How to deal with the warefare which Lust arouses in us

There was an anchorite who had settled in the desert in the district of Antinoe and was progressing in virtue.  Many were edified by his words and deeds. The enemy was jealous of his goodness, as he is wont to be of all virtuous men, and under the guise of piety suggested the following thought to him, "you should not let yourself be served by another, but you ought to serve others; since you do not do that, at lease serve yourself.  So go and sell your baskets and buy whatsoever you need, then return at once to your anchoritic life without being a burden to anyone." This is what that deceiver jealous of his silent prayer, his attention to God, and the help many received from him, suggested. Truly, the enemy strove in all ways to take him captive.  Convinced by a thought wh ich he believed to bee good, he went down to his monastery, this anchorite whom at that time everyone admired.  He was really without experience of the great astuteness of the demon who was setting snares for him, although he was an anchorite, know and of repute.  After a long time, he met a woman and since he was weakened by his carelessness, he went to a desert place, accompanied by the enemy, and he sinned beside the river.  When he realized how the enemy was rejoicing at his fall, he began to despair of himself for having so greatly grieved the Spirit of God, the angels, and the holy Fathers, many of whom, even in the cities, had overcome the enemy.  Unable to think of anyone like himself, he was filled with sadness, not remembering that God grants strength those who firmly hope in him.  Because he could not see how his sin could be healed, he wanted to9 throw himself into the river and die there.  The great torment of his soul made his body ill, and if the God of mercy had not helped him, he would have died without repentance, to the great delight of the enemy.  Returning at last to his senses, he thought of trying to endure greater affliction in suffering.  So he returned to the monastery and closed his cell door, and he wept, as it behoves us to weep over a dead body, beseeching God.  By fasting and watching in affliction, his body grew weak, yet he did not feel he had done enough penance.  Brothers often came to see him for their spiritual benefit, and when they knocked on the door, he said he couldn not open to them.  "I have given my word", he said "to do penance seriously for a year." And he added, "Pray for me", not knowing how else to reply so as not to shock his listeners, for he was of great repute amongst themand considered as a great monk.  So he spent the whole year in severe penance. 

When the day of the Pasch came, on the night of the holy Resurrection, he took a new lamp and prepared it, putting in a new wick and covering it.  In the evening he began to pray, saying, "O merciful and compassionate God, you will that even the barbarians should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, I flee to you, Savior of souls.  Have pity on me, who to the delight of the enemy, have so grieved you, and who at present am dead through having obeyed the enemy.  Master, you have mercy on the godless, and those who are without mercy, and you have taught us to be merciful to others–have compassion on my weakness. For to you nothing is impossible.  My soul deserves hell.  Have pity on me, for yo u are gracious to your creatures, for on the day of the resurrection, you willed to awaken even the bodies which no longer have life.  Hear me, Lord, for my spirit and my unhappy soul fail me.  Even my body, which I have defiled, falls into decay, and I am no longer able to live because of my dread of you.  Instead of believing that my sin would be pardoned through penitence, I committed a double sin by my unfaithfulness. Revive me, for I am rushed, and command that this lamp maybe be kindled by your fire, that I may receive the assurance of your mercy, and know that in your mercy you have forgiven me.  I will keep your commandments all the days of my life which you grant me, and I will no more depart from your fear, but I will serve you faithfully, even better than before."

 Having uttered these words with many tears on the night of Resurrection, he got up to see if the was lamp was alight.  When he uncovered it and saw that it was not alight, he made a prostration again before the Lord and besought him, saying, "lord, I know there are difficulities in the way of my being crowned, for I have not watched my steps, thinking rather of the pleasures of the flesh than of the punishment of blasphermers.  Spare me, Lord, for once more I confess your goodness and my baseness before you, in the presence of all your angels and the saints; if it were not a matter for scandal, I would confess it also before men.  Accordingly, have mercy on me, that I may be able to teach mercy to others. Even so Lord revive me."  Having prayerd thus three times, he was heard.  Getting up, he found the lamp was burning brightly.  Filled with hope, he was strengthened by the joy of is heart and he rejoiced, wondering at the grace God had granted him in giving him his sign."  He remained thus, prolonging his confession, and the day dawned and he rejoiced in the Lord without remembering bodily food.  He preserved the light  of his lamp all the days of his life, pouring oil into it and feeding it for fear lest it should go out.  Thus the divine Spirit dwelt in him again, and he became a sign for all, humble in his witness to the Lord and his acknowledgement of him.  When he came to the point of delivering up his sould, this was revealed to him several days beforehand.

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