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5 Sayings from the Desert Fathers that challenge us to be better Christians

DESERT FATHERS, ST POIMEN THE GREAT
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Their sayings provide countless little lessons that are extremely profound and challenging.

The Desert Fathers were spiritual pillars of the ancient world and their sayings were first compiled into a volume called the Sayings of the Fathers in the 5th century. The Sayings provide countless little lessons that are extremely profound and challenging.

Here is another brief selection of five sayings from the Desert Fathers that challenge us to be better Christians.

When the same Abba Anthony thought about the depth of the judgments of God, he asked, “Lord, how is it that some die when they are young, while others drag on to extreme old age? Why are there those who are poor and those who are rich? Why do wicked men prosper and why are the just in need?” He heard a voice answering him, “Anthony, keep your attention on yourself; these things are according to the judgment of God, and it is not to your advantage to know anything about them.”

Someone asked Abba Anthony, “What must one do in order to please God?” The old man replied, “Pay attention to what I tell you: whoever you may be, always have God before your eyes; whatever you do, do it according to the testimony of the holy Scriptures; in whatever place you live, do not easily leave it. Keep these three precepts and you will be saved.”

Abba Pambo asked Abba Anthony, “What ought I to do?” and the old man said to him, “Do not trust in your own righteousness, do not worry about the past, but control your tongue and your stomach.”

Abba Agathon said, “Unless he keeps the commandments of God, a man cannot make progress, not even in a single virtue.”

Abba Copres said, “Blessed is he who bears affliction with thankfulness.”

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