« Prev The Life of the Abbot Agathon Next »

Here followeth of the Abbot Agathon.

Agathon the abbot bare three years a stone in his mouth till that he had learned to keep silence, and there was another which entered into the congregation that said within himself: Thou and an ass be of one kind, for like as an ass is beaten and speaketh not, and suffereth wrong without answering, right so doest thou. And another brother was put from the table, and he answered nothing, and afterwards he was asked, and he said: I have put in my heart that I am like to a hound, when he is chastised he goeth his way out. And it was demanded of Agathon what virtue was more than labour, and he answered: I trow there be no labour so great as to pray to God, for the fiend laboureth always to break his prayer, and in other labours a man hath some rest, and he that prayeth hath always need of great strife. A brother demanded of Agathon how he ought to dwell with his brethren, to whom he said: Like as the first day, and take on thee no trust but sufferance, for sufferance is not worse than trust, for sufferance is mother of all passions; and then keep thee from ire, for if the irous raised dead men it should not please God ne none other for his ire. There was a brother that was angry said to himself: If I were alone, I should not be so soon angry. On a time he filled a pot with water and poured it out again, and he filled it the second time and poured it out always, and then he was so moved for anger that he brake the pot. And then he advised himself, and knew that he was deceived of the devil of wrath and of ire, and said: I am alone and yet I am overcome by wrath, and therefore I shall return to my congregation, for over all is labour, and over all is patience, and need of the help of God.

And two other brethren were contrary which had long conversed together and might not be moved to wrath. And on a time that one said to that other: Let us make contentions together like as men of the world do, and that other said: I wot not how contention is made. And that other said: I shall lay this sack in the middle between us, and I shall say: It is mine; and thou shalt say: It is not so, but it is mine, and thus shall the strife be made. And then that one laid the sack so and said: It is mine, and that other said: Nay, but it is mine, and that other said: Then thine be it, take it and go thy way, and thus they departed and could not strive together. The abbot Agathon was wise to understand, not slow to labour, scarce in meat and clothing, and said he had never slept, at his will, having in his heart any sorrow against any other, or any other against him.

When Agathon should die, he held him three days without moving, holding always his eyes open to heaven. And when his brethren roused or stirred him he said: I am tofore the judgment of God. And they said: Why doubtest thou? And he said: I have laboured with all the virtue that I might to keep the commandments of God, but I am a man, and I wot not if my works shall please our Lord. And they said: Trustest not thou in thy works which thou hast done for God? And he said: I shall not presume till I come tofore him, for the judgments of God be other than the judgmenta of men. And when they would yet have asked him something, he said: Show to me charity, and speak no more to me, for I am occupied, and when he had said this, he yielded up his spirit with joy, and they saw our Lord and his angels receiving his spirit and saluting, like as a man saluteth his friends. All this is written in Vitis Patrum.

« Prev The Life of the Abbot Agathon Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |