A certain old man became very seriously ill, for he suffered from some disease of the stomach, and much blood came away from him. And one of the brethren had some dried prunes, and because of the severe illness of the old man he cooked a little food, and put some of the prunes in it, and brought it to him, and entreated him, saying, Father, do me an act of grace and take a little of this stew, for perhaps it will do thee good.”
And the old man lifted up his eyes and looked at him, and said, “In which of the Scriptures hast thou found this thing? Verily I have wished that God would leave me in this illness for the last thirty years, for when I am weak then I am strong.”
And the old man, though he was grievously sick, would not take even a little of the food, and when the brother saw this, he took it and when back to his cell.