Reflection on a Saying of a Desert Christian: Abba Longinos

“Then there was a woman who was suffering from cancer and, having heard of the reputation of Abba Longinos, decided to find him that he might restore her health. While she was looking for him here and there in the desert, she encountered an elderly monk cutting wood. She approached him and asked him where Abba Longinos stayed.

“What do you want with him?” the monk asked. “I advise you not to go to him because he is not a good man … But maybe something is troubling you?”

“The unfortunate woman then showed him an open sore which gave off an unbearable odor. The monk made the sign of the cross over her and told her: “Return to your home and God will heal you. Longinos cannot help you in anything.”

“She left, receiving the words of the unknown monk with faith. By the time she reached her home, not a trace of her fearful illness remained. She later learned from the other brothers that the one who made her well in this strange way was Abba Longinos himself.”

Loving this story.  The woman is treated with compassion. The man is humble.  He doesn’t want to attract any attention. He doesn’t want gratitude. He doesn’t want her to know his name.  He does what needs to be done and in all humility escapes any praise.

May we all do our good deeds with this kind of humility.


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