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Western Asceticism (Library of Christian Classics) Paperback – January 1, 1958
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God be with you.
An abbess named Matrona said, "Many people living secluded lives on the mountain have perished by living like people in the world. It is better to live in a crowd and want to live a solitary life than to live a solitary life but all the time be longing for company." (Pg. 43)
A troubled hermit went to Abbe Theodore and complained that after eight years, he had found no peace. The abbe replied, "I have been a monk for seventy years, and I have not been able to get a single day's peace. And do you want to have peace after eight years?" (Pg. 83) An old man said, "Hermits have followed their own will in withdrawing from the world. But the obedient have cast away their self-will, and depend on God and the word of their spiritual father; that is why they shine the most." (Pg. 155)
Cassian observed, "The Lord, you see, placed the chief good in divine contemplation. All the other virtues... must be placed on a lower plane because they are sought for the sake of this one thing." (Pg. 200) Recalling the reason for his decision to join a monastic group rather than be a hermit, he wrote, "I therefore determined to fulfil my ascetic purpose in the (community), rather than become a half-hearted solitary... I no longer have freedom, I am no longer taken up into ecstasies of spirit. But I have this consolation...Read more ›
small. Anyway it is packed with many stories of the fathers, which should interest the Christian
scholar. A very dense collection of sayings.