Friday, August 26, 2016

The Life and Sayings of Holy Abba Tithoes

St. Tithoes (Feast Day - August 26)

Verses

Tithoes did not have, I suppose, flesh altogether,
And if he had, it wasted away not permitting it food till the grave.

Life

Our Venerable Father Tithoes was a disciple of Saint Pachomius and great among the ascetics of Egypt. He later became abbot of a monastery in Tabennisi. Having lived his entire life in absolute purity, he reposed in peace in either the fourth or fifth century.

Sayings

1. It was said of Abba Tithoes that when he stood up to pray, if he did not quickly lower his hand, his spirit was rapt to heaven. So if it happened that some brothers were praying with him, he hastened to lower his hands so that his spirit should not be rapt and he should not pray for too long.

2. Abba Tithoes used to say, 'Pilgrimage means that a man should control his own tongue.'

3. A brother asked Abba Tithoes, 'How should I guard my heart?' The old man said to him, 'How can we guard our hearts when our mouths and our stomachs are open?'

4. Abba Matoes used to say of Abba Tithoes, 'No one can ever speak against him, for like pure gold in the balance, so is Abba Tithoes.'

5. Abba Tithoes was sitting at Clysma one day, thinking and pondering and he said to his disciple, 'Water the palm-trees, my son.'

The latter said to him, 'But we are at Clysma, abba.' The old man said, 'What am I doing at Clysma? Take me to the mountain again.'

6. One day when Abba Tithoes was sitting down, a brother happened to be beside him. Not realizing this, he began to groan, without thinking that the brother was beside him for he was in ecstasy. Afterwards he made a prostration before him and said to him, 'Forgive me, brother; I have not yet become a monk, since I groaned in front of you.'

7. A brother asked Abba Tithoes, 'Which way leads to humility?' The old man said, 'The way of humility is this: self-control, prayer, and thinking yourself inferior to all creatures.'

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