Giving Instructions

BEGIN

V.x.30. Again, abba Pastor said, “Once I came to abba Joseph in Lower Heracleus, and in his monastery there was a very fruit tree, and one morning he told me to go and pick some fruit and eat it. This was on a Saturday. I wouldn’t eat because it was a fast day, and said to him, ‘Tell me, for the Lord’s sake, why you told me to go and eat, for I haven’t done so because of the fast, and yet I feel guilty for not having done what you said. For I suppose you wouldn’t have asked me to do this unless you had some reason.’
“And he replied, ‘The seniors at the beginning don’t always give instructions according to the book, but sometimes a bit off-centre. Once they know that they will be obeyed in dubious matters, they will be sure of being always obeyed when giving them instructions about the things that matter.'”

END

From: DE VITIS PATRUM, BOOK V, LIBELLUS 10: DISCRETION

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