A Healthy Soul

VII.xl.1. A brother had a question for the holy Antony:
“God promises a healthy soul as a return for study of the Scriptures; how is it then that the soul does not make up its mind to stay healthy, but falls off into short-lived pleasures, second rate satisfactions and even evil?”
He replied, “The Psalmist answers this by saying ‘If I have entertained wickedness in my heart God will nor hear me’ (Ps. 66:18). You don’t seem to be aware that when the belly is full of food, great vices flourish, as our Saviour foretold in the Gospels: ‘It is not what goes into anyone which causes defilement to the soul but it is what comes out of the heart that drags people to destruction.’ (Matt 15:18). See what he says next – ‘evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication, theft, false witness and blasphemies.’ So if anyone has not tasted the sweetness of heaven and is not following God with a whole heart he will turn back to evil things. Who is it who can truly say, ‘I am become as a beast of burden before you, and I am always with you.’?” (Ps. 73:22)

De Vitis Patrum, Book 7, chapter 40

This entry was posted in Abba Anthony and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.