John Moschus. "Spiritual meadow". 130. The teachings of Athanasius and his wonderful vision.
Abba said: "Our fathers practised continence and poverty and detachment from all things up to the time of their death. But we have stuffed our stomachs and moneybags full."
He also said: "Our fathers made it their business to avoid distractions to the soul. But in our days we have them aplenty, as well as our manual work"
Abba Athanasius also told us this about himself:
"I was wondering once about what was worth striving for and what was not. And I went into an ecstasy, and someone came to me and told me to follow him. He led me into a place full of light and glory and set me in front of a doorway, the like of which it is beyond my power to describe, for we could hear inside a countless multitude praising God. We knocked on the door and someone inside heard us and called out:
"'What do you want?'
"'We want to come in,' said my guide.
"'No one who lives carelessly can enter here. But if you want to come in, go back and strive to be able to count all the vanities of the earth as nothing worth.'"