A Reflection on a Saying of a Desert Christian: Abba Anthony 5

“Once Abba Antonios received a letter from Emperor Constantine the Great which requested him to go to Constantinople. He wondered about what to do. So he said to his disciple, Abba Paul: “What do you say? Should I go?” And the Abba answered him: “If you go, you will be called ‘Antonios’; however, if you do not go, ‘Abba Antonios.’”

Sweet anecdote here.  I love how Abba Anthony, to whom so many looked up to and disturbed his solitude with their questions, refers this matter to his disciple.  He was not too humble to ask for a second opinion or a reality check. Makes him an excellent role model.

I also love the disciple’s answer.  If Abba Anthony went, he would just be one among the many hangers-on at court.  If he doesn’t go, he is an example to others not to seek fame, riches, etc.  If he doesn’t go, he remains a monk.


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