“They used to tell a story of a brother who was the neighbor of an old Rabbâ, and say that he would go into the cell of an old man, and steal whatsoever he found there, and though the old man saw him he never rebuked him, but worked with his hands and wearied himself the more, saying, ‘Perhaps that brother is in need’: and the old man suffered much tribulation at the thought, and ate his food in sadness. And when the old man was about to die, the brethren sat round about him, and when he saw in their midst the brother who used to steal from him, he said unto him, ‘My son, come near to me’; and when he had drawn nigh to him, he kissed his hands, saying, ‘My brother, I am grateful to these hands, for through them I shall enter the kingdom of heaven.’ Now when that brother heard these things he was sorry, and he also repented, and he became a well-tried monk through the things which he had seen in that old man.
On one occasion, when Abba Agathon was traveling, and some young men were with him, one of them found a small bag on the road, and he said to him, ‘Father, dost thou wish me to take this little bag?’ and the old man looked at him in wonder, saying, ‘No’. Then the old man said unto him, ‘If thou didst not place it there, canst thou desire to take it?’ “ (The Paradise of the Holy Fathers edited by E. Wallis Budge, pg. 258)