Lust

In Lower Egypt there was an anchorite who was well-known because he dwelt in a solitary cell in the desert. Now by the power of Satan, a shameless woman who had heard of him said to some young men, “What would you give me if I could cause your anchorite to fall?”  They agreed to give her something of value. In the evening she went out and came to his cell as though she had lost her way, and when she knocked the anchorite came out.  When he saw her he was troubled and said, “How have you come here?”  Weeping, she said, “I came here because I have lost my way.”  Filled with compassion, he made her come into the entry, and he returned to his cell and shut it, but the unfortunate creature began to cry out, “Abba, the wild animals are eating me.” He was uneasy again, but fearing the judgment of God, he said, “What is the source of this hardness of mine?” and he opened the door and made her come inside.  Then the devil attempted to attack him with his arrows.  Pondering the warfare of the enemy, he said, “The ways of the enemy are darkness, whereas the Son of God is light”, and he rose and lit the lamp.  Burning with desire, he said, “Those who commit such acts go to the punishment; try then, and see if you can bear the everlasting fire”, and put his finger into the lamp and burnt it without feeling it, so extreme was the sensual flame.  he went on doing this until morning, burning all his fingers.  The unfortunate woman, seeing what he was doing, was petrified with fear.  In the morning the young men came to see the anchorite and said to him, “Did a woman come here last night?” He said, “Yes, she is inside, asleep.” They entered and found her dead, and they said to him, “Abba, she is dead.” Then uncovering his hands, he showed them to them, saying, “Look what the daughter of the devil has done to me; she has destroyed my fingers”, and he told them what had happened and said, “It is written, “Do not render evil for evil”, and he prayed and awoke her , and she went away an lived wisely the rest of her life.”

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