The Men of the Koinonia

I will show you as well that the honor and the glory of the men of the koinonia, who have a good way of life together with the excellence of the toils they impose on themselves are superior to those of men who lead the anchoritic life. I will show you also that the ruin, the falls and the loss of those who do not walk aright in the koinonia  give rise to greater scandal than among those who lead the anchoritic life.

Indeed, it is like a trader who sails on the sea and rivers in all kinds of weather. If he escapes the sea’s danger he will very rich; but if his boat goes down, not only will his wealth be lost, but his life too and his remembrance will be lost forever. At the same time listen to the interpretation: he who makes progress in the Koinonia with purity, obedience, humility, and submissiveness, and puts no stumbling-block or scandal before anyone by his words or by his acts, that one will grow rich forever in imperishable and enduring riches. But should he be negligent, and should a soul be scandalized by him and perish from it, woe to that man (Matt 18:7); not only has he lost his soul and the troubles he took on himself, but he also will have to render an account to God for that soul he scandalized.

– St. Pachomius, Pachomian Koinonia, Volume 1, pp. 147-149, Cistercian Studies #45, 1980

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