San Antonio Abad

En su juventud, Antonio, que era egipcio e hijo de acaudalados campesinos, se sintió conmovido por las palabras de Jesús, que le llegaron en el marco de una celebración eucarística: “Si quieres ser perfecto, ve y vende todo lo que tienes y dalo a los pobres…”.

Llevó inicialmente vida apartada en su propia aldea, pero pronto se marchó al desierto, adiestrándose en las prácticas eremíticas junto a un cierto Pablo, anciano experto en la vida solitaria.

La presencia de Antonio entre los abandonados sepulcros era un claro mentís a tales supersticiones y proclamaba, a su manera, el triunfo de la resurrección. Todo -aún los lugares que más espantan a la naturaleza humana – es de Dios, que en Cristo lo ha redimido todo; la fe descubre siempre nuevas fronteras donde extender la salvación.

Pronto la fama de su ascetismo se propagó y se le unieron muchos fervorosos imitadores, a los que organizó en comunidades de oración y trabajo. Dejando sin embargo esta exitosa obra, se retiró a una soledad más estricta en pos de una caravana de beduinos que se internaba en el desierto.

No sin nuevos esfuerzos y desprendimientos personales, alcanzó la cumbre de sus dones carismáticos, logrando conciliar el ideal de la vida solitaria con la dirección de un monasterio cercano, e incluso viajando a Alejandría para terciar en las interminables controversias arriano-católicas que signaron su siglo.

3 comentarios en “San Antonio Abad”

  1. I wasn’t having much luck in northeast Utah, prospecting for silver on the mountainous land I had recently inherited from my grandfather Amos Danbury. I’m Ronald Danbury Jr. and most of my life I’ve hated being called ‘Junior’. I’m my own man, not just a younger version of my father.

    I found a cave behind a mound of rock that must have fallen thousands of years in the past. After an hour of digging enough of a tunnel to enter the large cavern, I found the remains of a tribe that had perished many centuries before, apparently after being entombed when the entrance collapsed. I shined my flashlight and headlamp around investigating.

    There were thousands of bones! Many were from animals I recognized, mountain goat, deer, fish, even half a bison skeleton. The hundreds and hundreds of human bones still laid in the positions they had died in.

    I saw a dozen or so simple clay bowls and pots and two large clay jars. I also found four large stone spear points, a few dozen arrow heads, one end of a bow with most of its string gone, and a few bits of leather from their clothing. The rest had decayed away or been eaten by bugs.

    I could tell they had been seven adult women, fifteen or so children, and one adult male. He was sitting against the wall in a corner, the only one who hadn’t died laying down. He was quite short, but the bones showed he once had huge shoulder and thigh muscles. At six feet even I was close to a foot taller, but I’d never want to wrestle him.

    Laying on the ground near the bones of the male was a large, curved tooth with some markings on it. I thought it was probably from a Smilodon, a saber-toothed cat. I felt the urge to touch it and picked it up. I suddenly felt stronger and more confident.

    I stared at the markings scratched into the sides, and somehow knew they meant ‘Power’ and ‘Dominance’. I held it in my hand, feeling a smile develop on my face. I stared at it a long time and felt better than I had in years. I set the tooth back on the ground and felt timid and weak, a sad precursor to what I might become. I quickly picked it up and felt great again.

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