“I carry behind me my manifold sins where I cannot see them and I come to judge my brother.”

One day, Abba Moses was called join his brethren in passing judgement on a fellow Monk. He approached carrying a large sack on his shoulder, with a hole in it, with the dirt falling out behind him. He said to his brethren “I carry behind me my manifold sins where I cannot see them and I come to judge my brother.” Thus illumining all with God’s love, forgiveness and our need to repent for our own sins, the brethren then forgave the Monk and they all left in peace.

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“If the Monk does not think in his heart that he is a sinner, God will not hear him. The brother said, ‘What does that mean, to think in his heart that he is a sinner?’ Then the old man said, ‘When someone is occupied with his own faults, he does not see those of his neighbour.'”

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“Do no harm to anyone, do not think anything bad in your heart towards anyone, do not scorn the man who does evil, do not put confidence in him who does wrong to his neighbour, do not rejoice with him who injures his neighbour. This is what dying to one’s neighbour means. Do not rail against anyone, but rather say, ‘God knows each one.’ Do not agree with him who slanders, do not rejoice at his slander and do not hate him who slanders his neighbour. This is what it means not to judge. Do not have hostile feelings towards anyone and do not let dislike dominate your heart; do not hate him who hates his neighbour. This is what peace is: Encourage yourself with this thought, affliction lasts but a short time, while peace is for ever, by the Grace of God the Word. Amen.”

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Another day when a council was being held in Scetis, the Fathers treated Moses with contempt in order to test him, saying, ‘Why does this Ethiopian man come among us?’ When he heard this he kept silence. When the council was dismissed, they said to him, ‘Abba, did that not grieve you at all?’ He said to them, ‘I was grieved, but I kept silence.’

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