The painting (David Teniers?) depicts Saint Anthony of Egypt and Saint Paul the Hermit deep in conversation about monastic observance.
I’m reading the autobiographical memoirs of Father Michael O’Carroll, C.SS.P. during my meals. Today, I came upon this exchange between Archbishop John Charles McQuaid and Father O’Carroll:
Father O’Carroll: Well, Your Grace, if you want my honest opinion, I would prefer to hear some Protestants speaking about our religion than certain Catholic priests. I would certainly prefer Malcolm Muggeridge to some of them.
Archbishop McQuaid: Oh, I would agree with you, Father. Did you read his review in last Sunday’s Observor of a new history of monasticism? I learned the last sentence by heart. I shall quote it: “The early monastic founders asked everything of their followers and they got everything; the moderns ask little and they get nothing.”