Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

Tag Archive for ‘Anthony’

Renouncing the World

A brother renounced the world and gave his goods to the poor, but he kept back a little for his personal expenses. He went to see Abba Anthony. When he told him this, the old man said to him, ‘If you want to be a monk, go into the village, buy some meat, cover your […]

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Temptation of St. Anthony

We know about St. Anthony from a biography written by St. Athanasius called Life of St. Anthony. It says that when people would visit St. Anthony at his desert home, “they heard tumults, many voices, and, as it were, the clash of arms. At night they saw the mountain become full of wild beasts, and him […]

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The Delusions Which the Devil Suggests to Sinners

Let us imagine a young man who has fallen into grievous sins, which he has already confessed, and who is restored to the friendship of God. The devil again tempts him to relapse; the young man resists for a while, but in consequence of the delusions suggested by the enemy, he begins to vacillate. “Tell […]

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St. Anthony the Great, Father of Monasticism

. . . Aware of the historical period in which he lived and of the change that was taking place – from pagan Rome to Christian Rome – in a period of profound crisis, Leo the Great knew how to make himself close to the people and the faithful with his pastoral action and his […]

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A Virtuous Life Is Hard to Attain (And Harder to Keep)

One should not say that it is impossible to reach a virtuous life; but one should say that it is not easy. Nor do those who have reached it find it easy to maintain. Those who are devout and whose intellect enjoys the love of God participate in the life of virtue; the ordinary intellect, […]

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Speak a word; how are we to be saved?

The brethren came to the Abba Anthony and said to him, ‘Speak a word; how are we to be saved?’ The old man said to them, ‘You have heard the Scriptures. That should teach you how.’ But they said, ‘We want to hear from you too, Father.’ Then the old man said to them, ‘The […]

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What shall I do in my affliction?

When the holy Abba Antony 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 do not leave me alone; what shall I do in my affliction? Ho w can I be saved?’ A short while afterwards, when […]

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Evagrius Ponticus and His Accounts of Demons

Reading the ancient ascetical writer, Evagrius Ponticus, is a rather wild experience. An immensely influential figure within Christian monasticism, especially in the East, Evagrius wrote works on theology, the monastic life, and other spiritual writings.  In the pages of his works on prayer and the ascetical life, one is immediately presented with a world populated […]

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Guard Fiercely again Spiritual Delusion

Even a pious person is not immune to spiritual sickness if he does not have a wise guide — either a living person or a spiritual writer. This sickness is called “prelest”, or spiritual delusion, imagining oneself to be near to God and to the realm of the divine and supernatural. Even zealous ascetics in […]

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The Ten Commandments For Would-Be Desert Mystics

Like You and Me: Thou shalt have no other God than God, and shall not make a God of thine own holiness or thy desert search for it. Thou shalt recognize that thou art a sinner and that thou shalt take the heat for it thyself. Thou shalt know that silence is golden. Thou shalt […]

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