A Reflection on a Saying of a Desert Christian: anonymous

“At the moment that a holy elder was in the throes of death, the devil appeared before him and shouted at him: “You destroyed me, you wretch.”

“I am still not sure of that, ” the Saint replied, and reposed.”

My first thought was “Well, exactly.  Who would believe the devil? Or take the devil’s word for anything? Father of lies, after all.”

My second was to be impressed with this unnamed elder’s humility. Presumably, he had been withstanding temptations, praying the entire Psalter every day of his vocation, speaking words of wisdom to the younger monks, all to achieve a holy life. Here at the end of his life, he withstands one last temptation to believe the things the devil says to him and dies.  I’ve been told the Orthodox use “repose” because they think of the deceased as sleeping in the arms of Jesus.

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