The teachings of the Desert Mothers and Fathers and of the Ancients still have much to offer us today.
Some monks came to see Abba Poemen and said to him: "Tell us, when we see brothers dozing during the sacred office, should we pinch them so they will stay awake?"
The old man said to them: "Actually, if I saw a brother sleeping, I would put his head on my knees and let him rest."
--from the Sayings of the Desert Fathers and Mothers
Do you agree with Abba Poemen that compassion is more important than duty? If so, how would you explain this to a duty-bound person? If not, how would you explain your views to Abba Poemen?
Please share your reflections with us here.
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Monks in Our Midst: writings by monks from the 3rd to the 21st centuries.