Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sayings of St. Anthony

This coming Sunday, I will be preaching on the life and sayings of St. Anthony the Great. In honor of this great saint, I thought I would share a few of my favorite of his sayings. These are quoted from The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (alphabetical collection), translated by Benedicta Ward.

Someone asked Abba Antony, "What must one do in order to please God?" The old man replied, "Pay attention to what I tell you: whoever you may be, always have God before your eyes; whatever you do, do it according to the testimony of the Holy Scriptures; in whatever place you live, do not easily leave it. Keep these three precepts and you will be saved."

Abba Anthony said to Abba Poemen, "This is the great work of a man: always to take blame for his own sins before God and to expect temptation to his last breath."

Abba Pambo asked Abba Anthony, "What ought I to do?" and the old man said to him, "Do not trust in your own righteousness, do not worry about the past, but control your tongue and your stomach."

Abba Anthony said, "I saw the snares that the enemy spreads out over the world and I said groaning, "What can get through from such snares?" Then I heard a voice saying to me, "Humility."

He also said, "Our life and death is with our neighbor. If we gain our brother, we have gained God, but if we scandalize our brother, we have sinned against Christ."

And finally, there is the wonderful saying that the saint is pictured holding in the icon above: I no longer fear God, but I love Him.


charlene said...

Father James,
You saved the best for last.

Katrina said...

Charlene you're right, that last one was the best.

I also like the third one " not worry about the past..." Oh that is such a hard thing to do! (as is the rest of that saying!) It's very hard to let go of the past.

Pray for us Abba Anthony!

Fr. James Early said...

The return of Katrina! Hurray!

My personal favorite is the one about our life being in our brother.