A Reflection on a Saying of a Desert Christian: Abba Arsenios

“Once Abba Arsenios revealed his thoughts to an Egyptian elder and asked him about them. But a certain other Abba saw him and said to him: “Abba Arsenios, you have had so much education in Greek and Latin, yet you ask this man, so unlettered in worldly knowledge, about your thoughts?”


“Abba Arsenios said to him: “Indeed, I know Roman and Greek letters well; but I have not yet learned even the alphabet of this simple man.”

As one who is highly educated by the standards of my society, I really get the point here. All the education, all the learning, all the study, do not necessarily translate into spiritual maturity. Someone may not be as highly educated as I may know a great deal more than about holiness and conversion of life into a life of holiness.

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