An Irish Welcome

Céad Míle Fáilte friend and rover ...
Wherever you come from and whosoever you may be.
That's an Irish greeting and it means

you are welcome
a thousand times over.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

An angel of the Lord told father Pachomius ...

One day an angel of the Lord told our father Pachomius to teach a brother about his salvation. This brother was engaging in great practices and a harsh ascesis, but he was doing so not for God but for vainglory.
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Our father Pachomius took him aside and told him, "It is written, 'I have come down from heaven not to do my own will, but to do the will of the one who sent me.' Now obey me: when the signal is given at midday to call the brothers to eat, you shall go too and you shall eat a little. And whatever food they eat you shall take a little of it too, although without eating your fill. But at evening, when the signal is given again, let us go and eat properly. So obey me, for I see that the enemy envies you and wants to destroy all your labor."

The brother cheerfully obeyed the instructions our father addressed to him.

Later, when the signal summoned the brothers for the midday meal, he got up too and went off to eat with the brothers. But once more he fell into his deception, saying to himself, "Where is it written, 'You shall not fast?'" And so again he followed his vain judgment and did not go in to eat with the brothers.

Our father Pachomius was sad about this brother, and he called Theodore and sent him to him, saying, "Go and see what that brother is doing. If you find him in prayer, hold him till I come, and vainglory will at once show itself forth in a lively manner in him."

Theodore arose and did as our father Pachomius had ordered him. And when he arrived where the brother was, he found him busy praying, and he held him.

At once, the brother grew angry like a devil.

He seized a big stone to throw at Theodore's head and kill him, and said to him, "Impious Theodore! Is it you who will keep me from praying to the Lord God?" Theodore rebuked him, and at once the demon who was living in him kept still. And the demon said, "Do you know that I am the one who is at work in those who sing the office for sheer pleasure? If you do not believe me, listen to that brother who is singing. He is going to say that verse nine times."

There was a brother in a cell who was singing the beginning of the Canticle of Moses with these words: Let us sing to the Lord, for He has been exalted gloriously. Theodore pricked up his ears, and what the demon had said happened. Reflecting on the devil's devices, he was awestruck, and wondered if the man would be able to escape a lot of trouble.

While Theodore was seated near the brother and watched over him, our father Pachomius came. He stood, as did Theodore, and they prayed together over the brother. The Lord healed him.

He opened the eyes of his heart so that he could understand how he must behave, "not as a fool but as one wise." And he gave glory to God.

- From the Bohairic Life of St. Pachomius, 64 St. Theodore the Sanctified, disciple of St. Pachomius

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