Saturday, May 08, 2010

It is said some of the early monks hated fame and praise more than anything.

"The monks praised a brother to Antony.  Antony went to him and tested him to see if he could endure being insulted.  When he saw that he could not bear it, he said to him, 'You are like a house with a highly decorated outside, but burglars have stolen all the furniture by the back door.'" - The Desert Fathers
Art:  St. Anthony of Egypt beaten by demons. 


  1. Oh, dear Jesus, does that ever describe this poor monastic priest...instead of insults, I look for the vain praise...
    May the good Lord give me the grace to rejoice when people insult me, calumniate me, hate me, for the sake of Him (not for my own sins, because then I should be ashamed and I deserve even more punishment).
    Please pray for a priest friend, a man with "demons", who is being absolutely crucified in the press for past sins, indiscretions...he committed no crime, I believe, but he is being "outed" in the media...shame on the people who disclosed his sins...shame on those who attack him (he may, in fact, have repented).
    It is a disgrace upon the priesthood, the Church, the ones he may have sinned against...but he is still a priest of God...the ones I am most concerned about are the money-hungry S.O.B.'s that are looking for cash in this "outing"...

  2. Austringer8:59 AM

    Father, I will pray for your priest friend: innocent or guilty, he deserves respect and prayers. We are all sinners, and all of us need mercy...

    You do say, "shame on the people who disclosed his sins" -- sometimes, the press has been the only avenue left for people. I think it's safe to say that while most of the press is no friend of the Church and only too happy to print news that is detrimental to Her, it is only because of the public discosure of sins that anything has been done. This is not to say that your friend is guilty, mind you...I am speaking generally here.
    God bless you, Father!

  3. I post about these things because I'm guilty of them.

    I'll pray for your priest friend.

  4. I think there are opportunities where genuine praise and encouragement is very helpful. They help brighten someone's day, especially if it may be the only nice thing they DO hear all day. We all praise children when they do good on a test or practice their letters or got a recognition. No one likes to have their face pushed in the mud ALL the time..

    I know in my job I ofen get discouraged when it seems like I am working very hard and receiving very little recognition from my boss or management...the snarky attitude is "You should be thankful you even have a job, especially in this economy." I find my fulfilment in other ways...the priden ina job well done and that the stuff I do for our servicemen DOES make a difference....may even keep some of them alive..

    Peace.. Sara

  5. Incidently--concerning art..

    We had a reading in my art appreciation class on a piece featured in one of Mr Terry's pervious postings on Monday 29 March 2010..

    Art: Jan van Eyck, The Arnolfini Marriage.

    Discussed various different interpretations of the symbology of the setting of the painting...the major cool thing in this (at least to me) is that there are people reflected in the mirror in the very Da Vinci :)

    I'm going to be corrupted for life. :)

    On the opposite end of the spectrum--my homework this weekend is to write an essay on Tilted Arc by Richard Serra--is it art?? And the controversy as to why it was dismantled..

    Fun fun fun :)


  6. Austringer and Terry: Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
    I am just sick about this...on all levels...I don't know for certain what happened, but if this poor priest wrote in confidence to another priest, and he, in turn, gave these letters to a third party, who made them public...that is just wrong.
    The poor priest needs our prayers and compassion (these letters were written in the 1980's when all kinds of everything were going on...believe me...I saw it first-hand at a very famous monastery...just sickening)...but to make this public?
    Good grief!

  7. Austringer10:30 PM

    Ahhh...thank you for the explanation, Father. That does sound like a serious, reprehensible betrayal of your friend.

    My comments earler were based on the "usual model', if I might call it that, where lay people go to the press with their complaints (sometimes because they chancery won't take any action).

    I will continue to pray for your friend -- in particular, I will start a novena to St. Thomas More and to St. John Vianney for him.

  8. Austinger: Many thanks.
    I am not certain of what happened here; this priest, through his attorney, said that these letters were authentic...I'm just sick about this; he has been, and is, a friend; he clothed me with the chasuble at my ordination.
    I do love him so much...I'm just so shocked at these "revelations" and that he has been betrayed by the priest who gave these letters to another party, and they, in turn, made them public.
    I am in no way condoning what he did;
    this is just so awfully horrible for me to fathom.
    I know this goes on/has gone on/but's very hard to take.

  9. This is also why they, for the most part, didn't want to become bishops or priests; they feared it would bring them out of their simple life, that if someone held such honors, it would be a thing which made them no longer equals at the monastery.

  10. Thanks Henry. Don't you love the desert fathers though? Next to the New Testament and psalms - their sayings are my favorite.

  11. Indeed.The Desert Fathers are a treasure!

    Not only do I love them, when I was chrismated, I chose St Antony to be my patron saint. I've always wanted to make sure his spirituality and experience influenced my own development. Sometimes, I even find out connections between him and I that I didn't expect.

    If I ever could get myself to do it, I have two movie scripts I want to do. One is of the life of St Anthony, which would include scenes that made the Exorcist look like child's play, and one on the life of St Moses the Ethiopian. I think St Moses might be easier to write; there is more to build up on my knowledge of St Anthony (he taught many monks and had many disciples, but St Athanasius doesn't talk much about that, so I have to trace the stories of his disciples and find out what they say about Anthony).

  12. Henry - I like the idea of your movie scripts - have you ever seen Bunuel's Simon of the Desert? I have watched it a couple of times in the last week - it is very good.


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