A brother went to Abba Pimen once and told him:
– Abba, I have many thoughts and put myself in peril because of them.
The elder took him outside and told him:
– Stretch out your arm and keep the wind away.
The brother said:
– I cannot do that.
The elder told him:
– If you cannot do that, neither will you be able to stop thoughts from coming into your mind. But standing strong before them is another thing.
They brought a bunch of grapes to Abba Macarius once. However, although he liked grapes, the Abba refrained from eating it and sent it to a brother who was ill and who felt a great need to eat grapes. Upon seeing the grapes, that brother rejoiced but since he didn’t want to succumb to his lust, either, he sent them to another brother, whilst commenting that he felt no need to eat them. That third brother did the same and thus the grapes were passed down from hand to hand, without any of the brethern eating them. The last brother, unaware that the grapes were coming from Abba Macarius, gave them to him as a great gift. And upon recognising them, the Abba marvelled at his brethern’s restrain.