The Wisdom of Love

On one occasion when Abba John and the brethren who were with him were going up from Scete, he who was guiding them lost the way, and the brethren said unto Abba John, “What shall we do father? For this brother has lost the way, and peradventure we shall die in wandering about.”

Abba John said unto them, “If you tell him he will be grieved and feel ashamed. But behold I will feign to be sick, and will say that I am not able to go on any further.”  The brethren said, “Well said, Father.”

And they acted thus, and decided that they would stay where they were until the morning, rather than rebuke the brother who was guiding them.

(Adapted from E. Wallis Budge, The Paradise of the Holy Fathers, pg. 260)