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The Lausiac History Of Palladius by Palladius Of Galatia

[1] THERE is a mountain in Egypt called Pherme, which borders on the great desert of Scete. On this mountain dwell some 500 men, devotees of asceticism. One of them, a man named Paul, had this manner of life: he touched no work, and no business, nor did he receive anything from any man beyond what he ate. But his work and his asceticism consisted in ceaseless prayer. So he had 300 set prayers, and he collected as many pebbles and kept them in his lap and threw out of his lap one pebble at each prayer. [2] Having gone for an interview with Macarius, the one known as Citizen, he said to him: “Father Macarius, I am afflicted.” So he compelled him to say for what reason. But he said to him: “In a certain village there dwells a virgin who has lived the ascetic life for thirty years. They have told me of her that except on Saturday and Sunday she never eats. But all the while dragging out the long weeks and eating at intervals of five days she makes 700 prayers. And when I learned this I despaired of myself because I could not make more than 300.” [3] The holy Macarius answered him: “I am now sixty years old; I make 100 set prayers and produce my food by my own work, and give the brethren the interviews that are their due, and my reason does not condemn me as having neglected my duty. But if you say 300 and are condemned by your conscience, you are clearly not praying them with purity, or else you could pray more and do not.”








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