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Besides the many Desert Fathers who lived in 4th century, there were also a good number of women who, inspired by the life of St. Anthony the Abbot, led a life of seclusion in the desert. Their wisdom is very potent and perfect for those seeking spiritual nourishment.
The close disciples of these holy nuns wrote down their profound wisdom and by the 5th century had compiled it into a volume that was put together with the words of the Desert Fathers into what was called the Sayings of the Fathers. It features an immense treasury of bite-sized quotes that pack a large spiritual punch. Here are five sayings of these spiritual “Mothers” that can be your #MondayMotivation.
Amma Theodora said, “Let us strive to enter by the narrow gate. Just as the trees, if they have not stood before the winter’s storms cannot bear fruit, so it is with us; this present age is a storm and it is only through many trials and temptations that we can obtain an inheritance in the kingdom of heaven.”She also said that neither asceticism, nor vigils nor any kind of suffering are able to save, only true humility can do that. There was an anchorite who was able to banish the demons; and he asked them, “What makes you go away? Is it fasting?” They replied, “We do not eat or drink.” “Is it vigils?” They replied, “We do not sleep.” “Is it separation from the world?” “We live in the deserts.” “What power sends you away then?” They said, “Nothing can overcome us, but only humility.” Do you see how humility is victorious over the demons?Amma Syncletica said, “Imitate the publican, and you will not be condemned with the Pharisee. Choose the meekness of Moses and you will find your heart which is a rock changed into a spring of water.”She also said, “It is good not to get angry, but if this should happen, the Apostle does not allow you a whole day for this passion, for he says: Let not the sun go down. (Eph. 4.25) Will you wait till all your time is ended? Why hate the man who has grieved you? It is not he who has done the wrong, but the devil. Hate sickness but not the sick person.”She also said, “Just as one cannot build a ship unless one has some nails, so it is impossible to be saved without humility.”
5 sayings from the Desert Fathers to get you through the week
Who were the Desert Fathers and why do they matter?