Feast of the Glorious Prophet Elijah
A BROTHER asked Abba Ammonas, “Give me a word,” and the old man replied, “Go, make your thoughts like those of the evildoers who are in prison. For they are always asking when the magistrate will come awaiting him in anxiety. Even so the monk out to give himself at all times to accusing his own soul, saying, “Unhappy wretch that I am. How shall I stand before the judgment seat of Christ? What shall I say to Him to my defense?” If you give yourself continually to this, you may be saved.
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Abba Ammonas was asked, “What is the ‘narrow and hard way?” (Matt. 7.14). He replied, “The ‘narrow and hard way’ is this, to control your thoughts, and to strip yourself of your own will, for the sake of God. This is also the meaning of the sentence, “Lo, we have left everything and followed you” (Matt. 19.27).
—Abba Ammonas, The Sayings of the Desert Fathers