HOME CHAT NAB PRAYERS FORUMS COMMUNITY RCIA MAGAZINE CATECHISM LINKS CONTACT
 CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC SAINTS INDEX  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC DICTIONARY  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Home
 
Bible
 
Catechism
 
Chat
 
Catholic Encyclopedia
 
Church Fathers
 
Classics Library
 
Church Documents
 
Discussion
 
Mysticism
 
Prayer
 
Prayer Requests
 
RCIA
 
Vocations
 
Ray of Hope
 
Saints
 
Social Doctrine
 
Links
 
Contact
 







The Paradise Of The Holy Fathers Volumes 1 and 2 by Saint Athanasius Of Alexandria

AND there was also in the desert a certain man whose name was Eucarpus, who had passed eighteen years shut up in his cell; and the food which was necessary for his wants was brought by others. He had lived in seclusion for fifteen years, and he never spoke to any man [during that period] except when he was in need of something. He used to write upon paper [what he wished to say], and would give it to those who ministered unto him, and he also did thus when any man asked him a question or spoke to him; his food consisted of vegetables soaked in water, and pounded garden herbs, and he carried out his rule of life with infinite labour. Finally, however, the devils made him a laughing-stock also, because of the vain opinion which he had concerning himself. First of all he separated himself from mingling with the brethren and conversing with them, and next he ceased to meditate on the Holy Scriptures, and he did nothing except pray continually; for he was proud and haughty in his mind, and he thought that he was perfect, and that on account of the purity of his heart, forsooth, he was always seeing God in his mind, for he that tempteth tempted him also, even as he had tempted the blessed man Job. And one night Satan appeared unto him in the form of an angel of light, and said unto him, “I am Christ”; and when Eucarpus saw him, he thought that the appearance was a real person, and he fell down, and worshipped him, and said unto him, “Master, what commandest thou thy servant [to do]?” And he who had appeared unto him said unto him, “Since thou hast excelled many in thy works, and hast kept all my commandments, I desire greatly to make my abode with thee; but since thou art perfect, it is not necessary for thee to shut thyself up, and it is no longer right that thou shouldst live in seclusion, but thou must teach all the brethren not to destroy their souls with the reading of the Scriptures and the reciting of the Psalms. And they must not labour in the toil of the body, and they must not vex their souls with fasting, and hunger, and thirst, but they must labour with the labour of the soul, for by these means they shall be able speedily to be lifted up to the highest grade, and they must always look at me with their minds, and I will shew them my glory. And as for thee, since thou hast raised thyself above all the monks by thy works, behold, I make thee this day a chief and a governor over all the monks who dwell in Scete. For Macarius is not of as much use as a governor as thou art.” Then Eucarpus was more lifted up in his mind than before, and he was far more proud, and he believed truly the error of the Crafty One, and his understanding was taken away from him, and he was smitten in his mind immediately he had worshipped the Calumniator.

Now on another day there was a congregation in the church, and Satan appeared unto Eucarpus a second time, and said unto him, “Go thou this day, for all the brethren are gathered together, and teach them everything which I commanded thee yesterday in the night season.” Then Eucarpus opened the door of the house wherein he secluded himself, and departed to go to the church; and it happened that Abbâ John was sitting by the side of the church, and the brethren were round about him, and were asking him about their thoughts. And when Eucarpus came, and saw John with the brethren surrounding him, he was filled with envy of him, and he answered and said unto John with haughtiness and wicked wrath, “Why dost thou adorn thyself and dost sit down, like a whore, who wisheth to multiply her friends? Or, who commanded thee to be a corrector of others, seeing that it is I who am the governor of the monastery?” Now when the brethren heard [these words], they were greatly moved, and said unto him, “And who made thee a governor in Scete?” And Eucarpus said unto them, “Yesterday in the night I was made governor by Christ, therefore turn ye to me, and I will teach you the way, whereby ye shall easily ascend to the high grade of the vision of glory; and moreover, go not ye astray after the writings of Evagrius, neither hearken ye unto the words of John, for ye have wandered far enough into error already.”

Then he began to revile the fathers, and he called Macarius a “painted idol” whom those who err worship, for he knoweth not how to lead the brethren on the path towards heavenly things; and Evagrius he called “a hewer of words” who hath led the brethren into error by following his writings, and hath made them to cease from spiritual service. And the devils made a mock of Eucarpus until they were able to lift him up and to dash him down upon the earth, but all these things which fell upon him took place because he condemned the brethren, and because through his pride and arrogance he held them in contempt, and because he did not desire to meditate upon the Holy Scriptures, and on the docrtrine of the fathers. And finally, when the fathers saw that he was smitten in mind, they threw iron fetters on him and bound him therewith, and he lived with them upon him; and the holy fathers offered up prayer on his behalf for eleven whole months, and then his mind returned to him, and he was so thoroughly cured of his pride that he perceived his weakness, and recognized his disease whereby he had been made a mock of by the devils. And in him was fulfilled that which was said, “Old blains (or wounds) are cured by burnings,” and, “Thou who didst exalt thyself to heaven shalt be brought down even unto Sheol” (Isaiah 14:13–15). Now Eucarpus lived after he had been cured of his arrogance one year and one month; and the fathers commanded that he should minister unto the sick, and that he should wash the feet of strangers, and thus he died.








Copyright ©1999-2018 e-Catholic2000.com