Thursday, January 17, 2008
The desert was good for Anthony
From The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, The Alphabetical Collection, page 1-2:
Anthony the Great, called 'The Father of Monks', was born in central Egypt about A.D. 251, the son of peasant farmers who were Christian. In c. 269 he heard the Gospel read in church and applied to himself the words: 'Go, sell all that you have and give to the poor and come . . . .'
He devoted himself to a life of asceticism under the guidance of a recluse near his village. In c. 285 he went alone into the desert to live in complete solitude. His reputation attracted followers, who settled near him, and in c. 305 he came out of his hermitage in order to act as their spiritual father.
Five years later he again retired into solitude. He visited Alexandria at least twice, once during the persecution of Christians and again to support the Bishop Athanasius against heresy.
He died at the age of one hundred and five. His life was written by Saint Athanasius and was very influential in spreading the ideals of monasticism throughout the Christian World.
"Saying" No. 2: When the same Abba Anthony thought about the depth of the judgements of God, he asked, 'Lord, how is it that some die when they are young, while others drag on to extreme old age? Why are there those who are poor and those who are rich? Why do wicked men prosper and why are the just in need?' He heard a voice answering him, 'Anthony, keep your attention on yourself; these things are according to the judgement of God, and it is not to your advantage to know anything about them.'
So, on this his feast day, we remember that Anthony lived to be a hundred and five. The desert was good for Anthony, and Anthony was good for the desert.
The Rev. Linda McCloud
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek
Posted by Linda McCloud+ at 6:00 AM