Fasting with the Fathers, Day Fourteen

They used to say about Abba Dioscurus that his bread was made of barley and lentils, and that at the beginning of each year he would set himself with some new task of ascetic excellence, saying, "This year I will not converse with any man," or, "I will not speak at all," or, "I will not eat food … Continue reading Fasting with the Fathers, Day Fourteen

Fasting with the Fathers, Day Thirteen

Abba John said, "If a king wishes to subdue a city belonging to enemies, he first of all keepeth them without bread and water, and the enemy being in this wise harassed by hunger becometh subject unto him. And thus it is in respect of the hostile passions, for if a man endureth fasting and hunger regularly, his enemies … Continue reading Fasting with the Fathers, Day Thirteen

Fasting with the Fathers, Day Nine

A certain brother from the Cells brought some new bread, and he invited all the old men who were under vows at Scete to partake of a meal. And when each of them had eaten two bread-cakes, they ceased eating. Then the brother, who knew their labours of abstinence, and that they did not usually eat, and never … Continue reading Fasting with the Fathers, Day Nine

Fasting with the Fathers, Day Eight

A certain brother was hungry one morning, and he fought against his inclination and determined not to eat until the third hour. And when the third hour had passed, he dipped his bread in water, and sat down to eat, but he forced himself to wait until the sixth hour arrived, when he said within himself, "Let us … Continue reading Fasting with the Fathers, Day Eight

Fasting with the Fathers, Day Six

There was a certain old man who made a vow not to drink any water during the Fast of Forty Days. And when he became thirsty, he would wash a potter's vessel, and fill it with water, and hang it up in front of him. Then the brethren asked him why and wherefore he acted thus, and he … Continue reading Fasting with the Fathers, Day Six

Fasting with the Fathers, Day Five

They used to say concerning Abba Macarius, the Egyptian, that if it happened that he ate with the brethren, he would make an agreement with himself that if there was wine on the table and he drank one cup of it, he would drink no water for a whole day. Now the brethren, wishing him … Continue reading Fasting with the Fathers, Day Five