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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

An example of Self-control

Once, Macarius was sent some fresh grapes. He desired to eat them,but showing self-control, he sent them to a certain brother who was ill and who was himself fond of grapes. When the brother received them he was delighted, but wishing to conceal his self-mastery, he sent them to another brother, pretending that he had no appetite for food. When the next brother received the grapes he did the same in turn, although he too had a great desire to eat them.

When at length the grapes had been passed round a large number of the brethren without any of them deciding to eat them, the last one to receive them sent them again to Macarius, thinking that he was giving him a rich gift. Macarius recognized them, and after inquiring closely into what had happened, marveled, giving thanks to the Lord for such self-control among the brethren. And in the end, not even he partook ofthe grapes.

Historia Monachorum in Aegypto 21.13-14