Abba Poemen

Abba Poemen

35. Abba Poemen said, ‘Vigilance, self-knowledge and discernment; these are the guides of the soul.’

(From: The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, Benedicta Ward, P. 172)

60. He also said, ‘Poverty, hardship, austerity and fasting, such are the instruments of the solitary life. It is written, “When these three men are together, Noah, Job, and Daniel, there am I, says the Lord.” (of. Ezek. 14.14) Noah represents poverty, Job suffering and Daniel discernment. So, if these three works are found in a man, the Lord dwells in him.’

(From: The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, Benedicta Ward, P. 175)

170.  It  happened  that  several  Fathers  went  to  the  home  of  a friend of Christ; among them was Abba Poemen. During the meal, meat was served and everyone ate some except Abba Poemen. The old men knew his discretion and they were surprised that he did not eat it. When they got up, they said to him,’You are Poemen, and yet you behaved like this?’ The old man answered, ‘Forgive me, my Fathers; you have eaten and no-one  is shocked; but  if I had eaten, since many brothers come  to me,  they would have  suffered harm, for they would have said Poemen has eaten meat; why should not we eat  it ourselves?’ So  they  admired his discernment.

(From: The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, Benedicta Ward, P. 190)

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