I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. Luke 10:19
‘So then we ought to fear God only, and despise the demons, and be in no fear of them. But the more they do these things the more let us intensify our discipline against them, for a good life and faith in God is a great weapon. At any rate they fear the fasting, the sleeplessness, the prayers, the meekness, the quietness, the contempt of money and vainglory, the humility, the love of the poor, the alms, the freedom from anger of the ascetics, and, chief of all, their piety towards Christ. Wherefore they do all things that they may not have any that trample on them, knowing the grace given to the faithful against them by the Savior, when He says, “Behold I have given to you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy.”
Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria (c. 296-373) in The Life of St. Anthony, 2.30.
Anthony is labeled by many as “the father of all monks.” Here we see the secret to his strength of character. He tapped the power of God only available to us through the fear of God and the life of faith.
Only as I have taken my role as President and CEO of GTP have I realized the power of fasting, prayers, sleeplessness, meekness, quietness, humility, contempt of money and vainglory, alms, love of poor, and piety toward Christ.
To fear God and have unswerving faith in Him positions us to receive grace in abundance. This is the generosity that the Christ of Christmas wants us to receive from Him so that we can be generous all the time, everywhere we go toward others.
And there’s real power in it. I am preparing to travel to Alexandria, Egypt, next week, so I confess that I looked for inspiration from the Gospels today and the obedient life of St. Anthony in the writings of Athanasius of Alexandria.
The ministry of the generous and powerful is fueled not by money but by God. The course for this is marked by the disciples and Anthony after them.
We get to point the way for our generation, but to do so, we first must receive grace through the fear of God and fasting, prayers, sleeplessness, meekness, quietness, humility, contempt of money and vainglory, alms, love of poor, and piety toward Christ.Read more