Jacques Maritain Center
Desert Answers

How the abbot Ammon hid a brothe's sin, but warned him of his danger.

Once the abbot Ammon came to a certain Place to eat bread with a brother who bore an evil reputation. Now it happened that a woman had gone into this brother's cell. The inhabitants of the place were aware of it, and gathered together in great wrath to expel that brother from his cell. Hearing that Ammon was present, they asked him to go with them. As soon as the brother saw them coming, he hid the woman whom he had received in a large chest. When the crowd arrived at his cell, the abbot Ammon guessed what he had done, but for God's sake he concealed it. He entered the cell, sat down on the chest, and then bid them search. When they had looked everywhere and not found the woman, the abbot Ammon said to them, "Where now are your suspicions? God grant you pardon for them." Then he prayed with them, and bid them depart After they were all gone, he took the brother by the hand and said, "My brother, beware." So saying, he departed.

-- Wisdom of the Desert

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