Reflections on the Orthodox faith and life in this crazy 21st century world by an Orthodox priest and a few of his friends.
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.