Main CategoriesChrist and Mystic ChristianityThe Early Church and Gnosticism Athanasius: The Life of Antony and The Letter to Marcellinus

Athanasius: The Life of Antony and The Letter to Marcellinus

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The 4th century Bishop of Alexandria led the Church in its battle against the Arian heresy.

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Publisher's Synopsis

Written at the request of the desert monks of Egypt to provide an ideal pattern of the ascetical life, The Life of Antony became astonishingly popular.

Athanasius (c. 295-373) Bishop of Alexandria, spiritual master and theologian, was a major figure of 4th-century Christendom. The Life of Antony is one of the foremost classics of asceticism. The Letter to Marcellinus is an introduction to the spiritual sense of the Psalms.

Excerpt

"Antony, however, according to his custom, returned alone to his own cell increased his discipline, and sighed daily as he thought of the mansions in Heaven, having his desire fixed on them, and pondering over the shortness of man's life. And he used to eat and sleep, and go about all other bodily necessities with shame when he thought of the spiritual faculties of the soul. So often, when about to eat with any other hermits, recollecting the spiritual food, he begged to be excused, and departed far off from them, deeming it a matter for shame if he should be seen eating by others.

He used, however, when by himself, to eat through bodily necessity, but often also with the brethren; covered with shame on these occasions, yet speaking boldly words of help. And he used to say that it behoved a man to give all his time to his soul rather than his body, yet to grant a short space to the body through its necessities; but all the more earnestly to give up the whole remainder to the soul and seek its profit, that it might not be dragged down by the pleasures of the body, but, on the contrary, the body might be in subjection to the soul."    ~208.45

Author Athanasius
Translator Gregg, Robert
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 166 pp.
Publisher Paulist Press 1980
Series Classics of Western Spirituality
Browse these categories as well: The Early Church and Gnosticism, The Church: Doctors, Saints and Mystics, Christian Classics: Ancient and Modern, Spiritual Biography and Autobiography

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