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Publican and Pharisee Sunday

Gleanings From the Fathers

Keeping the word of the publican

An old man much given to austerities questioned Abba Ammonas: "Three thoughts occupy me, either, should I wander in the deserts, or should I go to a foreign land where no one knows me, or should I shut myself up in a cell without opening the door to anyone, eating only every second day?" Abba Ammonas replied, "It is not right for you to do any of these three things. Rather, sit in your cell and eat a little every day, keeping the word of the publican always in your heart, and you may be saved."

The Most Important Virtues

Repentance and humility are more important and higher than all of the other virtues, continuing until the end of our life. Referring to the words of the Prophet David, St. John Climacus writes, `I did not fast, I did not keep vigil, I did not sleep on the bare earth, but I humbled myself and the Lord saved me.'

Elder Ambrose of Optina, from a collection of letters, Orthodox Life, Vol. 47 #5, 1997.

Imitate the Publican

Amma Syncletica said: "Imitate the Publican and you will not be condemned with the Pharisee. Choose the meekness of Moses and you will find your heart which is a rock changed into a spring of water."

 


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