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“THE FOOD THAT BRINGS THE SOUL TO MATURITY” – SAYINGS OF ST ANTHONY, ABBOT

25 Jul

“Every creature with reason, man or woman as they may be, possesses the capacity to love God and human beings. The man of God loves what comes from God; the carnal man loves what belongs to the flesh. Loving the things of God, man seeks for purification in all the solicitations of the exterior world; he does not love the passing realities, nor its natural impulses; he takes up his cross and, following Our Lord, always fulfils the will of the Most High. God descends into the hearts of these creatures and making there His dwelling place, fills them with joy and sweetness, which is the food that nourishes the soul and brings it to maturity. The tree does not grow unless it receives water from above; the soul does not develop if it is deprived of the nourishment of sweetness which comes from on high. The Spirit and the gentle sprinkling of the heavenly sweetness is what leads the soul of man to maturity.”.

“What myriads of demons there are, how innumerable are their confused plots! They urge us to say bad things against others; to hide the poison of our hearts in sweet words; to criticise the exterior appearance of our brother, whilst we give shelter within us to savage beasts; to argue and to be at odds with the others, suggesting to us in thought that we should have a personal and superior way.”

“I pray that you will be granted the great Spirit of fire that has been granted to me. If you have the desire to receive it and harbour it, start by the offering of committing yourself to asceticism and humility of heart; then opening your thoughts, day and night, to the heavenly realities, seek with a pure heart for this Spirit; it will be granted to you… When the Spirit descends upon you, it will open up to you the most sublime mysteries, dissipate any kind of fear from your heart, whether of man or beast, and heavenly joy will be your inalienable joy, day and night.”

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