A nun who was very concerned that life in her monastery should be perfectly ordered came to her spiritual father in exasperation and said, ‘Sister so-and-so is disrupting the whole monastery with her problems and her character. We simply can’t endure her.’ Her elder replied, ‘You are worse than she is.’ To begin with, the nun was taken aback and protested, but after her elder explained things to her she understood what he meant and was very pleased.
What her elder said was, ‘The evil spirit that takes hold of the other nun and causes her to behave badly takes hold of you, too, even though you think you are in a better state, and it makes a mockery of you both. The other nun gets into the state she does without wishing to, but you, with your over-reaction and lack of love, do exactly the same. In that way, you do no good to your sister and you yourself are harmed.’