here is some good advice for life from a desert mother:
Amma Theodora said, 'Let us strive to enter by the narrow gate, Just as the
trees, if they have not stood before the winter's storms cannot bear fruit, so
it is with us; this present age is a storm and it is only through many trials
and temptations that we can obtain an inheritance in the kingdom of heaven.'
The same amma said that a teacher ought to be a stranger to the desire for
domination, vain-glory, and pride; one should not be able to fool him by
flattery, nor blind him by gifts, nor conquer him by the stomach, nor
dominate him by anger; but he should be patient, gentle and humble as
far as possible; he must be tested and without partisanship, full of concern,
and a lover of souls.
She also said that neither asceticism, nor vigils nor any kind of suffering
are able to save, only true humility can do that. There was an anchorite who
was able to banish the demons; and he asked them, 'What makes you go away?'
'Is it fasting?' They replied, 'We do not eat or drink.' 'Is it vigils?' They
replied, 'We do not sleep.' 'Is it separation from the world?' 'We live in the
deserts.' 'What power sends you away then?' They said, 'Nothing can overcome
us, but only humility.' 'Do you see how humility is victorious over the
(it's better than i could write!)