Some Sayings of Abba John

by Scott D. Hendricks

21. Abba John said, ‘We have put the light burden on one side, that is to say, self-accusation, and we have loaded ourselves with a heavy one, that is to say, self-justification.’

22. He also said, ‘Humility and the fear of God are above all virtues.’

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37. One of the Fathers asked Abba John the Dwarf, ‘What is a monk?’ He said, ‘He is toil. The monk toils at all he does. That is what a monk is.’

~ from The Sayings of the Desert Fathers

  Benedicta Ward, trans., The Sayings of the Desert Fathers: the alphabetical collection (Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications, 1975), 90 and 93.