VII.xxxviii.1. A brother asked Antony what he should do about his sins, and he replied, “If you want to be liberated from your sins it is weeping and wailing that will effect that liberation. If you want your virtues to be strengthened it is in floods of tears that that strengthening will come. Think of the example of Hezekiah that the prophet Isaiah tells us of. Through his tears he not only regained his sanity, but the power of the Lord, watered by his weeping, promised him fifteen extra years of life (Isaiah 38:5) and brought death to a hundred and eighty-five thousands of the enemy who were attacking him (Isaiah 37:36). Through his tears the Apostle Peter was forgiven by the Lord for his denials. Mary who washed the feet of the Lord with her tears was found worthy to hear that she had chosen the better part (Luke 10.42). So it is that the holy fear of the Lord endures for ever and ever.”

 De Vitis Patrum, Book 7, chapter 38.

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