Friday, July 18, 2014


Arboricide Committed by John, a Syrian Monk

Theodoret of Cyrrhus, A History of the Monks of Syria, tr. R.M. Price (1985; rpt. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2008 = Cistercian Studies Series, 88), p. 152 (XXIII.1, on John):
He is so raised above all human things that he reaps no comfort from them. Clear proof of this I shall provide at once. When some well-meaning person planted an almond-tree right by his bed, which then with time became a tree, providing him with shade and feasting his eyes, he ordered it to be cut down, to stop him enjoying any relief therefrom.

οὕτω δέ ἐστι τῶν ἀνθρωπίνων ἁπάντων ὑπέρτερος ὡς μηδεμίαν ἐκ τούτων καρποῦσθαι παραψυχήν. καὶ τούτου τεκμήριον ἐναργὲς αὐτίκα παρέξομαι. ἐπειδὴ γάρ τις τῶν σπουδαίων ἀμυγδάλην παρ' αὐτὴν ἐφύτευσε τὴν στιβάδα, εἶτα τῷ χρόνῳ δένδρον γενομένη σκιάν τε αὐτῷ παρεῖχε καὶ τὴν ὄψιν εἱστία, ἀποτμηθῆναι ἐκέλευσεν, ἵνα μηδεμιᾶς ἐκεῖθεν ἀπολαύοι ψυχαγωγίας.


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