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Lent Day 22: Athanasius: Life of Anthony: Chaps. 11-20

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 25th March 2017 in Lent | Lent,great lent,fasting,early church fathers,devotional,daily reading,Athanasius,Bishop of Alexandria,Confessor,Doctor of the Church,Anthony the Great

...ounder of desert monasticism, and today we will see how it all started. The old hermit that Anthony met previously, he asked to go into the desert with him to dwell, “more eagerly bent on the service of God”. The old man declined due to his age, but also because “there was no such custom” of living in the desert, so Anthony left on his own to live in the mountains and the devil attacked him again. Twenty years of solitude After going into the desert, Anthony arrived at the Nile and found an abandoned fort on the other side of the river, where he set up camp to live, surviving only on bread which was brought to him by some friends every so often. A...
 

The Temptations of Jesus: Pride

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 18th February 2018 in Lent | pride,temptation,Jesus,forty days,40 days,Lent,fasting,sin,wilderness,desert

...ed in the desert. So let's look at the first temptation that Satan tried on Jesus. Luke 4: 1-4 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’” (cf. Matt 4:1-4) The first thing that jumps out at me here, is that the devil didn’t come to tempt Jesus until after the forty days were up. He waited u...
 

Lent Day 26: Athanasius: Life of Anthony: Chaps. 51-60

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 30th March 2017 in Lent | Lent,great lent,fasting,early church fathers,devotional,daily reading,Athanasius,Bishop of Alexandria,Confessor,Doctor of the Church,Anthony the Great,demons,healing,miracles

... Egyptian desert with the aid of the Saracens and with what is described as a ‘divine love’, Anthony was moved to love the area he found. But it soon became a small burden to him as people would seek him out and look to visit him, or to bring him bread. This area was a three day and night trek from where he previously lived, so the thought of other people taking this treacherous journey concerned him dearly. Eventually, after asking some to bring him corn and seeds, he managed to till the ground to be able to make his own bread and grow his own herbs to save others from needing to bring him food. Sometimes the wild animals would ruin his garden looking for ...
 

The Temptations of Jesus: Worship and Glory

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 25th February 2018 in Lent | temptation,wilderness,desert,worship,glory,devil,satan,forty days,lent

...Here we are on the second Sunday of Lent, and this week I am looking at the next temptation Jesus faced in the desert against the devil, the one of worship and glory. Let's take a look at the text: Luke 4:5-8 Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.”  Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God,    and serve only him.’” (cf. Matthew 4:8-10) Last week we saw how Satan temp...
 

The Temptations of Jesus: Testing God

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 04th March 2018 in Lent | temptation,testing God,pinnacle,Temple,Jesus,Satan,wilderness,Lent,desert,Armour of God

...e of this desert is Jerusalem, which is about 27 miles away from the spot by the Jordan where the baptism took place. I’ve put together a quick map so you can get a better idea of locations: Approx. locations of events Anyway, I digress slightly. The point being, is that where Jesus was and where he was taken was not exactly just around the corner! Coupled with the fact that the devil took Jesus up to the pinnacle of the Temple, this was quite a journey. Now the other thing to pull out of this passage is that the word “pinnacle” here doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing as we might think of today: the top most point of something. Otherwise Jesus...
 

Lent Day 21: Athanasius: Life of Anthony: Chaps. 1-10

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 24th March 2017 in Lent | Lent,great lent,fasting,early church fathers,devotional,daily reading,Athanasius,Bishop of Alexandria,Confessor,Doctor of the Church,Anthony the Great

... into the desert to find greater solitude for prayer and discipline, which was an unusual practice, since other ascetics and monks would just stay in remote places near their villages. In the next village there was an old man who had been a hermit since his youth. Anthony sought him out to learn piety from and then went about his own discipline, incorporating what he'd learnt. As he heard about other similar men, Anthony would travel far and wide to find them and learn what he could, “having got from the good man as it were supplies for his journey in the way of virtue” before returning home again. Then “henceforth would strive to unite the qualities of ...
 
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