Abba Isidore said, "If you fast regularly, do not be inflated with pride; if you think highly of yourself because of it, then you had better eat meat. It is better for a man to eat meat than to be inflated with pride and glorify himself."
When I first read this, I wondered what was it doing in the section on silence. Surely it's about food and an attitude toward eating, is it not? The more I read it though, I think I begin have a glimmer of understanding. Please feel free to disagree with me.
When one is busy thinking highly of one's self, one is not silent, is one? This Saying speaks to us of how deeply the Desert Christians valued silence even unto silence of thought. The Desert Christians valued fasting highly, so highly that I suspect many were what we today would call anorexic. They really went overboard with their fasting, it was so important to them. But in this Saying we learn that silence and humility were even more important.
That's what I get out of it. What are your thoughts. please?