Blog Post - January 17th
S. Anthony of Egypt| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Anthony of Egypt
The life of Anthony will remind many people of St. Francis of Assisi. At 20, Anthony was so moved by the Gospel message, “Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor” (Mark 10:21b), that he actually did just that with his large inheritance. He is different from Francis in that most of Anthony’s life was spent in solitude. He saw the world completely covered with snares, and gave the Church and the world the witness of solitary asceticism, great personal mortification and prayer. But no saint is antisocial, and Anthony drew many people to himself for spiritual healing and guidance.
At 54, he responded to many requests and founded a sort of monastery of scattered cells. Again like Francis, he had great fear of “stately buildings and well-laden tables.”
At 60, he hoped to be a martyr in the renewed Roman persecution of 311, fearlessly exposing himself to danger while giving moral and material support to those in prison. At 88, he was fighting the Arian heresy, that massive trauma from which it took the Church centuries to recover. “The mule kicking over the altar” denied the divinity of Christ.
Anthony is associated in art with a T-shaped cross, a pig and a book. The pig and the cross are symbols of his valiant warfare with the devil—the cross his constant means of power over evil spirits, the pig a symbol of the devil himself. The book recalls his preference for “the book of nature” over the printed word. Anthony died in solitude at 105.
Lest we be misled by the awesomeness of Anthony's asceticism, we have a statement from his biographer (St. Athanasius, May 2)) that emphasizes the meaning and result of all Christian life. "Strangers knew him from among his disciples by the joy on his face."
Even the great Emperor Constantine wrote to him, asking for his prayers. Anthony told his friends, "Don't be surprised that the emperor writes to me—he's just another man, as I am. But be astounded that God should have written to us, and that he has spoken to us by his Son."
In an age that smiles at the notion of devils and angels, a person known for having power over evil spirits must at least make us pause. And in a day when people speak of life as a “rat race,” one who devotes a whole life to solitude and prayer points to an essential of the Christian life in all ages. Anthony’s hermit life reminds us of the absoluteness of our break with sin and the totality of our commitment to Christ. Even in God’s good world, there is another world whose false values constantly tempt us.
Open Your Heart:
The more I know myself to be loved by God, the more I open my heart with love to the world.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Raise your mind to the Lord and implore Him to guide your mind Himself, to speak to your heart and move your will.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook One: 11-111
The first notebook of Saint Faustina begins her private revelations given from the Heart of Jesus to her. She writes in a beautiful and simple way. Though, as mentioned in the introduction, her actual words are not quoted in these reflections that follow, the messages that she received and articulated are presented.
In truth, her messages are those contained in Sacred Scripture and in the Tradition of our Church. And if you were to read through the lives and teachings of the saints, you would find the same revelations. God has always spoken to us throughout the ages. He speaks the one Message of Truth, and He reveals that Message in love. The revelations to Saint Faustina are one new way that God continues to speak and reveal Himself to us, His sons and daughters.
The reflections based on her first notebook, are intentionally short and focused. They are a way for you, the reader, to slowly and carefully listen to the Heart of God spoken to this great saint. Read these reflections slowly and prayerfully. Ponder them throughout the day and allow the Lord to speak to You the message He wants to give.
Reflection 16: Total Abandonment to God
Fall down before God. Prostrate yourself before Him. If you can, do it literally. If it would be a distraction to others then do it interiorly. Fall down prostrate before God and beg Him to show you His Divine Mercy and His most holy Will. There are many times in life when a simple prayer or two are not enough. What we need is to totally abandon ourselves before God. Of course this is what we must do every day all day. But in order to carry this interior disposition of total abandonment to God, we need concrete moments when we make this our absolute and complete act of surrender (See Diary #9).
Reflect, today, upon how deeply you pray. Do you only offer a few prayers here or there? Or do you take time each week to make an act of complete abandonment and surrender to God. Do you intentionally lay your life before our Great God in total love and trust? If you are not sure, then make sure you do so today.
Lord, I abandon myself into Your hands and trust in Your perfect goodness and Mercy. I prostrate myself before Your Divine Majesty and surrender to Your loving care. Jesus, I am totally Yours. Jesus, I trust in You.