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

A CERTAIN brother asked an old man, and said unto him, “How is it that Satan bringeth temptations upon holy men?” And the old man said, “I have heard that there was a holy man whose name was Cosmas, who used to dwell in Mount Sinai. And behold, a certain man went to the tabernacle (or tent) of a husbandman, and finding his daughter by herself, he lay with her, and then said to her, When thy father cometh say unto him, “Abbâ Cosmas, the monk, hath lain with me”; and when her father came, she told him [thus]. Then he took his sword, and came against the old man, and when he had knocked at the door, and the old man had gone forth, he lifted up his sword to slay him, but his hand withered straightway; and he went to the church and told the people there what the old man had done. And the fathers sent after him and brought him there, and having upbraided him, and beaten him with many stripes they wished to drive him out of the monastery; but he entreated them, saying, “Allow me [to stay] here that I may repent, for God’s sake,” and they separated him [from the brotherhood] for three years, and they laid down the command that no man was to go to him. And he passed three years in coming [to the church] Sunday by Sunday, and in repenting, and he besought [the fathers] always to pray for him, and at length the devil entered into him that had committed the act of which the old man had been accused, and, being urged by him, he said, “I committed the act.” Then all the people were gathered together, and they went to the old man and expressed their penitence, and said unto him, “Forgive us, O father”; and he said unto them, “I have indeed forgiven you, but it is impossible for me to remain with you henceforth, because I have not found in any one of you discretion sufficient to make him to sympathize with me.” And so he departed from them. Behold, how temptations come upon holy men!








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