Appendix 3 (Continued)
106. A brother asked an old man: "The brothers living with me want me to be their teacher. What do you think I should do?" And he replied: "Practice what you teach them. And give them not only moral precepts but also practical means of carrying them out."
107. It was said of Abba Macarius the Greater that like God he protected the whole world. He carried the burden of human sin, he was like an earthly God to his brothers, covering their sins, and as if blind and deaf to the things which he did see and hear."
108. Abba Moyses asked Abba Silvanus: "Is it possible to begin again every day?" And he replied: "A true workman can begin again every day. He must understand that each one of the many virtues is of equal importance. On rising each day let him make a new beginning in every virtue and in every commandment of God, in much patience and longsuffering, in the fear and love of God, in humility of mind and body, in much forbearance, in tribulation, in staying in the cell, in prayer and intercession, with groaning, purity of heart, custody of the eyes and tongue and speech, in denial of material things and carnal desires, in the warfare of the cross, that is in mortification and poverty of spirit, in spiritual temperance and agonised battle, in penitence and mourning, simple of mind and few of words, in fastings and nightly vigils, and in manual work as St Paul teaches when he says: 'working with my hands, in hunger and thirst, in cold and nakedness, in labours and tribulations, in need and difficulties and persecutions, in pitfalls and caverns and caves of the earth.' (2 Cor.11) 'Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only' (James 1.22) , let your talents bring forth double, wearing the bridal garment, founded upon the rock, and not on the sand. Be faithful in almsgiving, steadfast in faith, remembering the day of your death is at hand, and care nothing for the things of this world as if you were already in the grave. Be sparing in food, be humble and mourn. Let the fear of God be in you at all times. For it is written: 'In the fear of God, we have accepted and given birth to the spirit of salvation even from the womb.' (Isaiah 26.9) If there be any virtue look to these things. Do not reckon yourselves to be among the great but consider yourself to be lower than all other creatures, worse than any other human sinner. Gain discretion, know yourself, do not judge your neighbour nor delight in other people's sins, but weep for your own sins, and do not interfere in other peoples affairs. Be gentle in spirit and not angry. Think no evil in your heart about anyone, bear no malice, and entertain no hatred towards anyone who bears malice towards you without a cause. Don't be upset by his malice, or turn against him in his need and tribulation, render no evil for evil, but be at peace with all - this is the peace of God. Do not entrust yourself to the evildoer, but do not rejoice in anyone who does evil to his neighbour. Slander no one, for God knows all and sees each one of us. Do not believe the slanderer or rejoice in his evil speech. Do not hate anyone because of his sins, for it is written: 'Judge not that you be not judged' (Matthew 7.1). Do not despise the sinner but pray for him that God will patiently turn him and have mercy on him, for the Lord is of great power. And if you hear about anyone doing evil things say 'Who am I to judge? For I too am a sinner, dead because of my sins, and mourning my own wicked deeds. He who is dead has no quarrel with anyone. Anyone then who thinks of these things and earnestly pursues them is a worker for universal justice under the grace and power of our Lord.
109. Abba Moyses gave the following seven precepts to Abba Poemenius, which if followed will lead to salvation by anybody whether they be in the cenobium, or in solitude or in the world:
1. In the first place, as it is written, love God with all your heart and with all your mind.
2. Love your neighbour as yourself.
3. Do to death all evil in you.
4. Do not judge your brother in any dispute.
5. Do no evil to another person.
6. Before departing this life cleanse yourself of every fault of mind or body.
7. Always be of a humble and contrite heart. These things can be achieved by anyone who thinks of his own sins and not his neighbour's, and trusts in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns world without end. Amen.
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