Cool your jets, monkabee…

One day Abba Longinus (later abbot of Enaton) questioned Abba Lucius about three thoughts, saying first, “I want to go into exile.” The old man said to him, “If you cannot control your tongue, you will not be an exile anywhere. Therefore control your tongue here, and you will be an exile.” Next he said to him, “I wish to fast.” The old man replied, “Isaiah said, ‘If you bend the neck like a rope or a bulrush that is not the fast I will accept; but rather, control your evil thoughts.’” (cf. Isaiah 58) He said to him the third time, “I wish to flee from men.” The old man replied, “If you have not first of all lived rightly with men, you will not be able to live rightly in solitude.”

— from the Desert Fathers

Author: Father Silouan Thompson

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