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St. Abba Dorotheos of Gaza“A certain Elder was with his disciples in a place were there were cypresses — some small and some large.  The Elder said to one of his disciples: ‘Uproot this cypress.’  It was a very small tree, and the brother uprooted it with just one hand.  The Elder then pointed out another one, a little larger than the first, and said to him: ‘Cut down this one as well.’  He managed to move it with both hands, and he rooted it out.  Again the Elder showed him another, still larger.  He uprooted this one as well, but with more difficulty.  He saw another larger one.  The brother shook it many times, toiled and sweated, but he managed to uproot this one too.  The Elder showed him a very large one, and – in spite of the fact that he toiled and sweated a great deal – he could not uproot it.  When the Elder saw that he did not have enough strength to do it, he asked another brother to get up and help him; and thus, the two of them uprooted it.  The Elder then said to the brothers: It is the same with the passions, brethren.   We can easily uproot them, while they are young, if we so desire.  But if we neglect them as insignificant, they harden; and, as they do so, cause greater pain.  If they become rooted in us, then we cannot dig them out – even with great effort – unless we have the aid of certain saints, who – after God – will help us.”

St. Abba Dorotheos of GazaOn Taking Care to Cut off  Passions Quickly, before the Soul becomes Accustomed to them