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Brother Peter Learns His Lesson

A story from the third-century desert monastic movement :

Brother Peter one day left his hut to visit Abba Thomas to tell him that he was tired of working and was going out into the desert to live a life of prayer.

Abba Thomas let him go. Days and nights passed all the while Abba Thomas continued weaving baskets to be sold at market to pay for his daily bread.

Late one evening there was a knock on the door of his hut. "Who's there?" Abba Thomas called out.

"It is I, your brother, Peter."

"I don't have a brother Peter,"  Abba Thomas replied, "Go away."

"Please, Abba Thomas, it is Brother Peter.  I am hungry for there was no food in the desert.  Do not you remember me?"

"Once I had a Brother Peter who went off to the desert to become an angel for he did not need to work for his food.  I have no Brother Peter now he is an angel."

"Please, Abba Thomas, I am sorry.  I will work to eat."

"Come in then and share my bread," said Abba Thomas.