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Aug 1, 2022

If You Would Be Truly Humble

Cassian said that a brother came to Serapion and the hermit asked him in the usual way to offer prayer.

But he refused, saying that he was a sinner, and unworthy of a monk's habit.

Serapion wanted to wash his feet but he would not allow it, using the same words.

Serapion gave him a meal, and then began to talk to him gently,

saying, "Son, if you want to make progress, stay in your cell,

keep a watch upon yourself and attend to the work of your hands.

Nothing is more profitable to you than staying your cell."

But, when the brother heard this, he was furious,

and the hermit could not help seeing his face change.

So, Serapion said to him, "Just now you were saying 'I am a sinner' and accusing yourself of being an unworthy monk.

Then why were you angry when I gave you some loving advice?

If you would be truly humble, learn to carry the burdens that others lay upon you bravely,

and don't just shower terms of abuse over yourself."

When the brother heard this, he did penance before Serapion,

and went away much helped.

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