Anthony the Great

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If we would despise the enemy, our thoughts must always be of God and our souls always glad with hope.
To those who have an active belief, reasoned proofs are needless and probably useless.

Saint Anthony the Great (251–356) was a Christian saint, also known as Saint Anthony of Egypt, Saint Anthony of the Desert, Saint Anthony the Anchorite, and honorifically as the Father of All Monks. He was a leader among the Desert Fathers, Christian monks in the Egyptian desert in the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D.

From St. Athanasius' Life of St. Antony[edit]

  • If we would despise the enemy, our thoughts must always be of God and our souls always glad with hope.
    • Book II, Chapter 10
  • To one whose mind is sound, letters are needless.
    • Book IV, Chapter 17
  • To those who have an active belief, reasoned proofs are needless and probably useless.
    • Book IV, Chapter 17
  • I am going the way of my fathers, as the Scripture says, for I see myself called by the Lord. Be you wary and undo not your long service of God, but be earnest to keep your strong purpose, as though you were but now beginning. You know the demons who plot against you, you know how savage they are and how powerless; therefore, fear them not. Let Christ be as the breath you breathe; in Him put your trust. Live as dying daily, heeding yourselves and remembering the counsels you have heard from me. ... So do you also be earnest always to be in union first with the Lord and then with the Saints, that after death, they also may receive you into everlasting tabernacles as known friends. Ponder these things, and mean them. ... And now God save you, children, for Antony departs and is with you no more.
    • Book IV, Chapter 20 (his last words), St. Athanasius. Trans. Dom J.B. McLaughlin, O.S.B. St. Antony of the Desert. Rockford: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc, 1995.

Unsourced[edit]

  • A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, "You are mad; you are not like us."
  • Our life and our death are with our neighbour. If we gain our brother we have gained God; but if we scandalise our brother, we have sinned against Christ.
  • I no longer fear God, I love him.
  • Do not be afraid to hear about virtue and do not be a stranger to the term. For it is not distant from us nor is it external to us; its realisation lies within us and the work is easy if only we want it. The Greeks leave home and cross the seas in order to gain an education, but there is no need for us to go away on account of the Kingdom of God nor need we cross the sea in search of virtue. For the Lord has told us, "The Kingdom of God is within you." All that is needed for goodness is that which is within, the human heart.
  • I saw all the snares that the enemy spreads over the whole world and I said, groaning, "What can get through such snares?" Then I heard a voice saying to me, "Humility."

External links[edit]

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