Thursday, January 17, 2008

St. Anthony and the Silver Dish

For the feast of St. Anthony the Great:

And yet again the enemy seeing his zeal and wishing to hinder it, cast in his way what seemed to be a great silver dish. But Antony, seeing the guile of the Evil One, stood, and having looked on the dish, he put the devil in it to shame, saying, 'Whence comes a dish in the desert? This road is not well-worn, nor is there here a trace of any wayfarer; it could not have fallen without being missed on account of its size; and he who had lost it having turned back, to seek it, would have found it, for it is a desert place. This is some wile of the devil. O thou Evil One, not with this shall you hinder my purpose; let it go with you to destruction.' And when Antony had said this it vanished like smoke from the face of fire.

From St. Athanasius's Life of Anthony, one of the great spiritual classics. This is one of several interesting stories the work; it makes one wonder, what are our silver dishes in the desert?