Friday, March 13, 2009

An Open Door

Archbishop Theophilus of blessed memory once came with a certain judge to see Arsenius. The archbishop questioned Arsenius, wanting to hear some wisdom from him.

For a while, the hermit was silent, and then he replied, "If I tell you something, will you do it?"

They promised that they would so he said to them, "Wherever you hear Arsenius is, do not go there."

Another time the archbishop wanted to see him, and sent a message first to ask if he would open the door to him.

Arsenius sent a message back, saying, "If you come here, I will open the door to you. But if I have opened the door to you, I must open it to all, and then I shall no longer be able to live here."

When he heard this, the archbishop said, "Since my visit upsets him, I will not go to see the holy man again."

~~The Open Door, Salt print from a calotype negative, April 1844 by William Henry Fox Talbot