Abba Joseph of Panephysis

Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said to him, ‘Abba, as far as I can I say my little office, I fast a little, I pray and meditate, I live in peace and as far as I can, I purify my thoughts. What else can I do?’

Then the old man stood up and stretched his hands towards heaven. His fingers became like ten lamps of fire and he said to him, ‘If you will, you can become all flame.’


  1. From The Sayings of the Desert Fathers: The Alphabetical Collection. Translated by Benedicta Ward. Cistercian Studies Series, number 59. This is saying 7 of Abba Joseph of Panephysis and appears on page 103.

  2. I really like this quote and I think it has many applications in modern life. The ultimate thing someone can do is to give all that make up them, over to God. To not focus on the small steps any more but to run headlong into the consuming flames. To give up all they hold dear for the change that God can bring. “If you will, you can become all flame.”

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