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Seeing the Wooden Beam

Wisdom of the Ancient Monks

Abba Poeman was known among the Desert Fathers as the wise shepherd. This was a play off his name which in Greek actually means ‘shepherd’. He is called wise because he is the most quoted of the ancient Egyptian monks. Over a quarter the surviving sayings are from Abba Poeman or involve him. In this blog and in the coming podcast we will come to know this wise shepherd well. Let us consider this saying:

A brother questioned Abba Poeman, saying, “I have found a place where peace is not disturbed by the brothers. Do you advise me to live there?” The old man said in reply, “The place for you is where you will not harm your brother.”

From Becoming Fire: Through the Year with the Desert Fathers and Mothers edited by Tim Vivian

Now then, this seems like a reasonable request. The young disciple feels he is ready…

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