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 III.201)
John 20: 29 He who believeth then the divine Scriptures with sure judgment, receives in the voice of God, who bestowed the Scripture, a demonstration that cannot be impugned. Faith, then, is not established by demonstration. “Blessed therefore those who, not having seen, yet have believed (John 20:29) ….. For knowledge is a state of mind that results from demonstration; but faith is a grace which from what is indemonstrable conducts to what is universal and simple, what is neither with matter, nor matter, nor under matter. (Clement of Alexandria: Stromateis, 2, 28, 4. ANF Volume 2)