Sunday, February 1, 2009

Three Bodily Inclinations

Antony said, "I think the body has a natural movement within itself, which obeys the orders of the mind, a kind of inclination of which the body's actions are only symptoms. There is a second movement in the body, caused by eating and drinking, by which the blood is heated and excited. That is why Saint Paul said, 'Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess' (Ephesians 5:18), and again the Lord commanded his disciples in the Gospel, 'See that your hearts are not overcharged with surfeiting and drunkeness' (Luke 21:34). There is a third movement which comes from the deceit and envy of demons against those who are trying to live a good life. It is a help to know that there are three bodily inclinations ~ from nature, from too much food, and from the demons."

~~One of three small panels on Saint Anthony by Italian painter Bernardo Parentino (ca.1437-1531). This is the third and most disturbing scene, which shows the Saint being subjected to a beating and ill-treatment by the devils, who appear in the most monstrous forms, with the intention of incarnating the vices, which, under animal disguises, try to attack the virtuous man; one of these is in the act of tearing up a book of prayer and perhaps the Rule of the Anchorite.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very disturbing yet beautiful piece. Are St. Anthony in the artwork and Antony one in the same?