Humility is least among men but precious and glorious before God – Abba Pachomius


Above all this, we have been given humility, which watches over all the virtues and is that great holy strength with which God clothed himself when he came into the world. Humility is the rampart of the virtues, the treasury of works, the saving armour and the cure for every wound. When they made fine linens, the wrought gold, and all the fittings of the Tabernacle, they covered them with sackcloth (Ex 27:9-16, Jdt 4:11). Humility is least among men but precious and glorious before God. If we acquire it we shall trample the whole force of the enemy underfoot (Luk 10:19). It is said, Whom shall I consider, if not the humble and meek? (Is 66:2).

[Abba Pachomius of the Koinonia, The Instructions of Pachomius]

How long will you be negligent? – Abba Pachomius the Great


You too my son, how long will you be negligent? What is the limit of your negligence? As it was last year, so it is this year; as it was yesterday, so it is today. As long as you are negligent, there will be no progress for you.

Be watchful, lift up your heart, because you will have to stand before the judgement seat of God and give an accounting for what you have done both in private and in public (Rm 14:10).

[St. Pachomius, The Instructions of St. Pachomius]

Commentaries from the Prayer of Vespers (Eleventh Hour) – The Agpeya, The Coptic Horologion


If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where shall I the sinner appear? The burden and the heat of day I did not endure because of the weakness of my humanity. But O merciful God, count me with the fellows of the eleventh hour (Mat 20:1-16). For behold in iniquities I was conceived, and in sins my mother bore me. Therefore I do not dare to lift up my eyes to Heaven, but rather I rely on the abundance of Your mercy and love for mankind, crying out and saying, “God forgive me, a sinner, and have mercy on me.”

Doxa Patri Kai Eiyou Kai Agio Pnevmati – Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

 Hasten, O Saviour to open to me the fatherly bosoms, for I have wasted my life in pleasures and lusts, and the day has passed by me and vanished. Therefore, now I rely on the richness of Your never-ending compassion. So then, do not forsake a submissive heart which is in need of Your mercy. For unto You I cry, O Lord, humbly, “Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before You, and I am no longer worthy to be called Your son, so make me as one of Your hired servants.” (Luke 15:18-9)

Ke Nin Kai A Ee Kai Eis Tous E Onas Ton E Onon Amen – Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.

 Every iniquity I did with prudence and activity, and every sin I committed with eagerness and diligence, and of all torment and judgement I am worthy. Therefore, prepare for me the ways of repentance, O Lady the Virgin; for to you I appeal, and through you I seek intercession, and upon you I call to help me, lest I might be put to shame. And when my soul departs my body attend to me, and defeat the conspiracy of the enemies, and shut the gates of Hades, lest they might swallow my soul, O you blameless bride of the true Bridegroom.

[Commentaries from the Prayer of Vespers (Eleventh Hour), The Agpeya, Coptic Horologion (Book of Hours)]


Commentaries from the Prayer of None (Ninth Hour) – The Agpeya, The Coptic Horologion


O, Who tasted death in the flesh in the ninth hour for our sake, we the sinners, put to death our carnal lusts, O Christ, our God, and deliver us. Let my supplication draw close before You, O Lord; according to Your word give me understanding. Let my petition come before Your presence; according to Your word revive me.

Doxa Patri Kai Eiyou Kai Agio Pnevmati – Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

O You, who commended the spirit into the hands of the Father as You hung on the cross, in the ninth hour, and guided the thief who was crucified with You into entering the Paradise, do not neglect me, O Good One, nor reject me, I the lost one; but sanctify my soul and enlighten my understanding, and allow me to be a partaker of the grace of You life-giving mysteries. That when I taste of Your benevolences, I offer You praise without lukewarmness, longing for Your splendor above all things, O Christ our Lord, and deliver us.

Ke Nin Kai A Ee Kai Eis Tous E Onas Ton E Onon Amen – Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.

 O You, who was born of the Virgin for our sake, and endured crucifixion, O Good One, and abolished death by Your death and manifested resurrection by Your resurrection, O God, do not turn away from those whom You have created with Your own hands, but manifest, O Good One Your love for mankind. Accept from Your mother an intercession on our behalf. Deliver, O Saviour, a humble people. Do not leave us to the end, and do not forsake us forever. Do not break Your covenant, and do not take away from us Your mercy, for the sake of Abraham Your beloved, Isaac Your servant, and Israel Your saint.

[Commentaries from the Prayer of None (Ninth Hour), The Agpeya, Coptic Horologion (Book of Hours)]

Commentaries from the Prayer of the Veil – The Agpeya, The Coptic Horologion


“Lord, You know the alertness of my enemies, and as for my weakness, You are aware of it, My Creator. Therefore, I hereby place my soul into Your Hands. So cover me with the wings of Your goodness, lest I might sleep till death. Enlighten my eyes by the greatness of Your sayings, and raise me up at all times for Your glorification, for You alone are good and Lover of Mankind.”

Doxa Patri Kai Eiyou Kai Agio Pnevmati – Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Lord, Your Judgement is dreadful; when men shall be rushed, the angels shall stand, the books shall be opened, the deeds shall be revealed, and the thoughts examined. What a Judgement mine will be, I who am entangled by sin! Who will quench the flames of fire about me? Who would enlighten my darkness, besides You, Lord? Have mercy upon me, for You are compassionate to mankind.

Ke Nin Kai A Ee Kai Eis Tous E Onas Ton E Onon Amen – Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.

O Theotokos (Mother of God), because we have put our trust in you, we shall not be put to shame, but shall be saved. And because we have attained your help and intercession, O pure and perfect one, we shall not fear, but shall drive out our enemies and shall disperse them. And, in all, we take your great help to protect us as if with a shield. We ask and entreat you, crying, O Theotokos to save us by your intercessions, and raise us up from the dark sleep, in order to powerfully glorify God Who took flesh from you.

[Commentaries from the Prayer of the Veil, The Agpeya, Coptic Horologion (Book of Hours)]

O God, let me now make a beginning of good – Abba Arsenius the Great


It happened that when Abba Arsenius was sitting in his cell that he was harassed by demons. His servants, on their return, stood outside his cell and heard him praying to God in these words, ‘O God, do not leave me. I have done nothing good in your sight, but according to your goodness, let me now make a beginning of good.’

[Abba Arsenius, Apophthegmata Patrum]

Serve God faithfully – Abba Pachomius the Great


Recite constantly the word of God. Put up with fatigue and “be grateful for everything” (1 Th 5:18). Shun the praise of men and love the one who, in the fear of the Lord, reprimands you. Let every man be profitable to you so that you may be good to everyone. Persevere in your work, and in language be above reproach. Do not take one step forward, then a step backward, that God may not detest you; for the crown shall go to the one who perseveres (c.f. Mt. 10:22). Be ever more obedient to God and He will save you.

[St. Pachomius the Great, Instruction Concerning a Spiteful Monk (Pach. Instr. 1), 14]

Be watchful – Abba Pachomius the Great


My son, I ask you to be watchful and to be on your guard, acquainted with those who lie in ambush against you.

The spirit of cowardice and the spirit of distrust walk hand in hand; the spirit of lying and the spirit of deceit walk hand in hand;

the spirits of greed and trafficking, of perjury and dishonesty, and that of jealousy walk hand in hand;

the spirit of vanity and the spirit of gluttony walk hand in hand;

the spirit of fornication and the spirit of impurity walk hand in hand;

the spirit of enmity and the spirit of sadnesss walk hand in hand.

Woe to the wretched soul in which they make their home and of which they make themselves masters. They hold such a soul far from God, because it is in their power. It sways from side to side till it ends in the abyss of hell.

[St. Pachomius the Great, Instruction Concerning a Spiteful Monk (Pach. Instr. 1), 10]

Practise all virtues in patience – Abba Pachomius the Great


It is patience that reveals every grace to you, and it is through patience that the saints received all that was promised them. Patience is the pride of the saints. Be patient, to be admitted to the saints’ legion, confident that you will be given a crown that will never rust.

A thought? Come to terms with it in patience, waiting for God to give you calm. Fasting? Put up with it in perseverance. Prayer? Without letup, in your room between you and God. One single heart with your brother. Virginity in all your members: virginity in your thoughts, purity of body, and purity of heart. Head bowed, and a humble heart; gentleness in the hour of anger.

[Abba Pachmious the Great, Instructions Concerning a Spiteful Monk (Pach Instr 1.), 8]

Why do we fail when it comes to practically living as a Christian? – Abba Pachomius the Great


“The great Pachomius was once asked by a brother, ‘Why is it that before the demon comes to trouble us, we possess out mind’s understanding in a healthy state and we philosophise about temperance, humility, and other virtues, but when the hour comes to display in deed what we have been philosophising about, such as longsuffering in the time of anger, absence of vainglory when subjected to praise, and many other similar things, we are often defeated?’

In answer to this the Great Man said, ‘Because we do not pursue the active life perfectly – this is why we do not understand all the demon’s mind and versatility well enough to be able, when the troubler manifests his presence, to repel swiftly the confusion of such thoughts which surrounds us by the contemplative power of the soul. Therefore,’ he said, ‘let us pour the fear of God like oil upon the contemplative part of the soul, every day and every hour. That fear, which accomplishes works and is a lamp for the contemplation of the things which concern us, makes our mind unshakeable, not carried away by anger, wrath, rancor, and any of the other passions which lead us to wickedness. It makes it contemplative and raises it to that incorporeal region; it forces it to hold in contempt the things which are wrought by devils and prepares it to tread underfoot serpents and scorpions and all the whole strength of the enemy.’ (Luke 10:19)

[Abba Pachomius the Great, Paralipomena, Chapter VI]