You Must First Learn to Live With Others

From my sporadic reading of The Sayings of The Desert Fathers:

One day Abba Longinus questioned Abba Lucius about three thoughts saying first, “I want to go into exile.” The old man said to him, “If you cannot control your tongue, you not be an exile anywhere. Therefore control your tongue here, and you will be an exile.”

Next, he said to him, “I wish to fast.” The old man replied, “Isaiah said, ‘If you bend your neck like a rope or a bullish that is not the fast I will accept [Isaiah 58]; but rather, control your evil thoughts.”’

He said to him the third time, “I wish to flee from men.” The old man replied, “If you have not first of all lived rightly with men, you will not be able to live rightly in solitude.”

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