What Do Angels Smell?

The fathers told of a well known old man that as he was walking in the desert he saw two angels walking with him, one on the right and one on the left. As they went on they came across a corpse lying in the way. The old man held his nose because of the smell, and the angels did likewise. After a little while the old man said, “So you smelt him too?”  “Not at all,” replied the angels. “It was because of you that we held our noses. We can’t smell the smells of the world, they don’t affect us. What we do smell is the smell in the souls of sinners.”

De Vitis Patrum, Book VI, Libellus 3, Text #18

This entry was posted in Desert Fathers and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.