Anthony meets Didymus the blind

218.  At the time when blessed Antony was persuaded by Saint Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, to go into the city to combat heresy, a certain learned man called Didymus visited him who was blind. They talked about many things from the Holy Scriptures and other passages which they had gleaned from holy books. Antony was impressed by his intelligence and quick thinking, and asked him, “Are you not sad that you lack eyes?” He shamefacedly made no answer, until Antony had asked him three times, whereupon he did admit quite simply to being bitter. “I’m surprised,” Antony said, “that such a wise person could lament the loss of something which ants and flies and midges have, rather than rejoicing in something which he shares with saints and apostles. It is much better to see with the spirit than with ordinary eyes, and better to have eyes into which the dust of sin cannot enter, than those which simply by what they see can lead people through concupiscence into the lowest hell.”

De Vitis Patrum Book III, Text # 218

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