Thursday, January 17, 2008

seeing St Anthony

It's St Anthony's day today, remembered as the one of the key figures in the development of desert monasticism. Revered as 'Anthony the Great', and called 'the Father of monks', he has always been held in high esteem by monastic communities. Here's an affectionate story from 'The Sayings of the Desert Fathers':

'Three Fathers used to go and visit blessed Anthony every year and two of them used to discuss their thoughts and the salvation of their souls with him, but the third always remained silent and did not ask him anything. After a long time, Abba Anthony said to him 'You often come here to see me, but you never ask me anything,' and the other replied 'It is enough for me to see you, Father.'

1 comment:

bigdaddystevieB said...

Today's reading in the Neil Paynter/Iona Community's "Growing Hope" talks about this saying of Antony: "When you die and go to your place of judgement, you will not be asked whether you have become another St Paul or St Mary. You will asked whether you have become truly yourself".
I'm looking forward to Pete Owen Jones's programme tomorrow night (Friday) in which he crosses the Egyptian desert and lives for 3 weeks in isolation in a mountain cave overlooking the monastry St Antony founded.