“Go back to your cell…”

There was once a brother who was very eager to seek goodness. Being very disturbed by the demon of lust, he came to a hermit and told him about his thoughts. The hermit was inexperienced and when he heard all this, he was shocked, and said he was a wicked brother, unworthy of his monk’s […]

“… and do not forgive us our trespasses…”

One brother from Libya came to Abba Silouan, at Mount Panepho, and told him: Abba, I have an enemy who did many evils to me. He trampled upon my field, when I was still in the world, and many times he planned to harm me. Now, furthermore, he put poisons to poison me. So I intend […]

Abba Poemen: Brief Life and Sayings

Saint Poemen’s feast day is August 27. He was from Egypt and although there are some difficulties determining his identity he most likely lived in Scete in the fourth century. His sayings make up one seventh of the entire Sayings of the Desert Fathers. He was renowned for his discretion. Many of his sayings and […]

Avoiding Attachment to Material Things

One of the fathers related of Abba John the Persian that his great charity had brought him to a profound innocence. He dwelt in Arabia of Egypt. One day he borrowed some money from a brother and bought some flax for his work. Then a brother came and asked him, “Abba, give me a little […]

Desert Fathers: How Do We Pray?

The brothers said, “What kind of prayer is that which is not acceptable before God?” The old man said, “The prayer for the destruction of enemies. When we ask that evil things may come upon those who do harm to us, and for bodily health, and abundance of possessions, and fertility in respect of children, […]