A Monk Took Communion without Reconciliation

Blessed John Moschus. "The Spiritual Meadow".

The life of abbot Isaac, and how a demon also appeared to him in the shape of a young man.

There is a mountain about six miles distant from Lycos, a city of the Thebaid, where some of the monks live in caves, others in cells. We went there and met abba Isaac, a Theban, who told us the following:

Fifty years ago I was making a mosquito net when I made a mistake in my work and I could not find out where it was, let alone repair it. I spent the whole day utterly defeated, unable to discover what I had done wrong. I was almost in despair, when I saw a young man come in through the window.

"You've made a mistake," he said, "but give me your work and I will put it right."
"Get out," I said. "You'll not get me to do that."
"But you will be damned if you do your work badly"
"No call for you to worry about that."
"But I am just sorry for you because your work is lost."
"Both you and he who sent you have come here with evil intent."
"No, it is you have drawn me here, and you are mine."
"What do you mean?
"For the last three Sundays you have communicated while harbouring uncharitable thoughts towards your neighbour."
"You're lying"
"I'm not lying. You are angry with him because he is so slow (propter lenticulam). And I am the one in charge of anger and the memory of insults. So, therefore, you are mine."

At this, I left my cell immediately, went to my brother, prostrated myself before him and begged his forgiveness, whereupon we were reconciled. When I returned to my cell I found that the demon had destroyed the mosquito net completely and also the rush mat on which I prayed, so envious of our charity had he become.

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