Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XI:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Works of John Cassian.: Chapter XIV. How, even if a large sum of money is amassed by the labour of each, still no one may venture to exceed the moderate limit of what is appointed as adequate.
How, even if a large sum of money is amassed by the labour of each, still no one may venture to exceed the moderate limit of what is appointed as adequate.
And although each one of them may bring in daily by his work and labour so great a return to the monastery that he could out of it not only satisfy his own moderate demands but could also abundantly supply the wants of many, yet he is no way puffed up, nor does he flatter himself on account of his toil and this large gain from his labour, but, except two biscuits, 769 which are sold there for scarcely threepence, no one thinks that he has a right to anything further. And among them there is nothing (and I am ashamed to say this, and heartily wish it was unknown in our own monasteries) which is claimed by any of them, I will not say in deed but even in thought, as p. 223 his special property. And though he believes that the whole granary of the monastery forms his substance, and, as lord of all, devotes his whole care and energy to it all, yet nevertheless, in order to maintain that excellent state of want and poverty which he has secured and which he strives to preserve to the very last in unbroken perfection, he regards himself as a foreigner and an alien to them all, so that he conducts himself as a stranger and a sojourner in this world, and considers himself a pupil of the monastery and a servant instead of imagining that he is lord and master of anything.
Paxamatium, a biscuit. The word comes from the Greek παξαμάδιον, and is said to be derived from the name of a baker, Παξαμός (see Liddell and Scott, c. v.). These biscuits formed an important part of the diet of the Egyptian monks, as we see from the Conferences, where they are often mentioned; e.g., II. xi, xix., xxiv., xxvi.; XII. xv.; XIX. iv.
Next: Chapter XV. Of the excessive desire of possession among us.
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