Deir Mar Jirys - CHOZIBA


(George) had a small balcony-like cell (ejxwvsth"), three feet or less in length, where he would perform the divine office and the psalmody. Now, one night, when the heat was very intense, the Enemy of our life, wishing to induce him to neglect his duty by omitting the canonical office, stood on the edge of the roof in the shape of a gigantic eagle of a man’s height, and spreading out its wings blocked the stream of air. Seeing it, the Elder at first marvelled at the enormous size of the bird; but as soon as he perceived that it was a trick of the Hater of good, he started to strike at the eagle. Then (the eagle) crashed down over the cliff, making a great din and crying out in a piteous voice: and, thus wailing, it disappeared as though it were smoke.

In the vestibule of (George’s) cell there was an old earthen jar, left by the people who had lived there before him. A swarm of bees had come to dwell in it, and the bees did their work (of producing honey). One day (George) was strongly importuned by this thought: Gather the honey and turn the jar of the bees to your own use! But he lifted (the jar) up and hurled it down the ravine, in order to throw down the precipice the temptation together with the jar; and at once he felt relief from his distress.

(transl. Leah Di Segni)

George fights off temptation in the shape of an eagle and a beehive full of honey.