When Saint Antony the Great was in the desert, he once fell into inactivity and dormancy and great confusion of his thoughts and said to God: “Lord, I want to be saved, but my thoughts won’t let me. What shall I do with this affliction? How can I be saved?” So, one time he went out of his hut and he saw someone like himself sitting and doing handiwork. After a while he would put down his handiwork, stand up and pray, and again he would sit down and continue to work. Then he would again get up to pray. It was an angel of the Lord who had been sent to correct Antony and give him assurance, and he heard the angel say to him: “Do the same and you will be saved.” And when Saint Antony heard this, he was filled with great joy and courage. And so doing, he went on with the work of his salvation.
From the Gerontikon
Translated by Dr. Nick Stergiou