He laid down a rule of continence for himself

From Helen Waddell’s The Desert Fathers – in Fragments From the Paradisus of Palladius (pg 256-7):

A certain Apollonius, that had been a merchant and renounced the world, came to live on Mount Nitria: and since he could learn no art, hindered as he was by weight of years, nor could practice the abstinence laid down in Holy Write, he laid down a rule of continence for himself. For out of his own purse and labour he bought every kind of remedy and food-stuffs in Alexandria, and provided the brethren that were ailing with whatever they needed. You might see him from early morning till the ninth hour traversing up and down through all the monasteries, whether of men or women, in and out of door after door where there were any sick, carrying with him raisins, and pomegranates, and eggs, and fine wheaten flour, especially necessary for the ailing. To such a life for which alone he was adapted, did this servant of Christ devote his old age.

To which can be compared Bhagavad Gita 3.35

Better is one’s own dharma, though imperfectly performed, than the dharma of another well performed. Better is death in the doing of one’s own dharma: the dharma of another is fraught with peril.

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