Recently I have been reading The Sayings of the Desert Fathers. What strikes me about these ascetics is some their profound insight to discipleship. Here is a sampling.
Abba Agathon said, ‘If I could meet a leper, give him my body and take his, I should be very happy.’ That indeed is perfect charity.
Abba Anthony said to Abba Poemen, ‘This is the great work of man: always to take blame for his on sins before God and to expect temptation to his last breath.’
A brother who had sinned was turned out of the church by the priest; Abba Bessarion got up and went with him saying, ‘I, too, am a sinner.’