The Mother of all Passions#
A disciple once approached Abba Agathon in his 'cell' (a hut or a cave where the desert monks lived) and inquired - I want to live with other brothers, tell me how to dwell with them?
Abba Agathon answered - through all the days of your life keep the frame of mind of a stranger which you have on the first day you join them, so as not to become too familiar with them.
Abba Macarius then spoke up - what does this familiarity produce?
The old man replied - it is like a strong, burning wind, each time it arises everything flies swept before it, and it destroys the fruit of the trees.
So Abba Macarius further questioned - is speaking too freely as bad as all that?
Abba Agathon responded -
no passion is worse than an uncontrolled tongue, because it is the mother of all passions.#
When words are many sin is not far away, but he who holds his tongue is wise. (Proverbs 10:19)
Many words are the raucous evidence of a foolish self-display, the need to be heard.
The piling up of words is the product of a demanding spirit, the indulgent fodder of - above all I must make myself known.
Today's Soul Snippet:
'Ignorance of the Scriptures is a precipice, a deep abyss.' ~ Bishop Epiphanius of Cyprus
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#Benedicta Ward (translator), The Sayings of the Desert Fathers ~ (Kentucky Cistercian Publications, 1984), 20