VI.iv.11. Some brothers said to Abba Antony, “Give us a word of salvation”.
And the old man said, “Look, you’ve got the Scriptures. Listen to them. What more do you need?”
But they said, “We want to hear what you have got to say, father.”
The old man replied, “Hear what the Lord says, ‘If anyone strikes you on the left cheek offer him the other” (Matthew 5.39).
They said, “We wouldn’t be able to do that.”
He said, “If you couldn’t offer them the other cheek, at least take the first blow patiently.”
They replied, “We couldn’t do that either.”
He said, “If you couldn’t do that either, just be more willing to be struck than to strike.”
They replied, “Nor that, either.”
Then Antony said to his disciple, “Prepare some nourishing soup for these brothers, for they are very weak.”
And to them he said, “If you can’t do either this or that what can I do for you? Prayer alone is what you need.”
De Vitis Patrum, Book VI, Libellus VI