The Anchorites

‘About those who lead the anchoritic life, listen, and I will teach you their parable. It is like a merchant selling bread or vegetables or anything else of that kind in the market-place. He is not going to get rich on such a daily gain, but neither will he be in want of any of this world’s material things.

So it is with an ascetic leading the anchoritic life. He does not bear the responsibility of other ascetics, but neither does he see those who practice exercises—a thing which would incite him to imitate their actions and the excellent practices they perform in order to do the same himself. Well, such a man will not rank  in the kingdom of heaven, but neither will deprived of eternal life, because of the purity of the ascesis he has practiced. The reward for the fasts, prayers, and exercises he has performed Christ’s name and for the love and the fear he bore him will be paid him by Christ tremendously multiplied in the age to come, in his kingdom.

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

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