The Lowliest of the Koinonia

‘Again I will instruct you by a parable about the brothers who are the lowliest in the Koinonia, who do not give themselves up to great practices and to an excessive ascesis, but walk simply in the purity of their bodies and according to the established rules with obedience and obligingness.

In the view of people who live as anchorites, their way of life does not seem perfect and they are looked upon as the lowliest. Truly, it is like favorite servants of the king and his favorite eunuchs: they have greater freedom of movement in the palace than the powerful who are under the king’s orders and who cannot get at the king unless they have themselves announced to him by the eunuchs.

So it is with those others who are considered the lowliest in the Koinonia, and will be found perfect in the law of Christ because of their steadfastness. They practice exercises in all submissiveness according to God. They are also far superior to those who live as anchorites, for they walk in the obligingness the Apostle walked in, as it is written, By the love of the spirit, be servants of one another in a kindly spirit and in all patience before our Lord Jesus. (cf. Gal 5:13, Eph 4:2,32)

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

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