A brother asked a hermit, ‘Suppose there are two monks: one stays quietly in his cell, fasting for six days at a time, laying many hardships on himself – and the other ministers to the sick. Which of them is more pleasing to God?’ He replied, ‘Even if the brother who fasts six days hung himself up by his nose, he wouldn’t be the equal of him who ministers to the sick.’

– Sayings of the Desert Fathers

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