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How he reproved the brother of Valentinian the Monk for eating by the way.

Moreover, the brother of Valentinian, the Monk, whom we mentioned in the beginning, was very devout although but a secular; and he used to go to the Monastery from his dwelling once every year and that fasting, that he might partake of the prayers of the servant of God, and see his brother. As he was on his way to the Monastery, another traveller, who carried meat with him, put himself into his company After they had travelled a good while, he said to him: “Come, Brother, let us refresh ourselves, lest we faint by the way.” “God forbid!” answered the other, “by no means, Brother, for my custom is always to go to the venerable Father Benedict fasting.” At which answer, his fellow-traveller, for the present, said no more; but, when they had gone a little further, he moved him again to ear, but he would not consent because he resolved to keep his fast. So the other was awhile silent, and went forward with him without taking any thing himself. After they had gone a great way, wearied with long travel, in their way they came to a meadow and a spring, with what else might delight them, there to take their repast. Then said his fellow-traveller: “So! Here is water, here is a meadow, here is a pleasant place for us to refresh and rest us awhile, that we may safely make an end of our journey.” So, at the third motion, these words pleasing his ear and the place his eye, he was overcome, consented and ate. In the evening he came to the Monastery, where, conducted to the venerable Father Benedict, he craved his prayers, but soon the holy man reproved him for what he had done in the way, saying: “What was it, Brother, the malignant enemy suggested to thee by they fellow traveller? The first time he could not persuade nor yet the second, but the third time he prevailed and obtained his desire.” Then the man acknowledging his fault fell at his feet, and began all the more to weep and to be ashamed, by reason that he perceived he had offended, although absent, in the sight of Father Benedict.


I discover in the breast of the holy man the spirit of Eliseus, who was present with his disciple though far from him.

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