A Reflection on a Saying of a Desert Christian: Anthony of Egypt

Abba Antonios said: “The time is coming when people will be seized by manias and will behave like madmen. And if they see anyone acting reasonably, they will rise up against him saying: ‘You are insane.’ And they will have accurately said this to him, for he will not be like them.”

I feel most definitely that I am not like them as I see the examples of people seized by manias and acting like mad people. How tempting it is to join them because wouldn’t that be so much easier than to do the hard work of confronting all that is within me that keeps me from a fuller experience of the presence of Christ? On the other hand, isn’t it worth it to know Christ, to love God with every fiber of my being and to love my neighbor as myself. Yes, very hard work, but anything else is a passive-aggressive existence and I don’t wish that on anyone, let alone myself. The truth, no matter how much it hurts to come out of denial and face it, will always set us free into a gloriously liberated life in Christ.


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