|Saint Moses: His struggle and His Victory in Monastic Life|
His struggle and His Victory in Monastic Life
The training in fasting and prayer:
As St. Moses was constant in fasting, prayer and mediation, the devil of sin brought to his memory the evil old habits, adorning them for him, after his soul had been enlightened and he returned to the knowledge of God. As these evil thoughts became stronger, he went to St. Isidorus and told him about the fight of the flesh that was rising up against him. He comforted him saying, "Do not grieve while you still are at the beginning of the trials. The winds of tribulation will be coming for a long time, you soul will be anxious, but do not fear and do not be disturbed. If you persevere in fasting, in watching and in disdaining the falsehoods of this age, you will triumph over the lusts of the flesh." Moses benefited from the words of St. Isidorus. He returned to his solitary cell to practice many ways to deaden the body; he ate some bread only once in the whole day, and he persevered in prayer and in manual labor.
The service to others and the escape from leisure:
It was difficult to bring water to the cells, for it necessitated walking a long distance. Moses the Strong took this opportunity to train himself in deeds of love. He went out at night, passed by the Elders' cells, took their jars and filled them with water. When the devil saw these deeds, he could not endure them, so he left him until some days later he came to the well to fill the jars, and he beat him savagely, breaking his bones, until he fell to the ground as a dead person. Some of the brethren then came, carried him and took him to the church. The Divine Liturgy was celebrated for three days until his soul came back to him.
Contrition before God and the need for not depending upon our piety and our strength:
Father Moses increased in piety and in the struggle with himself to a great extent; but in spite of these desperate measures, the vigilance and the defeat of the self, he could not avoid imagining the lustful ghosts that were intensified as his struggle increased. His additional abstentions were probably without the permission of his spiritual mentor, for when he went to him to complain about his situation, he said to him, "My son, stop fighting the devils for the human being's strength has its limits. However, if God does not have mercy upon you and He alone gives victory over them, you will never overpower them. Go now and submit yourself to God with repentance before Him. Persevere in humility, He will have mercy upon you." Moses answered, "I trust in God in whom I have placed all my hope that I be constantly armed against the devils, and never stop fighting them until they depart from me." When St. Isidorus saw this faith in him, he said, "And I also believe in my Lord Jesus Christ, and in the name of Jesus Christ, from this moment the devils will stop fighting you." He added, "Go to the Holy church and partake of the Holy Sacraments." St. Moses continued to do as the Elder had said with perseverance, and God gave him a great blessing, humility and serenity. The power of thought came upon him, and from that moment Moses lived in peace and grew in wisdom.