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PROPHECIES by Abba Pambo (Speaking to One of His Disciples)
An Egyptian ascetic on the Nitrian mountain, Abba Pambo was a contemporary of St. Anthony the Great and himself great in monastic asceticism. Born about A.D. 303, he was one of the first to join Amoun in Nitria. He was illiterate until he was taught the Scriptures as a monk and ordained priest in 340. He had two characteristics by which he was especially known; by long training, he sealed his lips, so that no unnecessary word passed them, and he never ate any bread other than that which he gained by his own labour, plaiting rushes. He was like an angel of God and, in old age, his face shone as did the face of Moses in ancient times, so that the monks could not look on it. He did not give a quick answer even to a simple question, without prayer and pondering in his heart.
This wonderful saint had clear discernment into the destiny of the living and the dead. He entered into rest in the Lord in the year 374. His feasday in July 18.
“And I tell you this, my son, that the time will come when the Christians will add and will take away and will alter the Holy Scriptures and of the Holy Apostles, and of the Divine Prophets, and of the Holy Fathers. They will tone down the Holy Scriptures and will compose troparia, hymns, and writings technologically. Their souls will be spilled out among them, and will become alienated from its Heavenly Prototype.
“And for this reason the Holy Fathers had previously encouraged the monks of the desert to write down the lives of the Fathers not onto parchment, but onto paper, because the coming generation will change them according to their personal tastes. So you see, the evil that comes will be horrible.”
Then the disciple said: “So, Abba, are the traditions and practices of Christians going to be changed? Maybe there will not exist enough priests in the Church when these unfortunate times come?”
Then Abba went on: “In those times, God’s love in most souls will grow cold (cf. Mt. 24:12), and there will be great sorrow in the world. One nation shall face-off against another. The peoples will move from their places. Rulers will be confused, the clergy will be thrown into anarchy, and the monks will be inclined more to negligence.
“The church leaders will consider useless anything concerned with salvation, as much for their own souls as for the souls of their flocks, and they will despise any such concern. All people will show eagerness and energy for every matter regarding their dining table and their appetites. They will be lazy in the prayers and casual in their criticisms.
“As for the lives and teachings of the Holy
Fathers, they will not have any interest to imitate them, nor even to hear them.
But rather they will complain and say that if we had lived in those times, then
we’d have behaved like that.
“And the Bishops shall give way to the powerful of the world. They will give answers on different matters only after taking gifts from everywhere and consulting the rational logic of the academics.
“The poor man’s rights will not be defended; they will afflict widows and harass orphans. Debauchery will permeate these people. Most people will not believe in God, they will hate among themselves, and they will interweave as if the beasts will steal each other, and they will be drunk and walk as blind.”
The disciple again asked: “What can we do in such a state?”
And Saint Pambo answered: “My child, in these times whoever will save his soul and prompt others to be saved will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Mt 5:19)”
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