A Ship Laden with Precious Gifts


V.viii.1. Abbot Antony once heard of a young monk who performed a spectacular miracle on the public highway in that when he saw certain old men struggling to walk along on their journey he ordered some wild asses to come and carry them to him. When these old men told abba Antony of this he said, “This young monk seems to me to be like a merchant ship laden with precious gifts, but who knows whether it will ever reach port?” And shortly after he suddenly began to weep and tear his hair out in great distress. “What is the matter, father?” asked his disciples when they saw this. “A great pillar of the church has just fallen” the old man said. He was of course referring to that young monk, and added that they should go to him and see what had happened. So they went and found the young monk sitting on his mat weeping for his sins. When he saw the old man’s disciples he said to them, “Ask the old man to pray to God to give me just ten days of grace in which I hope I may make satisfaction.” And within five days he was dead. End.

From: DE VITIS PATRUM BOOK V, Libellus 8: Do nothing for show 

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