Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Avoiding the Spirit of Anger

Of a certain brother who tried to avoid the occasions
rather than conquer the spirit of anger.

A certain brother was frequently moved to anger while he dwelt in a monastery. He said, therefore within himself, "I shall go forth into solitude, and when I have no one to quarrel with I shall find rest from this spirit of anger." So he went and dwelt in a certain cave. One day, after he had filled his pitcher and placed it on the ground, it was suddenly upset. Three times he filled it, and three times in the same way the water was spilled. Then, in a rage, he seized the vessel and broke it. When he came to himself, and began to consider how he had been trapped by the demon of anger, he said, "Lo, I am here alone, and yet I have been vanquished by anger. I shall return to my monastery, because, wherever there is most need of striving and of patience, there, no doubt, chiefly is the grace of God to be found.'' Then, rising up, he returned to his own place.

Reference: http://www.archive.org/details/wisdomofdesert00birmrich