201. (Also in V.xvii.10 & VII.xxxvii.) A brother had a question for abba Poemen.
“What does it mean when the Lord in the Gospel says. ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends’ (John 15.13). How do you do that?”
“If you are insulted by your neighbour,” said the old man, “and are tempted to reply in kind, but take the force of it in your heart while working hard at forcing yourself not to return the insult and upset him, that is when you are laying down your life for your friend.”
De Vitis Patrum, Book III,