My Sins Pour Out Behind Me

MonkAbba Moses [one of the desert fathers] hesitated to accept a summons to be part of a council that would pass judgment on a brother who had committed a sin. A delegation approached him insisting that all the others were waiting for him. Reluctantly, he got up and went with them. He took a jug of water that leaked all along the path.

The council came outside to greet him. Puzzled by the water jug, they asked for an explanation. Moses said, “My sins pour out behind me, and I have the audacity to come here today to judge someone else’s errors.”

Hearing this, they forgave the sinful brother and sent him on his way.

About Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Stephen is a priest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present and the Glory to God podcast series.





8 responses to “My Sins Pour Out Behind Me”

  1. fatherstephen Avatar

    Translation is from the volume, By Way of the Desert.

  2. yeamlak fitur Avatar
    yeamlak fitur

    Thank you for this Father. I was told of this story of a bag of full of sand and a hole in it. I love St. Moses and his illuminating works.

    It is Meskerem, Father.

  3. Steve Avatar

    A lovely metaphor Father. I have come across this before. My interpretation back then, was that the pot was purposefully designed with a small crack in it, and for two reasons. Firstly, to allow the water within to give life to the earth; and secondly so the pot could say to the Potter, “please show me the source of all waters.”

  4. Anna Avatar


    Fr. Stephen, our priest is Fr. Michael Gillis from Langley, B.C. He just posted on his blog, If you have time, could you read the latest post. I found it helpful for me and perhaps other readers would as well, especially those who find that Orthodoxy looks a little work-based or rule-based…


  5. mary Avatar

    fr.john our priest at the protection of the virgin mary,gave a beautiful sermon last sunday on forgiveness.we like the Lord should forgive our brothers and sisters sins70x7 also.which means to always forgive. just this week,i was tested on this. mother teresa(this week is the 12 year of her entering the kingdom of God)said this when living on this earth:God will never give me more than i can bear,i just wish He wouldn’t trust me so much! i feel the same way at times. mary

  6. […] How to avoid the lap of the Pharisees […]

  7. […] My Sins Pour Out Behind Me Abba Moses [one of the desert fathers] hesitated to accept a summons to be part of a council that would pass judgment […] […]

  8. Xenia Avatar

    What a beautiful exhale into humility.

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