Friday, January 16, 2015

St Anthony of Egypt

"The word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart." Heb 4:12

St Anthony of Egypt is often compared to St Francis of Assisi. Like Francis, Anthony heard God call him in the gospel passage, "Go sell all you have and come follow me." Anthony complied immediately and fled to the desert to live a life of austerity, penance and prayer. But, just like Francis, Anthony got it wrong, and God called him back to his society so that he could help others find God in a society gone mad with wealth, power and lust.

Most of us have known the rushing of God's spirit upon us, at least for a time, but we don't always respond as completely St. Anthony and St. Francis because we are fearful that a call as radical as this might disrupt our lives and everyone around us. Today's feast reminds us not to be afraid. God's word is living and effective. We have only to rely on God to do the work of God. When we ask for the grace to put aside our fear, as Anthony and Francis did, all things become possible and we are able to discern God's design for us.

Today, trust that God's sword will not harm us.

Have you risked responding to God when you were afraid of his two edged sword?

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