St. Athanasius—Life of St. Anthony, pt. 3
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“It is possible, with the help of God, easily to distinguish the presence of the good and the bad: a vision of the holy ones is not agitated.”
We’re continuing where we left off at the end of our last episode, with Anthony addressing the monks who have come to the desert to imitate his way of life and seek his guidance. We’ll hear Anthony complete the discourse he began in our previous episode, and go deeper into the methods of spiritual combat.
Of particular interest, Anthony provides some provisional rules for the discernment of spirits. Those familiar with St. Ignatius of Loyola’s rules for discernment as outlined in his Spiritual Exercises will no doubt recognize many similarities here.
Also worth noting is Anthony’s reliance upon the the Word of God and on the Sign of the Cross in his confrontations with the devil. Committing to memory some of the same Scripture passages Anthony employs may help us in our own times of struggle, and Anthony’s insistence on the power of the Sign of the Cross serves as a reminder that the Sign of the Cross is itself a prayer (and sacramental, too!).
Translation courtesy of Catholic University of America Press: https://verbum.com/product/120446/early-christian-biographies
Alternate Translation at CatholicCulture.org: https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=3080
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Theme music: 2 Part Invention, composed by Mark Christopher Brandt, performed by Thomas Mirus. ©️2019 Heart of the Lion Publishing Co./BMI. All rights reserved.
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