the desert wisdom of monasticism

This is a classic quote, which strikes at the core of a ‘monastic’ approach to life:

“A brother was troubled in his solitude. He went to see Abba Theodore about it. The old man said to him, ‘Go, be more humble in your aspirations, place yourself under obedience and live with others.’

Later, he came back to the old man and said, ’I do not find peace with others.’  The old man said to him, ‘If you are not at peace either alone or with others, why have you become a monk ?  Is it not to suffer trials? Tell me how many years you have worn the habit ?’

He replied, ‘For eight years.’

Then the old man said to him, ‘I have worn the habit for seventy years and on no day have I found peace.  Do you expect to find peace in eight years ?’

At these words the brother went away strengthened.”

Sayings of the Desert Fathers, alphabetical collection. Translated by  Benedicta Ward. Mowbrays. 1975/77. p 63. ISBN 0 264 661 249.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s