Rowan Williams on St. Antony

antony.jpgAntony, the founding father of the monastic movement, is alleged to have said: “A time is coming when men will go mad, and when thy see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, ‘You are mad, you are not like us.'” As a statement of the intractable oddity of monasticism, that cannot be improved upon. The world and the church are mad when they circumscribe human possibilities of serving God; it is left for the ironic sanity of the monk or nun to demonstrate – at some personal cost – that God’s call is a far stranger thing than any human social definitions might allow.

-from “Acrobats and Jugglers,” in The Wound of Knowledge, p. 103

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