When the holy Abba Anthony lived in the desert, he was beset by accidie, and attacked by many sinful thoughts. He said to God, 'Lord, I want to be saved, but these thoughts will not leave me alone. What shall I do in my affliction? How can I be saved?'
A short while afterwards, when he got up to go out, Anthony saw someone like himself sitting at his work, getting up from his work to pray, then sitting down and plaiting a rope, then getting up again to prayer.
It was an angel of the Lord sent to correct and reassure him. He heard the angel saying to him, 'Do this and you will be saved.' At these words, Anthony was filled with joy and courage. He did this, and he was saved.