Relax Your Efforts

August 28, 2015 | A Word From the Desert

Monks resting

The Desert Fathers lived a life of continual ‘striving’, but not of taut effort the whole time.

It was said of Antony that one day he was relaxing with the brothers outside the cell when a hunter came by and rebuked him. Antony said, “Bend your bow and shoot an
arrow”, and he did so. “Bend it again and shoot another”, and he did – and again and

Monk with arrows The hunter said, “Father, if I keep my bow always stretched it will break.”

“So it is with the monk”, replied Antony; “if we push ourselves beyond measure we will break; it is right for us from time to time to relax our efforts.”

Sayings of the Desert Fathers
Artwork: Phyllis Nicoll