὰ͵ καὶ παρεῖχε κρυφίως. Ποτὲ οὖν ὁδευόντων αὐτῶν͵ ἠτό νησε͵ καὶ ἀφῆκεν αὐτὸν ὁ ἀββᾶς συντετριμμένον· καὶ ἐλθὼν͵ εἶπε τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς· Ὑπάγετε͵ φέρετε τὸν Σαϊὼ͵ ὅτι κεκλασμένος κεῖται. Καὶ ἀπελθόντες͵ ἤγα γον αὐτόν.



SARAH 18_10




SARAH 18_10

Περὶ τῆς ἀμμᾶς Σάῤῥας





1. It was related of Amma Sarah that for thirteen years she waged warfare against the demon of fornication. She never prayed that the warfare should cease but she said, ‘O God, give me strength.’

α. Διηγήσαντο περὶ τῆς ἀμμᾶς Σάῤῥας͵ ὅτι ἔμεινε δεκατρία ἔτη πολεμουμένη κραταιῶς ὑπὸ τοῦ δαί μονος τῆς πορνείας͵ καὶ οὐδέποτε ηὔξατο ἀποστῆναι τὸν πόλεμον͵ ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον ἔλεγεν· Ὁ Θεὸς͵ δός μοι ἰσχύν



2. Once the same spirit of fornication attacked her more insistently, reminding her of the vanities of the world. But she gave herself up to the fear of God and to asceticism and went up onto her little terrace to pray. Then the spirit of fornication appeared corporally to her and said, ‘Sarah, you have overcome me.’ But she said, ‘It is not I who have overcome you, but my master, Christ.’

β. Ἐπέθετο αὐτῇ ποτε σφοδρότερον τὸ αὐτὸ πνεῦ μα τῆς πορνείας͵ ὑποβάλλον αὐτῇ τὰ τοῦ κόσμου μάταια. Ἡ δὲ μὴ ἐνδοῦσα τῷ τοῦ Θεοῦ φόβῳ καὶ τῇ ἀσκήσει͵ ἀνῆλθεν ἐν μιᾷ εἰς τὸ δωμάτιον αὐτῆς προσεύξασθαι. Καὶ ὤφθη αὐτῇ σωματικῶς τὸ πνεῦ μα τῆς πορνείας͵ καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ· Σύ με ἐνίκησας͵ Σάῤῥα. Ἡ δὲ εἶπεν· Οὐκ ἐνίκησά σε ἐγὼ͵ ἀλλ΄ ὁ Δεσπότης μου Χριστός



3. It was said concerning her that for sixty years she lived beside a river and never lifted her eyes to look at it.

γ. Ἔλεγον περὶ αὐτῆς͵ ὅτι ἐπάνω τοῦ ποταμοῦ ἔμεινεν ἑξήκοντα ἔτη οἰκοῦσα͵ καὶ οὐ παρέκυψεν ἰδεῖν αὐτόν



4. Another time, two old men, great anchorites, came to the district of Pelusia to visit her. When they arrived one said to the other, ‘Let us humiliate this old woman.’ So they said to her, ‘Be careful not to become conceited thinking to yourself: “Look how anchorites are coming to see me, a mere woman.” ‘ But Amma Sarah said to them, ‘According to nature I am a woman, but not according to my thoughts.’

δ. Ἄλλοτε ἦλθον δύο γέροντες ἀναχωρηταὶ με γάλοι ἀπὸ τῶν μερῶν τοῦ Πηλουσίου πρὸς αὐτήν· καὶ ἀπερχόμενοι ἔλεγον πρὸς ἀλλήλους· Ταπεινώ σωμεν τὴν γραΐδα ταύτην. Καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῇ· Βλέ πε μὴ ἐπαρθῇ ὁ λογισμός σου͵ καὶ εἴπῃς͵ ὅτι Ἰδοὺ οἱ ἀναχωρηταὶ πρὸς μὲ ἔρχονται γυναῖκα οὖσαν. Λέγει αὐτοῖς ἡ ἀμμᾶς Σάῤῥα· Τῇ μὲν φύσει γυνή εἰμι͵ ἀλλ΄ οὐ τῷ λογισμῷ



5. Amma Sarah said, ‘If I prayed God that all men should approve of my conduct, I should find myself a penitent at the door of each one, but I shall rather pray that my heart may be pure towards all’

ε. Εἶπεν ἡ ἀμμᾶς Σάῤῥα· Ἐὰν εὔξωμαι τῷ Θεῷ͵ ἵνα πάντες οἱ ἄνθρωποι πληροφορῶνται εἰς ἐμὲ͵ εὑρεθήσομαι εἰς τὴν θύραν ἑκάστου μετανοοῦσα· ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον εὔξομαι τὴν καρδίαν μου ἁγνὴν εἶναι μετὰ πάντων. 421 .



6. She also said, ‘I put out my foot to ascend the ladder, and I place death before my eyes before going up it.’

ϛ. Εἶπε πάλιν͵ ὅτι Βάλλω τὸν πόδα μου ἐπὶ τὴν κλίμακα ἀναβῆναι͵ καὶ τιθῶ τὸν θάνατον πρὸ ὀφθαλ μῶν μου πρὸ τοῦ ἀναβῆναί με εἰς αὐτήν



7. She also said, ‘It is good to give alms for men’s sake. Even if it is only done to please men, through it one can begin to seek to please God.’

ζ. Εἶπε πάλιν͵ ὅτι καλόν ἐστι καὶ δι΄ ἀνθρώπους ποιεῖν ἐλεημοσύνην. Εἰ γὰρ καὶ δι΄ ἀνθρωπαρεσκίαν͵ ἀλλ΄ ἔρχεται πάλιν εἰς Θεοῦ ἀρέσκειαν



8. Some monks of Scetis came one day to visit Amma Sarah. She offered them a small basket of fruit. They left the good fruit and ate the bad. So she said to them, ‘You are true monks of Scetis.’

η. Παρέβαλόν ποτε Σκητιῶται τῇ ἀμμᾷ Σάῤῥᾳ. Ἡ δὲ παρέθηκεν αὐτοῖς κανίσκιν. Οἱ δὲ ἀφέντες τὰ καλὰ͵ ἔφαγον τὰ σαπρά. Καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· Ὄντως Σκητιῶταί ἐστε.



9. She also said to the brothers, ‘It is I who am a man, you who are women.’









Περὶ τῆς ἀμμᾶς Συγκλητικῆς





1. Amma Syncletica said, ‘In the beginning there are a great many battles and a good deal of suffering for those who are advancing towards God and afterwards, ineffable joy. It is like those who wish to light a fire; at first they are choked by the smoke and cry, and by this means obtain what they seek (as it is said: “Our God is a consuming fire” [Heb. 12.24]): so we also must kindle the divine fire in ourselves through tears and hard work.’

α. Εἶπεν ἡ ἀμμᾶς Συγκλητική· Ἀγών ἐστι καὶ κόπος πολὺς τοῖς προσερχομένοις τῷ Θεῷ͵ τὰ πρῶτα· ἔπειτα δὲ͵ χαρὰ ἀνεκλάλητος. Ὥσπερ γὰρ οἱ πῦρ ἐξ άψαι βουλόμενοι͵ πρῶτον καπνίζονται καὶ δακρύουσι͵ καὶ οὕτως τοῦ ζητουμένου ἐπιτυγχάνουσι (καὶ γάρ φησιν͵ Ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν πῦρ καταναλίσκον ἐστίν)· οὕτως δεῖ καὶ ἡμᾶς εἰς ἑαυτοὺς τὸ θεῖον ἐξάψαι πῦρ μετὰ δακρύων καὶ πόνων



2. She also said, ‘We who have chosen this way of life must obtain perfect temperance. It is true that among seculars, also, temperance has the freedom of the city, but intemperance cohabits with it, because they sin with all the other senses. Their gaze is shameless and they laugh immoderately.’

β. Εἶπε πάλιν͵ ὅτι Δεῖ ἡμᾶς τοὺς τὸ ἐπάγγελμα τοῦτο ἐπανῃρημένους͵ σωφροσύνην τὴν εἰς ἄκρον κατέχειν. Καὶ γὰρ παρὰ τοῖς κοσμικοῖς σωφροσύνη δοκεῖ πολιτεύεσθαι͵ ἀλλὰ συμπάρεστιν αὐτῇ καὶ ἀφροσύνη͵ διὰ τὸ ταῖς ἄλλαις πάσαις αἰσθήσεσιν ἁμαρτάνειν. Καὶ γὰρ ὁρῶσιν ἀπρεπῶς͵ καὶ γελῶσιν ἀτάκτως



3. She also said, ‘Just as the most bitter medicine drives out poisonous creatures so prayer joined to fasting drives evil thoughts away.’

γ. Εἶπε πάλιν· Ὥσπερ τὰ ἰοβόλα θηρία τὰ δρι μύτερα τῶν φαρμάκων ἀπελαύνει· οὕτως καὶ λογι σμὸν πονηρὸν εὐχὴ μετὰ νηστείας ἀπελαύνει



4. She also said, ‘Do not let yourself be seduced by the delights of the riches of the world, as though they contained something useful on account of vain pleasure. Worldly people esteem the culinary art, but you, through fasting and thanks to cheap food, go beyond their abundance of food. It is written: “He who is sated loathes honey.” (Prov. 27.7) Do not fill yourself with bread and you will not desire wine.’

δ. Εἶπε πάλιν· Μή σε δελεάσῃ τῶν κοσμικῶν πλουσίων τρυφὴ͵ ὡς χρήσιμόν τι ἔχουσα͵ ἡδονῆς κενῆς ἕνεκεν. Ἐκεῖνοι τὴν ὀψαρτυτικὴν τι μῶσι τέχνην· νηστείᾳ καὶ αὐτὸς διὰ τῶν εὐτελῶν τὴν ἐκείνων εὐπορίαν τῶν τροφῶν ὑπερβάλλεις. Φησὶ γάρ· Ψυχὴ ἐν τρυφῇ οὖσα κηρίοις ἐμ παίζει. Μὴ κορεσθῇς ἄρτου͵ καὶ οὐκ ἐπιθυμήσεις οἴνου



5. Blessed Syncletica was asked if poverty is a perfect good. She said, ‘For those who are capable of it, it is a perfect good. Those who can sustain it receive suffering in the body but rest in the soul, for just as one washes coarse clothes by trampling them underfoot and turning them about in all directions, even so the strong soul becomes much more stable thanks to voluntary poverty.’

ε. Ἠρωτήθη ἡ μακαρία Συγκλητικὴ͵ εἰ τέλειον ἀγαθὸν ἡ ἀκτημοσύνη. Ἡ δὲ εἶπε· Πάνυ τέλειον τοῖς δυναμένοις. Οἱ γὰρ ὑπομένοντες τοῦτο͵ θλίψιν μὲν ἔχουσι τῇ σαρκὶ͵ τῇ δὲ ψυχῇ ἀνάπαυσιν. Ὥσπερ γὰρ τὰ στερεὰ ἱμάτια͵ πατούμενα καὶ βιαίως στρε φόμενα͵ πλύνεται· οὕτως καὶ ψυχὴ ἰσχυρὰ͵ διὰ τῆς ἐκουσίου πενίας͵ ἐπὶ πλεῖον κρατύνεται. .



6. She also said, ‘If you find yourself in a monastery do not go to another place, for that will harm you a great deal. Just as the bird who abandons the eggs she was sitting on prevents them from hatching, so the monk or the nun grows cold and their faith dies, when they go from one place to another.’

ϛ. Εἶπε πάλιν· Ἐὰν ἐν κοινοβίῳ τυγχάνῃς͵ μὴ μεταλλάξῃς τὸν τόπον· βλαβήσῃ γὰρ μεγάλως. 424 Ὥσπερ γὰρ ὄρνις͵ ἐξανισταμένη τῶν ὠῶν͵ οὔρια ταῦτα καὶ ἄγονα παρασκευάζει· οὕτως καὶ μοναχὸς ἢ παρθένος ψύγεται καὶ νεκροῦται τῆς πίστεως͵ τόπον ἐκ τόπου περιερχόμενος



7. She also said, ‘Many are the wiles of the devil. If he is not able to disturb the soul by means of poverty, he suggests riches as an attraction. If he has not won the victory by insults and disgrace, he suggests praise and glory. Overcome by health, he makes the body ill. Not having been able to seduce it through pleasures, he tries to overthrow it by involuntary sufferings. He joins to this, very severe illness, to disturb the faint-hearted in their love of God. But he also destroys the body by very violent fevers and weighs it down with intolerable thirst. If, being a sinner, you undergo all these things, remind yourself of the punishment to come, the everlasting fire and the sufferings inflicted by justice, and do not be discouraged here and now. Rejoice that God visits you and keep this blessed saying on your lips: “The Lord has chastened me sorely but he has not given me over unto death.” (Ps. 118.18) You were iron, but fire has burnt the rust off you. If you are righteous and fall ill, you will go from strength to strength. Are you gold? You will pass through fire purged. Have you been given a thorn in the flesh? (2 Cor. 12.1) Exult, and see who else was treated like that; it is an honour to have the same sufferings as Paul. Are you being tried by fever? Are you being taught by cold? Indeed Scripture says: “We went through fire and water; yet thou has brought us forth to a spacious place.” (Ps. 66.12) You have drawn the first lot? Expect the second. By virtue offer holy words in a loud voice. For it is said: “I am afflicted and in pain.” (Ps. 69.29) By this share of wretchedness you will be made perfect. For he said: “The Lord hears when I call him.” (Ps. 4.3) So open your mouth wider to be taught by these exercises of the soul, seeing that we are under the eyes of our enemy.’

ζ. Εἷπε πάλιν· Πολλὰ τοῦ διαβόλου τὰ ἔνεδρα. Διὰ πενίας οὐ μετεκίνησε ψυχήν; πλοῦτον προσάγει δέλεαρ. Δι΄ ὕβρεων καὶ ὀνειδισμῶν οὐκ ἴσχυσεν; ἐπαίνους καὶ δόξαν προβάλλεται. Διὰ τῆς ὑγείας ἡττηθεὶς͵ νοσοποιεῖ τὸ σῶμα. Ταῖς γὰρ ἡδοναῖς μὴ δυνηθεὶς ἀπατῆσαι͵ διὰ τῶν ἀκουσίων πόνων τὴν παρατροπὴν ποιῆσαι πειρᾶται. Νόσους γάρ τινας βαρυτάτας ἐξ αἰτήσεως͵ πρὸς τὸ διὰ τούτων ὀλιγω ρήσαντας ἐπιθολῶσαι αὐτῶν τὴν πρὸς Θεὸν ἀγάπην͵ προσάγει. Ἀλλὰ καὶ κατατέμνεται τὸ σῶμα πυρετοῖς σφοδροτάτοις͵ καὶ δίψει ἀσχέτῳ ἀνιᾶται. Εἰ μὲν ἁμαρτωλὸς ὢν ταῦτα ὑφίστασαι͵ ὑπομνήσθητι καὶ τῆς μελλούσης κολάσεως͵ καὶ τοῦ αἰωνίου πυρὸς͵ καὶ τῶν δικαστικῶν τιμωριῶν͵ καὶ οὐ μὴ ὀλιγωρήσῃς πρὸς τὰ παρόντα. Χαῖρε ὅτι ἐπεσκόπησέ σε ὁ Θεός· καὶ τὸ εὔφημον δὲ ἐκεῖνο ῥητὸν ἐπὶ τῆς γλώττης ἔχε͵ ὡς Παιδεύων ἐπαίδευσέ με ὁ Κύριος͵ καὶ τῷ θανάτῳ οὐ παρέδωκέ με. Σίδηρος ἐτύγχανες· ἀλλὰ διὰ τοῦ πυρὸς τὸν ἰὸν ἀποβάλλεις. Εἰ δὲ καὶ δίκαιος ὢν ἀῤῥωστεῖς͵ ἀπὸ τῶν μεγάλων ἐπὶ τὰ μείζονα προ κόπτεις. Χρυσὸς εἶ; ἀλλὰ διὰ τοῦ πυρὸς δοκιμώτερος γίνῃ. Ἐδόθη σοι ἄγγελος τῇ σαρκί; ἀγαλλιῶ· βλέπε τίνι ὅμοιος γέγονας· τῆς γὰρ Παύλου μερίδος ἠξιώ θης. Διὰ τοῦ πυρετοῦ δοκιμάζῃ; διὰ ῥίγους παιδεύῃ; ἀλλά φησιν ἡ Γραφή· Διήλθομεν διὰ πυρὸς καὶ ὕδατος͵ καὶ ἐξήγαγες ἡμᾶς εἰς ἀναψυχήν. Ἔτυ χες τοῦ πρώτου; προσδόκα τὸ δεύτερον. Πράττων τὴν ἀρετὴν͵ βόα τὰ τοῦ ἁγίου ῥήματα· φησὶ γάρ· Πτωχὸς καὶ ἀλγῶν εἰμι ἐγώ. Τέλειος γενήσῃ διὰ ταύτης τῶν θλίψεων τῆς δυάδος· φησὶ γάρ· Ἐν θλίψει ἐπλάτυνάς με. Ἐν τούτοις μᾶλλον τοῖς γυμνασίοις τὰς ψυχὰς ἀσκηθῶμεν· ἐπ΄ ὀφθαλμῶν γὰρ ὁρῶμεν τὸν ἀντίπαλον



8. She also said, ‘If illness weighs us down, let us not be sorrowful as though, because of the illness and the prostration of our bodies we could not sing, for all these things are for our good, for the purification of our desires. Truly fasting and sleeping on the ground are set before us because of our sensuality. If illness then weakens this sensuality the reason for these practices is superfluous. For this is the great asceticism: to control oneself in illness and to sing hymns of thanksgiving to God.’

η. Εἶπε πάλιν· Ἐὰν ἀσθένεια ὀχλῇ ἡμῖν͵ μὴ λυ πηθῶμεν͵ ὡς διὰ τὴν ἀσθένειαν καὶ τὴν πληγὴν τοῦ σώματος μὴ δυνάμενοι ψάλλειν μετὰ φωνῆς· ταῦτα γὰρ πάντα ἡμῖν ἠνύετο͵ πρὸς καθαίρεσιν ἐπιθυμιῶν. Καὶ γὰρ ἡ νηστεία καὶ ἡ χαμευνία διὰ τὰς ἡδονὰς ἡμῖν νενομοθέτηται. Εἰ οὖν ἡ νόσος ταύτας ἤμβλυνε͵ περιττὸς ὁ λόγος. Αὕτη γάρ ἐστιν ἡ μεγάλη ἄσκησις͵ τὸ ἐν τοῖς νόσοις ἐγκαρτερεῖν͵ καὶ εὐχαριστηρίους ὕμνους ἀναπέμπειν τῷ Θεῷ



9. She also said, ‘When you have to fast, do not pretend illness. For those who do not fast often fall into real sicknesses. If you have begun to act well, do not turn back through constraint of the enemy, for through your endurance, the enemy is destroyed. Those who put out to sea at first sail with a favourable wind; then the sails spread, but later the winds become adverse. Then the ship is tossed by the waves and is no longer controlled by the rudder. But when in a little while there is a calm, and the tempest dies down, then the ship sails on again. So it is with us, when we are driven by the spirits who are against us; we hold to the cross as our sail and so we can set a safe course.’* 9 is an addition from J.-C. Guy’s text (p. 34)

θ. Εἶπε πάλιν· Νηστεύων μὴ προφασίσῃ νόσον· καὶ γὰρ οἱ μὴ νηστεύοντες τοῖς αὐτοῖς πολλά κις περιέπεσον νοσήμασιν. ῎Ηρξω τοῦ καλοῦ; μὴ 425 ἀναχαιτίσῃς τοῦ ἐχθροῦ σε ἐκκόψαντος· αὐτὸς γὰρ τῇ ὑπομονῇ σου καταργεῖται. Καὶ γὰρ οἱ πλεῖν ἀρχό μενοι πρῶτον μὲν δεξιοῦ πνεύματος τυγχάνουσιν· ἁπλώσαντες δὲ τὰ ἱστία͵ αὖθις ἐναντίῳ ἀπαντῶσιν ἀνέμῳ͵ ἀλλ΄ οἱ ναῦται διὰ τὸ παρεμπεσὸν πνεῦμα οὐκ ἀποσκευάζουσι τὴν ναῦν· μικρὸν δὲ ἡσυχάσαντες ἢ καὶ ἀπομαχησάμενοι τῇ ζάλῃ͵ πάλιν τὸν πλοῦν ποιοῦνται. Οὕτω καὶ ἡμεῖς͵ ἐναντίου πνεύματος προσπεσόντος͵ τὸν σταυρὸν ἀντὶ ἱστίου τανύσαντες͵ ἀδεῶς τὸν πλοῦν ἐκτελέσωμεν



10. She also said, ‘Those who have endured the labours and dangers of the sea and then amass material riches, even when they have gained much desire to gain yet more and they consider what they have at present as nothing and reach out for what they have not got. We, who have nothing of that which we desire, wish to acquire everything through the fear of God.’

ι. Εἶπε πάλιν· Οἱ μὲν τὸν αἰσθητὸν πλοῦτον ἐκ κόπων καὶ κινδύνων θαλάσσης συνάγοντες͵ πολλὰ κερδήσαντες͵ τῶν πλειόνων ἐφίενται· καὶ τὰ μὲν παρόντα ὡς οὐδὲν ἡγοῦνται· πρὸς δὲ τὰ μὴ παρόντα ἐπεκτείνονται. Ἡμεῖς δὲ καὶ τῶν ζητουμένων μηδὲν ἔχοντες͵ οὐδὲν θέλομεν κτήσασθαι διὰ τὸν φόβον τοῦ Θεοῦ



11. She also said, ‘Imitate the publican, and you will not be condemned with the Pharisee. Choose the meekness of Moses and you will find your heart which is a rock changed into a spring of water.’

ια. Εἶπε πάλιν· Μίμησαι τὸν Τελώνην͵ ἵνα μὴ τῷ Φαρισαίῳ συγκατακριθῇς· καὶ Μωσέως τὸ πρᾶον ἐπίλεξαι͵ ἵνα τὴν καρδίαν σου ἀκρότομον οὖ σαν εἰς πηγὰς ὑδάτων μεταβάλῃς



12. She also said, ‘It is dangerous for anyone to teach who has not first been trained in the “practical” life. For if someone who owns a ruined house receives guests there, he does them harm because of the dilapidation of his dwelling. It is the same in the case of someone who has not first built an interior dwelling; he causes loss to those who come. By words one may convert them to salvation, but by evil behaviour, one injures them.’

ιβ. Εἶπε πάλιν· Ἐπικίνδυνον͵ τὸν μὴ διὰ τοῦ πρακτικοῦ βίου ἀναχθέντα διδάσκειν. Ὥσπερ γὰρ ἐὰν ᾖ τις οἰκίαν ἔχων σαθρὰν͵ ξένους ὑποδεξάμενος͵ βλά ψει τῇ πτώσει τοῦ οἰκήματος͵ οὕτως καὶ οὗτοι͵ μὴ πρότερον ἑαυτοὺς οἰκοδομήσαντες͵ καὶ τοὺς προσ ελθόντας αὐτοῖς ἀπώλεσαν· τοῖς μὲν γὰρ λόγοις συν εκαλέσαντο εἰς σωτηρίαν͵ τῇ δὲ τοῦ τρόπου κακίᾳ τοὺς ἀθλητὰς μᾶλλον ἠδίκησαν



13. She also said, ‘It is good not to get angry, but if this should happen, the Apostle does not allow you a whole day for this passion, for he says: “Let not the sun go down.” (Eph. 4.25) Will you wait till all your time is ended? Why hate the man who has grieved you? It is not he who has done the wrong, but the devil. Hate sickness but not the sick person.’

ιγ. Εἶπε πάλιν· Καλὸν τὸ μὴ ὀργίζεσθαι· εἰ δὲ καὶ γένηται͵ οὐδὲ μέτρον σοι ἡμέρας πρὸς τὸ πάθος συνεχώρησεν͵ εἰπών· Μὴ ἐπιδυέτω ὁ ἥλιος. Σὺ οὖν ἐκδέχῃ ἕως πᾶς ὁ χρόνος σου δύῃ. Τί μισεῖς τὸν λυπήσαντα ἄνθρωπον; οὐκ αὐτός ἐστιν ὁ ἀδικήσας͵ ἀλλ΄ ὁ διάβολος. Μίσησον τὴν νόσον͵ καὶ μὴ τὸν νο σοῦντα



14. She also said, ‘Those who are great athletes must contend against stronger enemies.’

ιδ. Εἶπε πάλιν· Ὅσον προκόπτουσιν οἱ ἀθληταὶ͵ τοσοῦτον συνάπτουσι ἀνταγωνιστῇ μείζονι



15. She also said, ‘There is an asceticism which is determined by the enemy and his disciples practice it. So how are we to distinguish between the divine and royal asceticism and the demonic tyranny? Clearly through its quality of balance. Always use a single rule of fasting. Do not fast four or five days and break it the following day with any amount of food. In truth lack of proportion always corrupts. While you are young and healthy, fast, for old age with its weakness will come. As long as you can, lay up treasure, so that when you cannot, you will be at peace.’

ιε. Εἶπε πάλιν· Ἔστι καὶ ἐκ τοῦ ἐχθροῦ ἐπιτετα μένη ἄσκησις· καὶ γὰρ οἱ αὐτοῦ μαθηταὶ τοῦτο ποιοῦσι. Πῶς οὖν διακρίνωμεν τὴν θείαν καὶ βασιλι κὴν ἄσκησιν͵ τῆς τυραννικῆς καὶ δαιμονιώδους; δῆ λον ὡς ἀπὸ τῆς συμμετρίας. Ἅπας σοι ὁ χρόνος εἷς κανὼν νηστείας ὑπαρχέτω. Μὴ τέσσαρας ἢ πέντε νηστεύσῃς͵ καὶ τὴν ἄλλην ἐν πλήθει τροφῶν κατα λύσῃς· πανταχοῦ γὰρ ἡ ἀμετρία φθοροποιὸς τυγχά νει. Νέος ὢν καὶ ὑγιὴς νήστευσον· ἥξει γὰρ τὸ γῆ ρας μετὰ ἀσθενείας. Ὡς δύνῃ οὖν θησαύρισον τρο φὰς͵ ἵνα ὅταν μὴ δύνῃ εὕρῃς ἀνάπαυσιν



16. She also said, ‘As long as we are in the monastery, obedience is preferable to asceticism. The one teaches pride, the other humility.’

ιϛ. Εἶπε πάλιν· Ἐν κοινοβίῳ ὄντες͵ τὴν ὑπακοὴν 428 τῆς ἀσκήσεως μᾶλλον προκρίνωμεν· ἡ μὲν γὰρ ὑπεροψίαν διδάσκει͵ ἡ δὲ ταπεινοφροσύνην



17. She also said, ‘We must direct our souls with discernment. As long as we are in the monastery, we must not seek our own will, nor follow our personal opinion, but obey our fathers in the faith.’

ιζ. Εἶπε πάλιν· Δεῖ ἡμᾶς τῇ διακρίσει κυβερνᾷν τὴν ψυχήν· καὶ ἐν κοινοβίῳ ὄντας͵ μὴ τὰ ἑαυτῶν ζητεῖν͵ μήτε μὴν οἰκείᾳ δουλεύειν γνώμῃ͵ ἀλλὰ τῷ κατὰ πίστιν πατρὶ πειθαρχεῖν



18. She also said, ‘It is written, “Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Matt. 10.16) Being like serpents means not ignoring attacks and wiles of the devil. Like is quickly known to like. The simplicity of the dove denotes purity of action.’

ιη. Εἶπε πάλιν· Γέγραπται͵ ὅτι Γίνεσθε φρόνι μοι ὡς οἱ ὄφεις͵ καὶ ἀκέραιοι ὡς αἱ περιστεραί. Τὸ μὲν γὰρ γίνεσθαι ὡς οἱ ὄφεις εἴρηται͵ πρὸς τὸ μὴ λανθάνειν ἡμᾶς τὰς ὁρμὰς καὶ τὰς μεθοδείας τοῦ διαβόλου· τὸ γὰρ ὅμοιον ἐκ τοῦ ὁμοίου ταχίστην ἔχει τὴν διάγνωσιν· τὸ δὲ ἀκέραιον τῆς περιστερᾶς δεί κνυσι τὸ καθαρὸν τῆς πράξεως.



19. Amma Syncletica said, ‘There are many who live in the mountains and behave as if they were in the town, and they are wasting their time. It is possible to be a solitary in one’s mind while living in a crowd, and it is possible for one who is a solitary to live in the crowd of his own thoughts.’




20. She also said, ‘In the world, if we commit an offence, even an involuntary one, we are thrown into prison; let us likewise cast ourselves into prison because of our sins, so that voluntary remembrance may anticipate the punishment that is to come.’




21 . She also said, ‘Just as a treasure that is exposed loses its value, so a virtue which is known vanishes; just as wax melts when it is near fire, so the soul is destroyed by praise and loses all the results of its labour.’




22. She also said, ‘Just as it is impossible to be at the same moment both a plant and a seed, so it is impossible for us to be surrounded by worldly honour and at the same time to bear heavenly fruit.’




23. She also said, ‘My children, we all want to be saved, but because of our habit of negligence, we swerve away from salvation.’




24. She also said, ‘We must arm ourselves in every way against the demons. For they attack us from outside, and they also stir us up from within; and the soul is then like a ship when great waves break over it, and at the same time it sinks because the hold is too full. We are just like that: we lose as much by the exterior faults we commit as by the thoughts inside us. So we must watch for the attacks of men that come from outside us, and also repel the interior onslaughts of our thoughts.’




25. She also said, ‘Here below we are not exempt from temptations. For Scripture says, “Let him who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Cor. 10.12) We sail on in darkness. The psalmist calls our life a sea and the sea is either full of rocks, or very rough, or else it is calm. We are like those who sail on a calm sea, and seculars are like those on a rough sea. We always set our course by the sun of justice, but it can often happen that the secular is saved in tempest and darkness, for he keeps watch as he ought, while we go to the bottom through negligence, although we are on a calm sea, because we have let go of the guidance of justice.’




26. She also said, ‘Just as one cannot build a ship unless one has some nails, so it is impossible to be saved without humility.’




27. She also said, ‘There is grief that is useful, and there is grief that is destructive. The first sort consists in weeping over one’s own faults and weeping over the weakness of one’s neighbours, in order not to destroy one’s purpose, and attach oneself to the perfect good. But there is also a grief that comes from the enemy, full of mockery, which some call accidie. This spirit must be cast out, mainly by prayer and psalmody.’









Ἀρχὴ τοῦ Τ στοιχείου.










Περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Τιθόη





1. It was said of Abba Tithoes that when he stood up to pray, if he did not quickly lower his hand, his spirit was rapt to heaven. So if it happened that some brothers were praying with him, he hastened to lower his hands so that his spirit should not be rapt and he should not pray for too long.

α. Ἔλεγον περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Τιθόη͵ ὅτι εἰ μὴ ταχέως κατέφερε τὰς χεῖρας αὐτοῦ ὅτε ἵστατο εἰς προσευ χὴν͵ ἡρπάζετο ὁ νοῦς αὐτοῦ ἄνω. Εἰ οὖν συνέβη ἀδελφοὺς συνεύχεσθαι αὐτῷ͵ ἐσπούδαζε ταχέως κα ταφέρειν τὰς χεῖρας͵ ἵνα μὴ ἁρπαγῇ ὁ νοῦς αὐτοῦ καὶ χρονίσῃ



2. Abba Tithoes used to say, ‘Pilgrimage means that a man should control his own tongue.’

β. Εἶπεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Τιθόης͵ ὅτι ξενητεία ἐστὶ τὸ κρατῆσαι ἄνθρωπον τὸ ἑαυτοῦ στόμα



3. A brother asked Abba Tithoes, ‘How should I guard my heart?’ The old man said to him, ‘How can we guard our hearts when our mouths and our stomachs are open?’

γ. Ἀδελφὸς ἠρώτησε τὸν ἀββᾶν Τιθόην͵ ὅτι Πῶς φυλάξω τὴν καρδίαν μου; Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· Πῶς φυλάξομεν τὴν καρδίαν ἡμῶν͵ ἀνεῳγμένης τῆς γλώσσης ἡμῶν καὶ τῆς κοιλίας;



4. Abba Matoes used to say of Abba Tithoes, ‘No-one can ever speak against him, for like pure gold in the balance, so is Abba Tithoes.’

δ. Ἔλεγεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Ματόης περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Τι θόη͵ ὅτι Οὐχ εὑρίσκει ἄνθρωπος ἀνοῖξαι τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ ἔν τινι πράγματι εἰς αὐτόν· ἀλλ΄ ὥσπερ τὸ καθαρὸν χρυσίον ἵσταται ἐν ζυγῷ͵ οὕτως καὶ ὁ ἀβ βᾶς Τιθόης



5. Abba Tithoes was sitting at Clysma one day, thinking and pondering and he said to his disciple, ‘Water the palm-trees, my son.’ The latter said to him, ‘But we are at Clysma, abba.’ The old man said, ‘What am I doing at Clysma? Take me to the mountain again.’

ε. Καθήμενός ποτε ὁ ἀββᾶς Τιθόης εἰς τὸ Κλύ σμα͵ νοῶν καὶ φρονῶν λέγει τῷ μαθητῇ αὐτοῦ· Ἀπό λυσον τὸ ὕδωρ εἰς τοὺς φοίνικας͵ τέκνον. Ὁ δὲ εἶ πεν· Εἰς τὸ Κλύσμα ἐσμὲν͵ ἀββᾶ. Λέγει ὁ γέρων· Εἰς τὸ Κλύσμα τί ποιῶ; ἆρόν με πάλιν εἰς τὸ ὄρος. .



6. One day when Abba Tithoes was sitting down, a brother happened to be beside him. Not realizing this, he began to groan, without thinking that the brother was beside him for he was in ecstasy. Afterwards he made a prostration before him and said to him, ‘Forgive me, brother; I have not yet become a monk, since I groaned in front of you.’

ϛ. Καθημένου ποτὲ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Τιθόη͵ ἦν ἀδελφὸς ἐγγὺς αὐτοῦ· καὶ μὴ εἰδὼς ἐστέναξε· καὶ οὐκ ἐνόη σεν ὅτι ἦν ἀδελφὸς ἐγγὺς αὐτοῦ· ἦν γὰρ ἐν ἐκστά σει. Καὶ ποιήσας μετάνοιαν͵ ἔλεγε· Συγχώρησόν μοι͵ ἀδελφὲ͵ ὅτι οὔπω γέγονα μοναχὸς͵ ὅτι ἐστέναξα ἔμ προσθέν σου



7. A brother asked Abba Tithoes, ‘Which way leads to humility?’ The old man said, ‘The way of humility is this: self-control, prayer, and thinking yourself inferior to all creatures.’

ζ. Ἀδελφὸς ἠρώτησε τὸν ἀββᾶν Τιθόην͵ λέγων· 429 Ποία ἐστὶν ἡ ὁδὸς ἡ ἀπάγουσα εἰς τὴν ταπείνωσιν; Λέγει ὁ γέρων· Ἡ ὁδὸς τῆς ταπεινώσεως αὕτη ἐστὶν͵ ἐγκράτεια͵ καὶ εὐχὴ͵ καὶ τὸ ἔχειν ἑαυτὸν ὑποκάτω πάσης τῆς κτήσεως.








Περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Τιμοθέου.





1. Abba Timothy the priest said to Abba Poemen, ‘There is a woman who commits fornication in Egypt and she gives her wages away in alms.’ Abba Poemen said, ‘She will not go on committing fornication, for the fruit of faith is appearing in her.’ Now it happened that the mother of the priest Timothy came to see him and he asked her, ‘Is that woman still living in fornication?’ She replied, ‘Yes and she has increased the number of her lovers, but also the numbers of her alms.’ And Abba Timothy told Abba Poemen. The latter said, ‘She will not go on committing fornication.’ Abba Timothy’s mother came again and said to him, ‘You know that sinner? She wanted to come with me so that you might pray over her.’ When he heard this, he told Abba Poemen and he said to him, ‘Go and meet her.’ When the woman saw him and heard the word of God from him, she was filled with compunction and said to him weeping, ‘From today forward I shall cling to God and resolve not to commit fornication any more.’ She entered a monastery at once and was pleasing to God.

Ἠρώτησεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Τιμόθεος ὁ πρεσβύτερος τὸν ἀββᾶν Ποιμένα͵ λέγων· Ἔστι γυνή τις ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ͵ ἥτις πορνεύει͵ καὶ τὸν μισθὸν αὐτῆς διδεῖ ἐλεημοσύ νην. Καὶ εἶπεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Ποιμήν· Οὐ μενεῖ ἐν τῇ πορ νείᾳ· φαίνεται γὰρ ἐν αὐτῇ καρπὸς πίστεως. Ἐγέ νετο δὲ ἐλθεῖν τὴν μητέρα τοῦ πρεσβυτέρου Τιμοθέου πρὸς αὐτόν. Καὶ ἠρώτησεν αὐτὴν͵ λέγων· Ἐκείνη ἡ γυνὴ ἔμεινε πορνεύουσα; Ἡ δὲ λέγει· Ναί· καὶ προσέθηκε τοὺς ἐραστὰς αὐτῆς· πλὴν καὶ εἰς τὴν ἐλεημοσύνην. Καὶ ἀνήγγειλεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Τιμόθεος τῷ ἀββᾷ Ποιμένι. Ὁ δὲ εἶπεν· Οὐ μενεῖ ἐν τῇ πορνείᾳ. Ἐλθοῦσα δὲ πάλιν ἡ μήτηρ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Τιμοθέου͵ εἶ πεν αὐτῷ· Οἶδας ὅτι ἡ πόρνη ἐκείνη ἐζήτει ἐλθεῖν μετ΄ ἐμοῦ͵ ἵνα εὔξῃ ὑπὲρ αὐτῆς; Ὁ δὲ ἀκούσας ἀνήγγειλε τῷ ἀββᾷ Ποιμένι. Λέγει αὐτῷ· Μᾶλλον σὺ ἄπελθε͵ καὶ σύντυχε αὐτῇ. Καὶ ἀπῆλθεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Τι μόθεος͵ καὶ συνέτυχεν αὐτῇ. Ἡ δὲ ἰδοῦσα αὐτὸν͵ καὶ ἀκούσασα παρ΄ αὐτοῦ τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ͵ κατ ενύγη͵ καὶ ἔκλαυσε͵ καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· Ἐγὼ ἀπὸ τῆς σήμερον προσκολλῶμαι τῷ Θεῷ͵ καὶ οὐ προσθήσω ἔτι τοῦ πορνεύειν. Καὶ εὐθέως εἰσελθοῦσα εἰς μονα στήριον εὐηρέστησε τῷ Θεῷ








Ἀρχὴ τοῦ Υ στοιχείου.










Περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Ὑπερεχίου





1. Abba Hyperechius said, ‘As the lion is terrible to wild asses, so is the experienced monk to desires.’

α. Εἶπεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Ὑπερέχιος· Ὥσπερ ὁ λέων φοβερός ἐστι τοῖς ὀνάγροις͵ οὕτως ὁ δόκιμος μοναχὸς λογισμοῖς ἐπιθυμίας



2. He also said, ‘Fasting is a check against sin for the monk. He who discards it is like a rampaging stallion.’ (cf. Jer. 5.8)

β. Εἶπε πάλιν· Ἡ νηστεία χαλινός ἐστι τῷ μο ναχῷ μετὰ τῆς ἁμαρτίας͵ Ὁ ῥίπτων αὐτὴν͵ ἵππος θηλυμανὴς εὑρίσκεται



3. He also said, ‘He who does not control his tongue when he is angry, will not control his passions either.’

γ. Εἶπε πάλιν· Ὁ μὴ κρατῶν γλώσσης αὐτοῦ ἐν καιρῷ ὀργῆς͵ οὐδὲ παθῶν κρατήσει ὁ τοιοῦτος



4. He also said, ‘It is better to eat meat and drink wine and not to eat the flesh of one’s brethren through slander.’

δ. Εἶπε πάλιν· Καλὸν φαγεῖν κρέα καὶ πιεῖν οἶνον͵ καὶ μὴ φαγεῖν ἐν καταλαλιαῖς σάρκας ἀδελφῶν



5. He also said, ‘It was through whispering that the serpent drove Eve out of Paradise, so he who speaks against his neighbour will be like the serpent, for he corrupts the soul of him who listens to him and he does not save his own soul.’

ε. Εἶπε πάλιν· Ψιθυρίσας ὁ ὄφις τὴν Εὔαν τοῦ παραδείσου ἐξέβαλε. Τούτου οὖν ὅμοιος ἔσται καὶ ὁ καταλαλῶν τοῦ πλησίον· τὴν γὰρ ψυχὴν τοῦ ἀκούον τος ἀπολλύει͵ καὶ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ οὐ διασώζει. . Εἶπε πάλιν· Θησαυρός ἐστι μοναχοῦ ἡ ἑκού σιος ἀκτημοσύνη. Θησαύρισον͵ ἀδελφὲ͵ ἐν οὐρανῷ· ἀπέραντοι γὰρ τῆς ἀναπαύσεως οἱ αἰῶνες



6. He also said, A monk’s treasure is voluntary poverty. Lay up treasure in heaven, brother, for there are the ages of quiet and bliss without end.’

ζ. Εἶπε πάλιν· Ἡ ἐνθύμησίς σου διαπαντὸς ἔστω 432 ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν· καὶ ἐν τάχει κληρονο μήσεις αὐτήν



7. He also said, ‘Let your thoughts be ever in the kingdom of heaven and soon you will possess it as an heritage.’

η. Εἶπε πάλιν· Κειμήλιόν ἐστι τοῦ μοναχοῦ ἡ ὑπακοή. Ὁ κεκτημένος αὐτὴν εἰσακουσθήσεται ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ͵ καὶ μετὰ παῤῥησίας τῷ σταυρωθέντι παραστήσεται· ὁ γὰρ σταυρωθεὶς Κύριος ὑπήκοος γέγονε μέχρι θανάτου.



8. He also said, ‘Obedience is the best ornament of the monk. He who has acquired it will be heard by God, and he will stand beside the crucified with confidence, for the crucified Lord became obedient unto death.’ (cf. Phil. 2.8)









Ἀρχὴ τοῦ Φ στοιχείου.





PHOCAS 21_01




PHOCAS 21_01

Περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Φωκᾶ





1. Abba Phocas of the monastery of Abba Theognius of Jerusalem used to say, ‘When I used to live in Scetis, there was an Abba James in the Cells, a young man, whose father according to the flesh was at the same time his spiritual father. Now the Cells had two churches: one of the Orthodox, which he used to attend, and another of the Monophy sites. Since Abba James had the grace of humility, everyone loved him, both the members of the Church and the Monophysites. The Orthodox used to say to him, “Abba James, take care lest the Monophysites deceive you and draw you to their communion.” Likewise the Monophysites said to him, “Abba James, you ought to realize that by being in communion with the partisans of the doctrine of the two natures, you are endangering your soul for they are Nestorians and subvert the truth.” Abba James, who was a simple man, found himself caught between the two sides and in his distress he went and prayed to God. He hid himself in a withdrawn cell, outside the lavra, and put on his garments of burial, as though preparing himself for death. For the Egyptian fathers have the custom of keeping the cloak and cowl in which they took the holy habit until their death, only wearing them on Sundays for the Holy Communion and taking them off immediately afterwards. Going into this cell then, praying to God, and persevering in fasting, he fell on the ground and remained lying there. Later he said he had experienced many things in these days because of the demons, especially in thought. When forty days had passed, he saw a little child coming towards him joyfully, who said to him, “Abba James, what are you doing here?” Immediately illuminated and drawing strength from his contemplation, he said to him, “Master, you know my difficulty. One side says to me, ‘Do not leave the Church,’ while the others say to me, ‘The partisans of the two natures are deceiving you.’ I, in my distress, not knowing what to do, have come to this point.” The Lord answered him, “You are very well where you are.” Immediately on hearing these words, he found himself at the doors of the holy church of the Orthodox adherents of the Synod.’

α. Ἔλεγεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Φωκᾶς ὁ τοῦ κοινοβίου τοῦ ἀββᾶ Θεογνίου τοῦ πρώτου Ἱεροσολυμίτου͵ ὅτι Κα θημένου μου ἐν Σκήτει͵ γέγονέ τις ἀββᾶς Ἰάκωβος νεώτερος ἐν τοῖς Κελλίοις͵ ἔχων καὶ πατέρα τὸν αὐ τὸν σαρκικὸν ἅμα καὶ πνευματικόν. Ἔχει δὲ τὰ Κελ λία ἐκκλησίας δύο· μίαν τῶν ὀρθοδόξων͵ ἔνθα καὶ ἐκοινώνει͵ καὶ μίαν τῶν ἀποσχιστῶν. Ἐπεὶ οὖν εἶχεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Ἰάκωβος τὴν χάριν τῆς ταπεινοφροσύνης͵ ἠγαπᾶτο παρὰ πάντων͵ καὶ τῶν ἐκκλησιαστικῶν͵ καὶ τῶν ἀποσχιστῶν. Ἔλεγον οὖν αὐτῷ οἱ ὀρθόδοξοι· Βλέπε͵ ἀββᾶ Ἰάκωβε͵ μὴ ἀπατήσωσί σε οἱ ἀποσχί σται͵ καὶ ἑλκύσωσί σε εἰς τὴν κοινωνίαν αὐ τῶν. Ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ οἱ ἀποσχίσται ἔλεγον αὐτῷ· Ἵνα οἶδας͵ ἀββᾶ Ἰάκωβε͵ ὅτι μετὰ τῶν Διφυσιτῶν κοινωνῶν͵ ἀπόλλεις τὴν ψυχήν σου· Νεστοριανοὶ γάρ εἰσι͵ καὶ συκοφαντοῦσι τὴν ἀλήθειαν. Ὁ δὲ ἀβ βᾶς Ἰάκωβος ἀκέραιος ὢν͵ καὶ στενωθεὶς ἐκ τῶν λεγομένων αὐτῷ ἐξ ἀμφοτέρων͵ καὶ ἀπορηθεὶς͵ ἦλθεν ἐπὶ τὸ παρακαλέσαι τὸν Θεόν. Καὶ δὴ ἀπέκρυψεν ἑαυτὸν ἐν κελλίῳ ἔξω τῆς λαύρας ἡσυχάζοντι͵ ἐνδυ σάμενος τὰ ἐντάφια αὐτοῦ͵ ὡς μέλλων ἀποθνή σκειν. Ἔχουσι γὰρ ἔθος οἱ Αἰγύπτιοι Πατέρες͵ τὸν λεβίτωνα εἰς ὃν λαμβάνουσι τὸ ἅγιον σχῆμα͵ καὶ τὸ κουκούλιον͵ φυλάττειν ἕως θανάτου͵ καὶ ἐν αὐτοῖς ἐνταφιάζεσθαι͵ κατὰ Κυριακὴν μόνον εἰς τὴν ἁγίαν κοινωνίαν φοροῦντες αὐτὰ͵ καὶ εὐθέως συστέλλοντες. Ἀπελθὼν οὖν ἐν τῷ κελλίῳ ἐκείνῳ͵ παρακαλῶν τὸν Θεὸν͵ καὶ ἐξατονήσας τῇ νηστείᾳ͵ ἔπεσεν εἰς τὸ ἔδα φος͵ καὶ ἔμεινε κείμενος. Πολλὰ δὲ ἔλεγε πεπονθέ ναι ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις ὑπὸ τῶν δαιμόνων͵ μά λιστα κατὰ διάνοιαν. Τεσσαράκοντα δὲ ἡμερῶν διελ θουσῶν͵ ὁρᾷ παιδίον εἰσελθὸν πρὸς αὐτὸν περιχαρὲς͵ καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ· Ἀββᾶ Ἰάκωβε͵ τί ποιεῖς ὧδε; Πα ραχρῆμα δὲ φωτισθεὶς͵ καὶ λαβὼν δύναμιν ἐκ τῆς αὐτοῦ θέας͵ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· Δέσποτα͵ σὺ γινώσκεις τί ἔχω. Ἐκεῖνοι λέγουσί μοι͵ Μὴ ἀφῇς τὴν Ἐκκλησίαν· καὶ οἱ ἄλλοι λέγουσί μοι͵ Πλανῶσί σε οἱ Διφυσῖται κἀγὼ ἀπορούμενος͵ καὶ μὴ εἰδὼς τί δράσω͵ ἦλθον εἰς τὸ πρᾶγμα τοῦτο. Ἀποκρίνεται αὐτῷ ὁ Κύριος· 433 Ὅπου εἶ͵ καλῶς εἶ. Καὶ εὐθέως σὺν τῷ λόγῳ͵ εὑρέθη πρὸ τῶν θυρῶν τῆς ἁγίας Ἐκκλησίας τῶν ὀρθοδόξων τῶν συνοδικῶν



2. Abba Phocas also said, ‘When he came to Scetis, Abba James was strongly attacked by the demon of fornication. As the warfare pressed harder, he came to see me and told me about it, saying to me, “Tomorrow, I am going to such and such a cave but I entreat you for the Lord’s sake, do not speak of it to anyone, not even my father. But count forty days and when they are fulfilled do me the kindness of coming and bringing me holy communion. If you find me dead, bury me, but if you find me still alive, give me holy communion.” Having heard this, when the forty days were fulfilled, I took holy communion and a whole loaf with a little wine and went to find him. As I was drawing near to the cave I smelt a very bad smell which came from its mouth. I said to myself, “The blessed one is at rest.” When I got close to him, I found him half dead. When he saw me he moved his right hand a little, as much as he could, asking me for the holy communion with his hand. I said to him, “I have it.” He wanted to open his mouth but it was fast shut. Not knowing what to do, I went out into the desert and found a piece of wood and with much difficulty, I opened his mouth a little. I poured in a little of the body and the precious blood, as much as he could take of them. Through this participation in the holy communion he drew strength. A little while after, soaking some crumbs of ordinary bread, I offered them to him and after a time, some more, as much as he could take. So, by the grace of God, he came back with me a day later and walked as far as his own cell, delivered, by the help of God, from the harmful passion of fornication.’

β. Εἶπε πάλιν ὁ ἀββᾶς Φωκᾶς͵ ὅτι Μετελθὼν εἰς Σκῆτιν ὁ ἀββᾶς Ἰάκωβος͵ ἐπολεμήθη κραταιῶς ὑπὸ τοῦ δαίμονος τῆς πορνείας· καὶ ἐγγὺς ὢν τοῦ κιν δυνεῦσαι͵ ἦλθε πρὸς μὲ͵ καὶ ἀνέθετο τὰ καθ΄ ἑαυτὸν͵ καὶ λέγει μοι· Εἰς τόδε τὸ σπήλαιον ἀπέρχομαι ἀπὸ τῆς δευτέρας· παρακαλῶ δέ σε διὰ τὸν Κύριον͵ μη δενὶ εἰπεῖν͵ μηδὲ τῷ πατρί μου· ἀλλὰ μέτρησον τεσσαράκοντα ἡμέρας͵ καὶ ὅταν πληρωθῶσι͵ ποίησον ἀγάπην͵ καὶ δεῦρο πρὸς μὲ βαστάζων τὴν ἁγίαν κοι νωνίαν. Καὶ εἰ μὲν εὕρῃς με θανόντα͵ θάψον με· εἰ δὲ ἔτι ζῶντα͵ ἵνα μεταλάβω τῆς ἁγίας κοινωνίας. Ταῦτα οὗν ἀκούσας ἐγὼ παρ΄ αὐτοῦ͵ πληρωθείσης τῆς τεσσαρακοστῆς͵ λαβὼν τὴν ἁγίαν κοινωνίαν͵ καὶ ἄρτον κοινὸν καθαρὸν μετὰ ὀλίγου οἴνου͵ ἀπῆλθον πρὸς αὐτόν· καὶ ὡς μόνον ἐπλησίασα τῷ σπηλαίῳ͵ δυσωδίας πολλῆς ὠσφράνθην͵ ἥτις ἐγένετο ἐκ τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ. Καὶ εἶπον ἐν ἑαυτῷ͵ ὅτι Ἀνεπάη ὁ μακάριος. Εἰσελθὼν δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν͵ εὗρον αὐτὸν ἡμι θανῆ. Καὶ ὡς εἶδέ με͵ κινήσας τὴν δεξιὰν χεῖρα ὀλί γον͵ ὅσον ἠδύνατο͵ ἐσήμανε διὰ τοῦ σχήματος τῆς χειρὸς περὶ τῆς ἁγίας κοινωνίας. Ἐγὼ δὲ εἶπον· Ἔχω. Ἠθέλησα οὖν ἀνοῖξαι τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ͵ καὶ εὐρέθη σφηνωθέν· καὶ ἀπορῶν τί ποιῆσαι͵ ἐξῆλθον εἰς τὴν ἔρημον͵ καὶ εὗρον ξυλάριον ἀπὸ θάμνου· καὶ πολλὰ κοπιάσας͵ μόλις ἠδυνήθην ἀνοῖξαι τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ μικρόν. Καὶ ἐνέχεα τοῦ τιμίου σώματος καὶ αἵματος͵ ὅσον ἐνδέχεται καταλεπτύνας αὐτό. Καὶ ἔλαβε δύναμιν ἐκ τῆς μεταλήψεως τῆς ἁγίας κοινω νίας. Καὶ μετ΄ ὀλίγον βρέξας ὀλίγα ψιχία ἐκ τοῦ κοινοῦ ἄρτου͵ προσήνεγκα αὐτῷ· καὶ μετ΄ ὀλίγον πάλιν ἄλλα͵ καθ΄ ὃ ἠδύνατο λαβεῖν. Καὶ οὕτως διὰ τῆς χάριτος τοῦ Θεοῦ μετὰ μίαν ἡμέραν σὺν ἐμοὶ ἦλθεν͵ ὁδεύων ἐπὶ τὸ ἴδιον κελλίον͵ ἀπαλλαγεὶς σὺν Θεῷ τοῦ ὀλεθρίου πάθους τῆς πορνείας.



FELIX 21_02




FELIX 21_02  






1. Some brothers who had some seculars with them, went to see Abba Felix and they begged him to say a word to them. But the old man kept silence. After they had asked for a long time he said to them, ‘You wish to hear a word?’ They said, ‘Yes, abba.’ Then the old man said to them, ‘There are no more words nowadays. When the brothers used to consult the old men and when they did what was said to them, God showed them how to speak. But now, since they ask without doing that which they hear, God has withdrawn the grace of the word from the old men and they do not find anything to say, because there are no longer any who carry their words out.’ Hearing this, the brothers groaned, saying, ‘Pray for us, abba.’

. Παρέβαλον ἀδελφοὶ πρὸς τὸν ἀββᾶν Φίλικα͵ ἔχοντες μεθ΄ ἑαυτῶν κοσμικούς· καὶ παρεκάλεσαν αὐτὸν͵ ἵνα εἴπῃ αὐτοῖς λόγον. Ὁ δὲ γέρων ἐσιώπα. Ἐπὶ πολὺ δὲ παρακαλούντων αὐτῶν͵ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· Λόγον θέλετε ἀκοῦσαι; Λέγουσιν αὐτῷ· Ναὶ͵ ἀββᾶ. Εἶπεν οὖν ὁ γέρων· Ἄρτι οὐκ ἔνι λόγος. Ὅτε ἠρώτων οἱ ἀδελφοὶ τοὺς γέροντας͵ καὶ ἐποίουν ἃ ἔλεγον αὐτοῖς͵ ὁ Θεὸς ἐπεχορήγει τὸ πῶς λαλῆσαι. Νῦν δὲ͵ ἐπειδὴ ἐρωτῶσι μὲν͵ οὐ ποιοῦσι δὲ ἃ ἀκούουσιν͵ ἦρεν ὁ Θεὸς τὴν χάριν τοῦ λόγου ἀπὸ τῶν γερόντων· καὶ οὐχ εὑρίσκουσι τι λαλῆσαι. ἐπειδὴ οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ ἐργαζόμε νος. Καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ ἀδελφοὶ ταῦτα͵ ἐστέναξαν͵ λέγοντες· Εὖξαι ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν͵ ἀββᾶ. 436













1. There was one of the saints named Philagrius who dwelt in the desert of Jerusalem and worked laboriously to earn his own bread. While he was standing in the market place to sell his manual work, someone dropped a purse with a thousand pieces of money. The old man, finding it, stayed where he was, saying, ‘Surely he who has lost it will come back.’ He did come back weeping. Taking him aside privately, the old man gave it to him. But the other gripped him, wanting to give him a share. The old man would not agree to this at all and the other began to cry out, ‘Come and see what the name of God has done.’ The old man fled secretly and left the city in order not to be honoured.

Φιλάγριος ἦν τις τῶν ἁγίων λεγόμενος͵ οἰκῶν δὲ ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ Ἱεροσολύμων͵ καὶ ἐργαζόμενος κόπῳ ἵνα ποιήσῃ τὸν ἴδιον ἄρτον. Καὶ ὡς ἵστατο ἐν τῇ ἀγορᾷ πωλῶν τὸ ἐργόχειρον αὐτοῦ͵ ἰδοὺ ἐξαφίει τις βαλάν τιον χιλίων νομισμάτων· καὶ εὑρὼν αὐτὸ ὁ γέρων ἔστη ἐπὶ τοῦ τόπου͵ λέγων· Δεῖ τὸν ἀπολέσαντα ἐλ θεῖν· καὶ ἰδοὺ ἔρχεται κλαίων. Καὶ λαβὼν αὐτὸν κατ΄ ἰδίαν ὁ γέρων ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ. Καὶ ἐκράτει αὐτὸν ἐκεῖ νος͵ θέλων αὐτῷ παρασχεῖν μέρος τι. Καὶ ὁ γέρων οὐκ ἠθέλησεν. Καὶ ἔβαλε κράζειν· Δεῦτε͵ ἴδετε ἄν θρωπον τοῦ Θεοῦ͵ τί ἐποίησεν. Ὁ δὲ γέρων λάθρα φυγὼν ἐξῆλθεν ἐκ τῆς πόλεως͵ ἵνα μὴ δοξασθῇ.










Περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Φορτᾶς.





1. Abba Phortas said, ‘If God wants me to live, he knows how to deal with me; but if he does not wish it, what is the good of living?’ Though he was bedridden, he did not accept anything from anyone. But he used to say, ‘Suppose one day someone brings me something and it is not brought for the love of God, not only have I nothing to give him in return, but he will not receive a recompense from God, because he did not bring it for God’s sake; thus the donor will suffer a wrong. It is necessary that those who are consecrated to God and look only to him, should be so well disposed that they do not consider anything as an injury, not even if someone wrongs them ten thousand times.’

Εἶπεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Φορτᾶς· Εἰ θέλει με ὁ Θεὸς ζῇν͵ οἶδεν πῶς οἰκονομήσει με· εἰ δὲ οὐ θέλει͵ ἵνα τί μοι τὸ ζῇν; Οὐ γὰρ παρὰ πάντων ἐδέχετό τι͵ καίτοι κλινήρης ὤν· ἔλεγε γάρ· Ἐὰν προσφέρῃ μοί τίς τί ποτε͵ καὶ οὐχὶ διὰ τὸν Θεὸν͵ οὔτε ἐγὼ ἔχω τι δοῦναι αὐτῷ͵ οὔτε παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ λαμβάνει μισθόν· οὐ γὰρ διὰ τὸν Θεὸν προσήνεγκε· καὶ ἀδικεῖται ὁ προσ ενέγκας. Δεῖ γὰρ τοὺς ἀνακειμένους τῷ Θεῷ͵ καὶ πρὸς αὐτὸν βλέποντας μόνον͵ οὕτως εὐλαβῶς δια κεῖσθαι͵ ὡς μήτε ὕβριν τινὰ ἡγεῖσθαι͵ κἂν μυριάκις ἀδικούμενοι τύχοιεν. Ἀρχὴ τοῦ Χ στοιχείου.








Ἀρχὴ τοῦ Χ στοιχείου.





CHOMAS  22_01




CHOMAS 22_01

Περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Χομαί.





1. It was said of Abba Chomas that at the point of death he said to his sons, ‘Do not dwell with heretics, and do not have anything to do with rulers, then your hands will not be opened to gather together, but open to give.’

Ἔλεγον περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Χομαὶ͵ ὅτι μέλλων τελευ τᾷν εἶπε τοῖς υἱοῖς αὐτοῦ· Μὴ οἰκήσητε μετὰ αἱρε τικῶν͵ μηδὲ σχῆτε γνῶσιν μετὰ ἀρχόντων͵ μηδὲ ἔστωσαν αἱ χεῖρες ὑμῶν ἡπλωμέναι εἰς τὸ συν άγειν͵ ἀλλ΄ ἔστωσαν μᾶλλον ἡπλωμέναι εἰς τὸ δι δόναι.








Περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Χαιρήμωνος.





1. Chaeremon, a very early settler in Nitria, had his cell forty miles from the church and twelve miles from the central water supply. 1. They said that Abba Chaeremon’s cave was forty miles from the church and ten miles from the marsh and water. So when he took his manual work to his cave, he took with him two goatskin bottles, one beside the other, and he sat there, leading a quiet life.

Ἔλεγον περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Χαιρήμωνος εἰς Σκῆτιν͵ ὅτι ἀπεῖχε τὸ σπήλαιον αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τῆς ἐκκλησίας μίλια τεσσαράκοντα͵ ἀπὸ δὲ τοῦ ἕλους καὶ τοῦ ὕδατος μίλια δώδεκα· καὶ οὕτως εἰσέφερε τὸ ἐργόχει ρον αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸ σπήλαιον αὐτοῦ͵ καὶ δύο λαγύ νια ἓν παρ΄ ἓν βαστάζων͵ καὶ ἐκαθέζετο͵ καὶ ἡσύ χαζεν.







Ψ  PSI  

Ἀρχὴ τοῦ Ψ στοιχείου.










Περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Ψενθαϊσίου





1. Abba Psenthaisius, Abba Suras and Abba Psoius used to agree in saying this, ‘Whenever we listened to the words of our Father, Abba Pachomius, we were greatly helped and spurred on with zeal for good works; we saw how, even when he kept silence, he taught us by his actions. We were amazed by him and we used to say to each other, “We thought that all the saints were created as saints by God and never changed from their mother’s womb, not like other men. We thought that sinners could not live devoutly, because they had been so created. But now we see the goodness of God manifested in our father, for see, he is of pagan origin and he has become devout; he has put on all the commandments of God. Thus even we also can follow him and become equal to the saints whom he himself has followed. Truly it is written: ‘Come unto me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt. 11.28) Let us die, then, and let us live with him, because he has brought us to God in the right way.”

Εἶπεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Ψενθαΐσιος καὶ ὁ ἀββᾶς Σοῦρος καὶ Ψώϊος͵ ὅτι Ἀκούοντες τῶν λόγων τοῦ Πατρὸς ἡμῶν τοῦ ἀββᾶ Παχωμίου μεγάλως ὠφελούμεθα͵ εἰς ζῆλον ἀγαθῶν ἔργων διεγειρόμενοι. Ὁρῶντες δὲ αὐ τοῦ καὶ σιωπῶντος τὴν πρᾶξιν λόγον οὖσαν͵ ἐθαυ μάζομεν͵ πρὸς ἀλλήλους λέγοντες͵ ὅτι Ἐνομίζομεν πάντας τοὺς ἁγίους οὕτως πεποιεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐκ κοιλίας μητρὸς αὐτῶν ἁγίους καὶ ἀτρέπτους͵ καὶ οὐχὶ αὐτεξουσίους· καὶ τοὺς ἁμαρτωλοὺς μὴ δυναμέ 437 νους ζῇν εὐσεβῶς͵ διὰ τὸ οὕτως κτισθῆναι αὐτούς. Ἄρτι δὲ βλέπομεν τὴν ἀγαθότητα τοῦ Θεοῦ φανερῶς ἐπὶ τοῦ Πατρὸς ἡμῶν τούτου· ὅτι ἐξ Ἑλλήνων γονέων ὢν͵ τοσοῦτον θεοσεβὴς γέγονε͵ καὶ πάσας τὰς ἐντολὰς τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐνδεδυμένος ἐστίν. Οὐκοῦν καὶ ἡμεῖς δυνάμεθα καὶ πάντες ἀκολουθῆσαι αὐτῷ͵ ἀνθ΄ ὧν ἀκολουθεῖ τοῖς ἁγίοις. Ἄρα τὸ γεγραμμένον τοῦ τό ἐστι· Δεῦτε πρὸς μὲ͵ πάντες οἱ κοπιῶντες καὶ πεφορτισμένοι͵ κἀγὼ ἀναπαύσω ὑμᾶς. Συναπο θάνωμεν οὖν καὶ συζήσωμεν τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ τούτῳ͵ ὅτι ὀρθῶς ὁδηγεῖ ἡμᾶς πρὸς τὸν Θεόν








Ἀρχὴ τοῦ Ω στοιχείου.





OR 24_01




O24 01

Περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Ὤρ





Or, one of the early monks in Nitria, associated with Theodore and Sisoes, died about A. D. 390.




1. It was said of Abba Or and Abba Theodore that as they were building a cell out of clay, they said to one another, ‘If God should visit us now, what should we do?’ Then, weeping, they left the clay there and each of them went back into his cell.

α. Ἔλεγον περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Ὢρ καὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Θεο δώρου͵ ὅτι ἦσαν βάλλοντες πηλὸν εἰς κελλίον͵ καὶ εἶπον πρὸς ἀλλήλους͵ ὅτι Ἐὰν ἐπισκέψηται ἡμᾶς ἄρτι ὁ Θεὸς͵ τί ποιοῦμεν; Καὶ κλαύσαντες ἀφῆ καν τὸν πηλὸν͵ καὶ ἀνεχώρησεν ἕκαστος εἰς τὸ κελ λίον αὐτοῦ



2. They said of Abba Or that he never lied, nor swore, nor hurt anyone, nor spoke without necessity.

β. Ἔλεγον περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Ὢρ͵ ὅτι οὔτε ἐψεύσατό ποτε͵ οὔτε ὤμοσεν͵ οὔτε κατηράσατο ἄνθρωπον͵ οὔτε ἐκτὸς ἀνάγκης ἐλάλησεν



3. Abba Or said to his disciple Paul, ‘Be careful never to let an irrelevant word come into this cell.’

γ. Ἔλεγεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Ὢρ τῷ μαθητῇ αὐτοῦ Παύ λῳ· Βλέπε͵ μηδέποτε ἀλλότριον λόγον ἐνέγκῃς εἰς τὸ κελλίον τοῦτο



4. Paul, Abba Or’s disciple, went to buy some reeds one day. He ascertained that others had been before him and had paid deposits. But Abba Or never paid deposits for anything at all, but paid the full price at the proper time. So his disciple went in search of palm-branches somewhere else. Then a farmer said to him, ‘Someone has given me a deposit, but he has not come. So why don’t you take these palm-branches.’ He took them and he went back to the old man and told him all this. The old man clapped his hands and said, ‘Or is not going to work this year.’ He did not allow the palm-branches to come inside his cell, but waited for them to be taken to where they belonged.

δ. Ἀπῆλθέ ποτε Παῦλος ὁ μαθητὴς τοῦ ἀββᾶ Ὢρ ἀγοράσαι θαλλία͵ καὶ εὗρεν ὅτι ἄλλοι προέλαβον͵ καὶ ἔδωκαν ἀῤῥαβῶνα. Οὐδέποτε γὰρ ἀῤῥαβῶνα ἐδίδου ὁ ἀββᾶς Ὢρ εἰς τί ποτε͵ ἀλλὰ τῷ καιρῷ ἀπέστελλε τὸ τίμημα͵ καὶ ἠγόραζεν. Ἀπῆλθεν οὖν ὁ μαθητὴς αὐ τοῦ καὶ εἰς ἄλλον τόπον διὰ βαΐα· καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ κηπουρός· Τίς ποτε ἔδωκέ μοι ἀῤῥαβῶνα͵ καὶ οὐκ ἔτι ἦλθε· λάβε οὖν τὰ βαΐα σύ. Καὶ λαβὼν αὐτὰ ἦλθε πρὸς τὸν γέροντα͵ καὶ ἀνήγγειλεν αὐτῷ ταῦτα. Καὶ ὡς ἤκουσεν ὁ γέρων͵ ἔκρουσεν εἰς τὰς χεῖρας αὐτοῦ͵ λέγων Ὁ Ὢρ οὐκ ἐργάζεται ἐφ΄ ἔτος. Καὶ οὐκ ἀφῆκε τὰ βαΐα ἔσω͵ ἕως ἀπήνεγκεν αὐτὰ εἰς τὸν τόπον αὐτῶν



5. Abba Or said, ‘If you see that I am thinking adversely about someone, know that he is thinking in the same way about me.’

ε. Εἶπεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Ὤρ· Εἰ ὁρᾷς με λογισμὸν ἔχοντα κατὰ τινὸς͵ γίνωσκε ὅτι καὶ αὐτὸς τὸν αὐτὸν ἔχει εἰς ἐμέ. .



6. In Abba Or’s neighbourhood there was a villager named Longinas, who gave a great deal away in alms. He asked one of the Fathers who came to see him to take him to Abba Or. The monk went to the old man and praised the villager, saying that he was good and gave many alms. The old man thought about this and then said, ‘Yes, he is good.’ Then the monk began to beg him, saying, Abba, let him come and see you.’ But the old man answered, ‘Truly, there is no need for him to cross this valley in order to see me.’

ϛ.῏Ην τις κώμης ἐν τοῖς μέρεσι τοῦ ἀββᾶ Ὢρ͵ Λογγῖνος καλούμενος͵ καὶ πολλὰς ἐλεημοσύνας ἐποίει· καὶ παραβαλόντι τινὶ τῶν Πατέρων͵ παρεκά λεσεν αὐτὸν ἵνα ἄρῃς αὐτὸν πρὸς τὸν ἀββᾶν Ὤρ. Ἀπελθὼν οὖν πρὸς τὸν γέροντα ὁ μοναχὸς ἐνεκω μίαζε τὸν κώμητα͵ ὅτι καλός ἐστι͵ καὶ πολλὰς ἐλεημοσύνας ποιεῖ. Καὶ νοήσας ὁ γέρων͵ λέγει· Ναὶ καλός ἐστιν. ῎Ηρξατο οὖν ὁ μοναχὸς παρακαλεῖν αὐ 440 τὸν͵ λέγων· Συγχώρησον αὐτὸν͵ ἀββᾶ͵ ἵνα ἔλθῃ καὶ ἴδῃ σε. Καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ γέρων εἶπε· Φύσει οὐ περνᾷ τὴν φάραγγα ταύτην͵ καὶ βλέπει με



7. Abba Sisoes asked Abba Or, ‘Give me a word,’ and he said to him, ‘Do you trust me?’ He replied that he did. Then he said to him, ‘Go, and what you have seen me do, do also.’ Abba Sisoes said to him, ‘Father, what have I seen you do?’ The old man said, ‘In my own opinion, I put myself below all men.’

ζ. Ἠρώτησεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Σισόης τὸν ἀββᾶν Ὢρ͵ λέ γων· Εἰπέ μοι λόγον. Καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· Ἔχεις πίστιν εἰς ἐμέ; Καὶ εἶπε· Ναί. Εἶπεν οὖν αὐτῷ· Ὕπαγε͵ καὶ ὃ ἑώρακάς με ποιοῦντα͵ ποίησον καὶ σύ. Καὶ εἶ πεν αὐτῷ· Τί ὁρῶ͵ Πάτερ͵ εἰς σέ; Ἔφη δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων͵ ὅτι Ὁ λογισμός μου κατώτερός ἐστι πάντων ἀνθρώπων



8. It was said of Abba Or and Abba Theodore, that they laid good foundations, and at all times gave thanks to God.

η. Ἔλεγον περὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Ὢρ καὶ τοῦ ἀββᾶ Θεο δώρου͵ ὅτι ἦσαν βάλλοντες ἀρχὰς ἀγαθὰς͵ καὶ εὐχα ριστοῦντες τῷ Θεῷ διαπαντός



9. Abba Or said, ‘The crown of the monk is humility.’

θ. Εἶπεν ὁ ἀββᾶς Ὤρ· Στέφανός ἐστι μοναχοῦ ἡ ταπεινοφροσύνη



10. He also said, ‘He who is honoured and praised beyond his merits, will suffer much condemnation, but he who is held as of no account among men will receive glory in heaven.’

ι. Εἶπε πάλιν· Ὁ πλέον τῆς ἀξίας τιμώμενος ἢ ἐπαινούμενος πολὺ ζημιοῦται· ὁ δὲ μηδὲ ὅλως τιμώ μενος ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἄνωθεν δοξασθήσεται



11. He gave this counsel, ‘Whenever you want to subdue your high and proud thoughts, examine your conscience carefully: Have you kept all the commandments? Have you loved your enemies and been kind to them in their misfortunes? Have you counted yourself to be an unprofitable servant and the worst of all sinners? If you find you have done all this, do not therefore think well of yourself as 2 if you had done everything well but realize that even the thought of such things is totally destructive.’

ια. Πάλιν εἶπεν· Ὅταν λογισμὸς ὑψηλοφροσύνης ἢ ὑπερηφανίας ὑπεισέλθοι σοι͵ ἐρεύνα σου τὸ συνει δὸς͵ εἰ πάσας τὰς ἐντολὰς ἐφύλαξας͵ εἰ ἀγαπᾷς τοὺς ἐχθρούς σου͵ καὶ λυπῇ ἐπὶ τῇ ἐλαττώσει αὐτῶν͵ καὶ ἔχεις ἑαυτὸν δοῦλον ἀχρεῖον͵ καὶ πάντων ἁμαρτωλό τερον· καὶ τότε μηδὲ οὕτως μέγα φρονήσῃς͵ ὡς πάντα κατορθώσας· εἰδὼς ὅτι οὗτος ὁ λογισμὸς πάν τα καταλύει



12. This was what he taught: In all temptation, do not complain about anyone else, but say about yourself, ‘These things happen to me because of my sins.’

ιβ. Εἶπε πάλιν· Ἐν παντὶ πειρασμῷ μὴ μέμφου ἄνθρωπον͵ ἀλλὰ σεαυτὸν μόνον͵ λέγων͵ ὅτι Διὰ τὰς ἁμαρτίας μου ταῦτα συμβαίνει μοι



13. He used to say this, ‘Do not speak in your heart against your brother like this: “I am a man of more sober and austere life than he is,” but put yourself in subjection to the grace of Christ, in the spirit of poverty and genuine charity, or you will be overcome by the spirit of vain-glory and lose all you have gained. For it is written in the Scriptures: “Let him who stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Cor. 10.12) Let your salvation be founded in the Lord.’

ιγ. Πάλιν εἶπε· Μὴ εἴπῃς ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ σου κατὰ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου͵ λέγων͵ ὅτι Νηφαλιώτερός εἰμι καὶ ἀσκητικώτερος· ἀλλ΄ ὑποτάσσου τῇ χάριτι τοῦ Χρι στοῦ ἐν πνεύματι πτωχείας καὶ ἀγάπης ἀνυποκρί του͵ ἵνα μὴ πνεύματι καυχήσεως περιπέσῃς͵ καὶ ἀπολέσῃς σου τὸν κόπον. Γέγραπται γάρ· Ὁ δοκῶν ἑστάναι͵ βλεπέτω μὴ πέσῃ. Ἅλατι δὲ ἠρτυμένος ἔσο ἐν Κυρίῳ



14. He propounded this saying, ‘If you are fleeing, flee from men; or the world and the men in it will make you do many foolish things.’

ιδ. Εἶπε πάλιν· ῍Η φεύγων φεῦγε τοὺς ἀνθρώ πους͵ ἢ ἔμπαιξον τὸν κόσμον καὶ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους͵ μωρὸν σεαυτὸν εἰς τὰ πολλὰ ποιῶν



15. He also said, ‘If you have spoken evil of your brother, and you are stricken with remorse, go and kneel down before him and say: “I have spoken badly of you; let this be my surety that I will not spread this slander any further.” For detraction is death to the soul.’

ιε. Πάλιν εἶπεν· Ἐὰν καταλαλήσῃς τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου͵ καὶ πλήξῃ σε τὸ συνειδός σου͵ ἄπελθε͵ βάλε αὐ τῷ μετάνοιαν͵ καὶ εἰπὲ͵ ὅτι Κατελάλησά σου͵ καὶ ἀσφάλισαι μηκέτι ἐμπαιχθῆναι. Θάνατος γάρ ἐστι τῆς ψυχῆς ἡ καταλαλιά. Τέλος τὸ κατὰ στοιχεῖον. t Ἀποφθέγματα τῶν ἁγίων γερόντων. 














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