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 The passions of my soul

One day, a long long time ago ago, abba Poemen was visited by a dignitary, who was most anxious to discuss his troubled soul and receive the monk's advice.  But as soon as the visitor started talking, the abba averted his gaze and refused to speak to him. 

Confused and distraught, the visitor left the room and asked one of the holy man's followers what was going on -- why did the abba ignore him?  The disciple spoke to abba Poemen, who explained, "He is from above and speaks of heavenly things, but I am of the earth and speak about earthly things.  If he had spoken to me about the passions of his soul, then I should have answered him. But if he speaks about spiritual things, I know nothing of them."

Fortified with this knowledge, the dignitary tried again, beginning with the question, "What shall I do, abba, I am dominated by the passions of my soul?"  And abba Poemen replied, "Now you are speaking rightly."