Tuesday, December 11, 2012

This beeswax is not yours

From the blog of Joel L. Miller:

According to the Life of the Elder Moses of Optina, a troubled monk visited the elder, seeking his counsel.

“Batiushka,” he said, “there is a thought that is bothering me a lot.”

“And what does your thought say to you, brother?” asked the elder.

“Well, Batiushka, my thought says to me that you’re not doing this right, and you’re not doing that right. . . .”

The elder sat quietly and listened while the monk went on at some length about the remembrance of his failures and the taunting and accusing thoughts that weighed down his heart. Having heard the sad testimony, the elder finally spoke.

“My brother,” he said, “tell your thought that this is none of its business.”

Simple. Serenity suddenly settled over the monk, and he left the elder relieved.

I don’t know if you can use that, but it amused me.


  1. Christians -- and people in general -- need to be mindful that they do not overstep their bounds when they are providing advice to others.

    Perhaps the most important rule in being discreet with respect to advising others is "Don't provide advice to someone unless that person asks for your advice."

  2. The holy fathers of Optina are so refreshingly simple and direct in their counsel. What a joy!