All Spiritual Counsels
- YES I DO WANT TO BE SAVED
- WHY SILENCE? WHY THE DESERT?
- WHY SHOULD WE FAST?
- WHY DO MY PRAYERS FOR HELP IN MY DAILY STRUGGLE REMAIN UNANSWERED?
- WHO IS OUR VENERABLE FATHER ARSENIOS OF CAPPADOCIA, THE WONDERWORKER?
- WHICH IS BETTER - THE WAY OF MARY OR THE WAY OF MARTHA?
- USELESS KNOWLEDGE AND IDLE CURIOSITY
- THE WORD OF GOD
- THE VALUE OF MATERIAL THINGS
- THE SECRET TO OBTAINING THE GRACE OF GOD
- THE PRIEST WHO DID NOT WANT TO SERVE THE DIVINE LITURGY
- THE IMPORTANCE OF PLACE IN THE SPIRIUTAL LIFE
- THE GREATEST MISSION OF THE CHURCH IS THE DIVINE LITURGY
- THE EVIL ONE WARS AGAINST SPIRITUAL STRUGGLERS
- THE BROTHER WHO WAS SAVED WITHOUT EFFORT BECAUSE HE DIDN'T JUDGE
- THE BENEFITS OF ALMSGIVING - AN AMAZING MIRACLE
- THE ATHEIST STUDENT WHO VISITED MOUNT ATHOS
- SOMETIMES EVEN THE DEVIL TELLS THE TRUTH
- SLEEPINESS AND PRAYER
- SINS AND PASSIONS
- SIN - DESPAIR - REPENTANCE
- SHOULD I OR SHOULD I NOT REVEAL MY THOUGHTS TO ANOTHER?
- SEEK NOT THE PRAISES OF MEN
- SAYINGS BY ABBA AMMONAS
- PRAYER AND FASTING
- ON JUDGING PRIESTS
- ON JUDGING
- OF WHAT DOES THE SPIRITUAL SEARCH CONSIST?
- MIRACULOUS SIMPLICITY OF AN ATHONITE ELDER
- MALICE - PRAYER AND ASCETICISM
- LIGHT AND DARKNESS IN THE SOUL
- JESUS AS THE NEW ADAM
- IS REPENTANCE AND VIRTUE FOR LAY PEOPLE?
- IS FASTING NECESSARY? ASK THE DEMONS!
- HUMILITY - THE FOUNDATION OF ALL VIRTUES
- FREEDOM THAT ALTERS
- FAITH AND WORKS
- DOES THE DEVIL REALLY EXIST?
- DEALING WITH SPIRITUAL DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY
- COMBATING DESPAIR
- BEFORE THE NEW TESTAMENT WAS THE DIVINE LITURGY
- BE THANKFUL TO GOD FOR EVERYTHING
- BE AT PEACE WITH YOUR OWN SOUL
- ATTACHMENT TO EARTHLY THINGS MAKE US FOREIGN TO HEAVENLY THINGS
- ADVICE FOR PARENTS FROM AN ELDER
- A PRISONER, A SHIPWRECKED SAILOR AND THE DIVINE LITURGY
THE VALUE OF MATERIAL THINGS
Abba Gelasios lived in Egypt in the fifth century. He was a scholar and a great abbot, two particularly important facts to bear in mind as you read the following story.
It was said of Abba Gelasios that he had a leather Bible worth eighteen pieces of silver. In fact it contained the whole of the Old and New Testaments. He had put it in the church so that any of the brethren who wished, could read it.
A strange brother came to see the old man and, seeing the Bible, wished to have it, and stole it as he was leaving. The old man did not run after him to take it from him, although he knew what he was doing. So the brother went to the city and tried to sell it, and finding a purchaser, he asked thirteen pieces of silver for it. The purchaser said to him, "Lend it to me, first, so that I may examine it, then I will give you a price." So he gave it to him.
Taking it, the purchaser brought it to Abba Gelasios for him to examine it and told him the price which the seller had set. The old man said to him, "Buy it, for it is beautiful and worth the price you tell me." This man, when he returned, said something quite different to the seller, and not what the old man had said to him. "I have shown it to Abba Gelasius," he said, "and he replied that it was dear, and not worth the price you said."
Hearing this, he asked, "Didn't the old man say anything else?" "No," he replied. Then the seller said, "I do not want to sell it any more." Filled with compunction, he went to find the old man, to do penance and ask him to take his book back, but he did not wish to make good his loss.
So the brother said to him, "If you do not take it back, I shall have no peace." The old man answered, "If you won't have any peace, then I will take it back." So the brother stayed there until his death, edified by the old man's way of life.
"The Desert Christian," by Sr. Benedicta Ward, (New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., 1975), p. 46