maple seed

Saint Anthony of the Desert, one of the early monastics, grew up in a wealthy family. After his parents died, he heeded Matthew 19:21: “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven.” That is what he did. He sold his family’s property. He went into the desert. He did not want acolytes. He had them anyway. They saw his holiness, which followed from his going out into nature, because that going out into nature was a meaningful sacrifice for Christ.

To live in nature and outside of civilization is to be on the precipice of death.