St. Athansius

Today is the feast day of St. Athanasius, a day when the Church remembers and celebrates the life of the man who stood contra mundum (against the world), defending the deity of Christ from the Arian heretics. George Grant gives some insight into what made Athanasius, and other great saints, so effective in their witness:

“In contrast, the heroes of the faith through the ages have always been diligent, vigilant, and constant in prayer. They humbled themselves before God with prayers, petitions, and supplications always acknowledging their utter dependency upon His mercy and grace. Historical anecdotes abound. Athanasius, for instance, prayed five hours each day. Augustine once set aside eighteen months to do nothing but pray. Bernard of Clairveaux would not begin his daily activities until he had spent at least three hours in prayer. Charles Simeon devoted the hours from four till eight in the morning to God. John Wesley spent two hours daily in prayer–beginning well before dawn. John Fletcher regularly spent all night in prayer. His greeting to friends was always, “Do I meet you praying?”

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