Today, January 17, is the Feast of Saint Anthony the Great, Father of Monks. May his prayers be with us.
"The monk is a man who sees a dimension beyond this life. He sees the next life with the eyes of faith and passionately anticipates eternity on this earth. “At the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage …there is no male or female…” This describes the next life, but the monk experiences it now." An excerpt from the article: “Monastic Life in the Church” by Father Edmond Khashan O.L.M.
Image: Painting c.1465 in The Louvre in Paris. Photo by Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P. on Flickr
O Christ, how sweet is our fasting, how delicious is your doctrine. He who fasts with faith inherits the kingdom. Maronite Liturgy
This time is a time of fasting, repentance and prayer, when we must take you for our model and walk in your steps. It is a sacred time when we receive grace and mercy. Maronite Liturgy
Prophets and messengers fasted, and drew closer to God. Our Lord fasted and saved the Church, giving his body as a food and his blood as a drink. Come, let us offer glory to him. Maronite Liturgy
O God, during this blessed Lent raise our thoughts to you,
draw us away from the mire of sin, and strip us of every bad intention.
Send upon our spirits your heavenly light that we may be enlightened during this Lent.
By fasting and prayer the fathers mortified their human passion so that you alone might live in them.
Christ our God, you fasted and opened for us the way to life and victory;
accept our prayer, extend your right hand and bless us.