January 17: Feast Day of St. Anthony the Great

The Catholic, Coptic, and some Orthodox churches, celebrate January 17 as the feast day of Anthony the Great, aka St. Anthony of the Desert.

In the late third century, Anthony became one of the first Christian ascetics to seek solitude in the desert, where he wrestled with a great many temptations. Many years later, other men joined him in the Sahara Desert, forming a monastery of sorts, where the men kept spent their time praying and doing manual labor.

Although Jesus spent much of his life crowded by “tax collectors and sinners,” in Mark 1:35 we see Jesus seeking a time of solitude to pray. Perhaps we need to do the same, and find time both to spend with people, ministering to them, and time to be alone with our Maker.

O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.

Psalm 63:1

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