Dear God, open a door for my message, so that I may proclaim the mystery of Christ. I pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Colossians 4:3-4


Reconciliation and Forgiveness ~ I am Sorry * Please Forgive Me * Thank You * I Love You. ~ Reconciliation and Forgiveness ~ I am Sorry * Please Forgive Me * Thank You * I Love You. ~ Reconciliation and Forgiveness ~ I am Sorry * Please Forgive Me * Thank You * I Love You.
Psalm 19:14, May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

St. Anthony the Abbot ~ Feast (Memorial)

Feast day: 17 January (memorial)


Saint Anthony,
you spoke of 
the importance of persevering 
in our faith and our practice.
Help us to wake up 
each day with new zeal 
for the Christian life
and desire to take 
the next challenge
instead of just sitting still.

If you think me wise, become what I am,
for we ought to imitate the good.
Had I gone to you, I should have imitated you,
but since you have come to me, become what I am,
for I am a Christian.
~ Anthony the Abbot ~

O God, who brought the Abbot Saint Anthony to serve you by a wondrous way of life in the desert, grant, through his intercession, that, denying ourselves, we may always love you above all things. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. AMEN.

Friday, 17 January, 2014
St. Anthony, Abbot (Memorial)

1 Samuel 8: 4 - 7, 10 - 22

4Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah,
5and said to him, "Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint for us a king to govern us like all the nations."
6But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to govern us." And Samuel prayed to the LORD.
7And the LORD said to Samuel, "Hearken to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.
10So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking a king from him.
11He said, "These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots;
12and he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots.
13He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers.
14He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants.
15He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants.
16He will take your menservants and maidservants, and the best of your cattle and your asses, and put them to his work.
17He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves.
18And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the LORD will not answer you in that day."
19But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; and they said, "No! but we will have a king over us,
20that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may govern us and go out before us and fight our battles."
21And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the LORD.
22And the LORD said to Samuel, "Hearken to their voice, and make them a king." Samuel then said to the men of Israel, "Go every man to his city."

Psalms 89: 16 - 19

16who exult in thy name all the day, and extol thy righteousness.
17For thou art the glory of their strength; by thy favor our horn is exalted.
18For our shield belongs to the LORD, our king to the Holy One of Israel.
19Of old thou didst speak in a vision to thy faithful one, and say: "I have set the crown upon one who is mighty, I have exalted one chosen from the people.

Mark 2: 1 - 12

1And when he returned to Caper'na-um after some days, it was reported that he was at home.
2And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not even about the door; and he was preaching the word to them.
3And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.
4And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay.
5And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven."
6Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts,
7"Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"
8And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, "Why do you question thus in your hearts?
9Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, `Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, `Rise, take up your pallet and walk'?
10But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" -- he said to the paralytic --
11"I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home."
12And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"

About St. Anthony, the Abbot
Anthony was born in 251 at Coma, a village near Great Heracleopolis in central  Egypt, where he grew up in a very protective and well-off family.  On the death of his parents, he inherited a large estate.  Then, in church one day, he heard the words of the Gospel: “Go, sell what you have and give to the poor” (Matt 19:21).  He took the words as addressed to himself and sold off the whole of the estate, only keeping what he felt he needed for his sister and himself.  Later, he heard the call, “Do not be anxious about tomorrow” (Matt 6:34).  This led him to give away what he still had, he put his sister in a convent and, still only 21 years of age, became a hermit.  He lived alone, working with his hands, praying and doing religious reading.  He only ate bread with salt and only drank water.  He slept on a rush mat.  He was soon seen as a model of humility, holiness and self-discipline.  He was assailed by many temptations, some very persuasive during this period but managed to resist them all.

For many years, Anthony lived in a tomb near his birthplace but, at the age of 35, moved to the ruins of an old castle on top of a mountain. There he lived for almost 20 years, seeing no one except a person who brought him food every six months!  At the end of that time he set up his first monastery, which consisted of separate cells, each occupied by one monk (something like the Carthusians today).  But he still lived mainly on his own, only visiting the monastery when necessary.  In spite of his austere life, he always gave the impression of being energetic and joyful.  People could pick him out from among the other monks simply by his cheeriness.  Many came long distances to speak with him.  And he was as ready to learn from them as they came to learn from him.

At the age of 60, during a time of religious persecution, he went to Alexandria hoping to earn martyrdom but was not arrested.  Later still, he returned to Alexandria to refute the Arians, who denied the divinity of Jesus Christ but, in spite of being asked to stay on in the city, he returned to his life as a hermit.  He died about the year 356, traditionally on 17 January.  He is said to have lived to the remarkable age of 105, never having been sick, still with good sight and sound teeth.  He is regarded as the “Father of Monks”.  Several groups of Eastern monks may still be following his teaching and he certainly influenced later development of monastic life in the Church.

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