Saturday, February 07, 2009

As Taut as a Bow, from "Wisdom of the Desert" blog

...just brilliant!...

As Taut as a Bow, from "Wisdom of the Desert" blog

Some brothers came to Antony to tell him their dreams and to find out whether they were true or whether they were illusions of the demons. They had set out with a donkey which had died on the journey. When they reached Antony, before they told him anything, he said, "Why did your donkey die on the journey?"

They said, "How did you know that, Abba?"

He said, "The demons showed it to me."

They said to him, "That is just what we have come to consult you about. We, too, have dreams which have often come true; and we do not want to be misled about this." Antony had answered them by taking his example from the donkey, showing them that such dreams are caused by demons.

A hunter happened to come by and saw Antony talking in a relaxed way with the brothers, and he was shocked. Antony wanted to show the hunter how we should sometimes be less austere for the sake of the brothers, and said to him, "Put an arrow in your bow and draw it."

He did so, and Antony said, "Draw it further," and he drew it further. He said again, "Draw it yet further," and he drew it some more.

Then the hunter said to him, "If I draw it too far, the bow will snap."

Antony answered, "So it is with God's work. If we always go to excess, the brothers quickly become exhausted. It is sometimes best not to be rigid."

The hunter was ashamed when he heard this, and profited much from it. The brothers were encouraged and went home.

~~Sculpture by Ulysse Gemignani (German 1907-1973) "Hercules, Greek Archer" Circa 1930,

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