To the Archimandrite Gerontius.
The characters of souls are often depicted in words and their unseen forms revealed; so now your reverence's letter exhibits the piety of your holy soul. Your waiting for that sentence, your anxiety, your search for advocates and preparation for a defence, clearly indicate your soul's zeal about divine things. We on the contrary are in a manner inactive and sleepy; we are nurtured in idleness, and stand in need of much assistance from prayers. Give them to us, O man beloved of God, that now at all events we may wake up and give some care to the soul.


[1696] All that is known of Gerontius is his being the recipient of the letter. "Archimandrite" = archon tes mandras, i.e. ruler of the fold or byre.

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