Uncle Eddy's E-mails -- May 2
Bishop and Doctor,
(entered heaven this day in 373)
Right now, your prayer life is more important than every other duty except
one: your studies. Right now, God needs you to be the
best student you can be, because later on you will need what you learn now to succeed in your
life's mission. It's all part of
today's saint as an example. Athanasius received
the best education the ancient world had to offer. He
grew up in the cosmopolitan center of
For many reasons, Arianism continued to grow and spread. It infected all of Christendom, in fact, and threatened to obliterate the unity of the Church. St Athanasius was the staunchest opponent of the heretics and the sturdiest defender of the Catholic faith throughout the battle. His enemies knew what a critical player he was, and therefore constantly schemed to have him eliminated. They slandered and calumniated him, put him on false trial, stirred up more than one emperor against him, cajoled him, threatened him... In the end, Athanasius kept the faith intact, even though he was banished 5 separate times and spent over 17 years in exile.
In the Church's most dire hour,
Athanasius saved the day. How was he able to do
it? Two reasons: first, God had given him the
opportunity to receive a top-notch education and he had taken full advantage of it; he had formed
himself well during his youth, and thus he was able to sift through the subtle half-truths argued by
his enemies without being deceived or even confused. Second, he knew how to pray. Much of his exile
was spent hiding with the monks in the Egyptian deserts, where he befriended St Anthony the Abbot,
and other experts in prayer.
So there you have it. Maybe you won't
have to suffer exile and imprisonment to defend the faith, but defend it you will be called to
do. So get ready now: don't slack off in your
studies, and don't skimp on your prayer.
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