Today is the feast day of St. Makarios of Egypt. Since it's largely to him I owe my conversion to Holy Orthodoxy, in his honor and with gratitude to him and to God, I pass on to you this, posted by Christopher Haas in his blog, "Word from the Desert".
They said of Abba Macarius the Egyptian that one day he went up from Scetis to the mountain of Nitria. As he approached the place he told his disciple to go on ahead. When the latter had gone on ahead, he met a priest of the pagans. The brother shouted after him saying, "Oh, oh, devil, where are you off to?" The priest turned back and beat him and left him half dead. Then picking up his stick, he fled. When he had gone a little further, Abba Macarius met the pagan priest running and said to him, "Greetings! Greetings, you weary man!" Quite astonished, the other came up to him and said, "What good do you see in me, that you greet me in this way?" The old man said to him, "I have seen you wearing yourself out without knowing that you are wearing yourself out in vain." The other said to him, "I have been touched by your greeting, and I realize that you are on God's side. But another wicked monk who met me insulted me and I have given him blows enough for him to die of them." The old man realized that he was referring to his disciple. Then the pagan priest fell at the feet of Macarius and said, "I will not let you go till you have made me a monk." When they came to the place where the brother was, they put him onto their shoulders and carried him to the church in the mountain. When the people saw the priest with Macarius, they were astonished and made him a monk. Through him many pagans became Christians. So Abba Macarius said, "One evil word makes even the good evil, while one good word makes even the evil good."
St. Macarius the Egyptian, commemorated 19 January