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+ St. Anthony said, ‘I saw the snares that the enemy spreads out over the world, and I said groaning, “What can get through from such snares?” Then I heard a voice saying to me, “Humility.”’

 + “Reject pride, and consider everyone more righteous than yourself.”

 + When St. Anthony entered to the internal desert, the demons watched him dauntingly, saying, “O You young of age and mind, how did you dare to enter our territory, as we have never seen a human before you.” And they all started to fight him. He said to them, “O strong ones, what do you want from me, the weak; And who am I so that you all gather to fight me. Don’t you know that I am ashes and dust, and unable to fight the smallest in you.” And he lay on the ground, shouting to God, “O God, help me, and strengthen my weakness. Have mercy on me, as I sought after you. Do not leave me; and do not let those who think that I am something overcome me. O God, You know that I am unable to fight the smallest of these.” When the demons heard this prayer full of life and humility they fled away, and did not dare to approach to him. 

 

 + “My son, do not stray away from God seeking what is perishable; but rather remember what you have decided in the time of your fervor, and do not forget the seal by which you were purified before. Remember the tears of repentance, and the prayers that were raised on your behalf, and flee from the evil thoughts lest you be lost. My son, leave your bed every night, and wet your bedclothes with your tears, and supplicate to the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, your renewal, and for help in the good deeds so that you may inherit His eternal heavenly kingdom.” 

 

+ St. Anthony said, “Whoever hammers a lump of iron, first decides what he is going to make of it, a scythe, a sword, or an axe. Even so, we ought to make up our minds what kind of virtue we want to forge, or we labor in vain.”

 

+ Once St. Anthony was asked, “What good work shall I do?” And he answered. “All works are not equal, the scriptures said that Abraham was hospitable, and God was with him. And, Elijah loved quiet, and God was with him. And, David was humble, and God was with him. What therefore you find that your soul desires in following God, that do, and keep your heart.”

 

+ A brother said to St. Anthony, “Pray for me.” The old man said to him, “I will have no mercy upon you, nor will God have any, if you yourself do not make an effort and if you do not pray to God.”

St. Anthony meant that we should not rely on the prayers of others without having our own prayers and spiritual struggle.

 

+ Regarding resisting the evil thoughts, St. Anthony advices us saying, “Tire yourself in reading the holy books, as they save you from the evil thoughts”… “Tire yourself in reading the books, and following the commandments, so that the mercy of God comes upon you speedily.”

 

+ In the time of St. Anthony, a wise man came to him saying, “How can you be steadfast in this wilderness without any books to nurture you?” He answered saying, “O wise man, my books are the lives of those who came before me, and when I want to read, I read the word of God.”

 

+ St. Ammon of Nitria came to St. Anthony and asked him, “My labors are greater than yours, yet your name is widespread among people more than mine, why?” St. Anthony replied, “Because I love God more than you do.”

 

+ “If devils praised your asceticism, and called you ‘blessed’ do not listen to them, and do not deal with them, but rather make the sign of the cross on yourselves, and your dwellings, and pray. You will find that they will flee, as they are craven, and fear the sign of the cross of the Lord, as the Lord disarmed them, and made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in the cross.” (Col. 2:15)

 

+ St. Anthony presented some sick people who were demon possessed to some pagan philosophers. He asked them saying, “Can you heal them by your arguments, or by any art, or by sorcery entreating your idols? Otherwise, if you cannot, cease from fighting us, then you will see the power of the cross of Jesus Christ.”

He said that, and called in the name of Christ, and made the sign of the cross three times on the sick. Immediately, the men stood up, healed, with sound minds, and they gave thanks to God.

 

+ “When the demons see Christians, specially the monks, working joyfully and growing in the spirit, first they fight them with temptation, and by placing obstacles to hinder their growth, trying to inject evil thoughts in their minds; but there is no reason for fear from their temptations because their offenses fail instantly by prayer and fasting, specially if you have had armed yourself with faith and the sign of the cross.”

 

+ He also said, “Whoever has not experienced temptation cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven,” he even added, “without temptation no one can be saved.”

 

+ Regarding the love of others, he said, “I never preferred my own benefit over that of my brethren… my son, do not hate any body, but love your neighbor as yourself.”

 

+ “If a man loves God with all his heart, all his thoughts, all his will, and all his strength, he will gain the fear of God; the fear will produce tears, tears will produce strength; by the perfection of this the soul will bear all kinds of fruits.”

+ Regarding the avoidance of remembering sins, St. Anthony says, “Do not focus on your old sins, lest the war will be renewed on you. Do not remember your carelessness and your pleasures in the time of your laziness; do not talk about them so that they do not become a stumble.

+ “The motives that drive a person to the life of repentance and prayer and asceticism are three, and God provides all of them:

First, there are those who are called by the law of love which is in their nature, and which original good implanted in them. They achieve the true manner of life, because their souls are ready to follow the love of God. This is the first kind of calling.

Second, there are those who hear the written law testifying of the pains and torments prepared for the wicked, and of the promises for those who walk worthily in the fear of God. By the testimony of the written law, their thoughts are roused up to seek to enter into the calling.

Third, there are the souls which at first were hard of heart and persisted in the works of sin; and somehow the good God in his mercy sends upon such souls the chastisement of affliction, till they grow weary, and come back to their senses, and are converted, and draw near, and enter into knowledge, and repent with all their heart.” (From the first letter of St. Anthony)

 

+ Regarding the attentiveness from falling into despair, he said, “Many fall, then rise up again into a state of health and virtue; but others fall from virtue into sin. Those who fall then rise up are better from those who rise up then fall.”

 

+ “Seek repentance all the time, and don’t leave yourself to laziness for one single moment.”

 

+ “All sins are despised by God, especially pride. My beloved, rebuke yourselves, and confess your own sins, so that God my elevate you.”

 

+ “Now therefore, my beloved, I beseech you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, not to neglect your salvation, that this transitory life may not deprive you of eternal life, nor the skin of this corruptible body deprive you of the kingdom of light ineffable, nor a guilty seat lose you the angelic thrones of judgment. Truly my children, my heart is in wonder and my spirit in terror, that even when we were given the full freedom to become saints, we all take our pleasure like drunkards on new wine.”