Monday, January 17, 2011

St. Antony of the Desert: A Father of Christian Monasticism

Today we commemorate St. Antony the Great, one of the Egyptian desert fathers and considered a father of monasticism generally. Given, as we have noted in the past, the important influence that monasticism has played in the life of the Church, and given the important role it can certainly play in any new liturgical movement, I wished to make note of this his feast day so as to bring before us again the monastic life; a vocation rooted, par excellence, in the liturgical life of the Church, a vocation particularly lived and breathed through the Mass and the Divine Office -- and a vocation not to be forgotten for those men and women who are discerning religious vocations, or for priests who are helping to direct those discerning souls who may come to them.

Many may not know the Blessed John Henry Newman wrote about St. Antony -- though those who are even vaguely familiar with the sheer volume of Newman's literary output will hardly be surprised by this fact. Here are those writings for those who might like to read them on this, the day of St. Antony's commemoration: Antony in Conflict, Antony in Calm

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