Sunday, July 30, 2006

Desert Wisdom II

A hunter in the desert saw Abba Anthony enjoying himself with the brethren and he was shocked.

Wanting to show him that it was necessary sometimes to meet the needs of the brethren, the old man said to him, 'Put an arrow in your bow and shoot it.'
So he did.

The old man then said, 'Shoot another,' and he did so.

Then the old man said, 'Shoot yet again,' and the hunter replied
'If I bend my bow so much I will break it.'
Then the old man said to him, 'It is the same with the work of God. If we stretch the brethren beyond measure they will soon break. Somtimes it is necessary to come down to meet their needs.'

When he heard these words the hunter was pierced by compunction and, greatly edified by the old man, he went away.

As for the brethren, they went home strengthened.
How much is there to say about this?
It is quite simple: even hermits in the fourth century need holidays. And if they do, so do we, living with our taught, tense and 'highly strung' life-styles.

Let us listen and learn so that through rest we too may be strengthened.


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