The Life Of Antony And Macrina's Relationship To The Ascetic Life

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Throughout the passages of The Life of Antony and The Life of Saint Macrina, relationship plays a crucial role in leading oneself to the ascetic life. It is apparent that Antony and Macrina come to the ascetic life, not only from the relationship they reach for with God, but the intentionally neglectful relationship they have with the Devil. The relationship one holds with the Lord proves to further their ascetics on their path of transformation in Christ as they possess an unfathomable love for the Lord and will act upon his judgement and devote their body and soul to him. For the one who holds a spiteful relationship with the Devil, due to his heinous actions, tends to extend their ascetics through thrusting tolerance and courage towards …show more content…
Accordingly, Macrina’s transformation began by serving as a teacher for her siblings, providing for her mother, and removing herself, as well as her mother, from a materialistic life as she sets herself on an equal footing with the many in spirit. Macrina reaches toward God throughout her life and “Since God provided for her, that she never stopped working her hands in the service of God nor did she ever look to man for help...for God with his blessings secretly made the small resources from her good works grow like seeds into an abundant stream of fruitfulness” (Macrina 38). This passage connotes the feeling that her relationship with God is what brings her to live the ascetic life. As Macrina works for God by sharing her knowledge with others, healing the ailing, and living blissfully in destitute, God returns to her the protection and love she desires. Additionally, Macrina shows jubilance not through receiving benefactors from others or living in comfort, but by accepting those who seek her help and by giving thanks to God for the brilliant prosperity she is given. Macrina gives not only her soul to God, but her body as well. She disciplines her body and soul to resist sin in order to reach salvation. In all, isn’t this what the ascetic life …show more content…
For the life of asceticism is also built off of the neglectful relationship with the Devil. If the Devil, or the evil spirit that harms the lives of others, does not exist, there is insufficient need for asceticism. For the act of prayer to help others will vanquish as well as the denial of physical and psychological desires toward the devil. When speaking of the Devil’s cunning actions, Athanasius writes, “The more they do these things, let us all the more exert ourselves in the discipline that opposes them...They are afraid of the ascetics on several counts - for their fasting the vigils, the prayers...and most of all for their devotion to Christ” (Athanasius 54). This passage evokes the feeling that the hateful relationship they possess with the Devil is what causes the individual to become an ascetic. To clarify, the Devil constantly urges another to perform a sinful action in order to pull them away from God and dehumanize them. In order to stay one with God, the individual must use the actions of the ascetic such as prayer, fasting, the vigils and so forth. Although the relationship with the Devil is one of hatred, it propels an individual to the ascetic life as they perform the same actions a ascetic does in order to escape the Devil. Therefore, Without the relationship with the

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