Spiritual Tribulations- By: St. Anthony the Great

Saint Anthony the Great

For tribulations, in fact, do not come with such violence except on those who have received the Holy Spirit. When they receive the Spirit, tribulations from the devil come upon them because the Spirit allows him to come upon them. The devil has no authority to try any of the believers severely unless he is given permission by the Holy Spirit.

When our Lord Jesus Christ took upon himself what belongs to us, he became an example to teach us the truth in every way. For when he was baptized, the Holy Spirit alighted on him in the form of a dove; and then the Holy Spirit led him out into the desert to be tempted by Satan. He tempted him by all sorts of temptations but did not prevail, as is written in the Gospel of Luke: “And when the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee” (Lk 4.13, 14). Such is the case with all who receive the Spirit and struggle and conquer temptations: the Spirit strengthens them and gives them great power in abundance, and protects them from all things.

My beloved sons, I wish you were near me to know my last tribulation, which resembles the last tribulation of Christ. For when he had carried out the plan and knew of his departure, he said, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Mt 26. 39). This was coupled with prayers and supplications. This was not due to failure, dread or disability, but for our own instruction, just as his first temptations were for our instruction.

The tribulation that befell me lately, my sons, was about to carry me down to hell itself. For the enemies of all good meant to throw me into it with their many wiles, and my labour, struggle, tribulation, and trouble were because of this. But I, poor as I am, give thanks and glory to my God whom I have served with all my  heart from a young age till now, and listen to him, because he did not forsake me, but supported and saved me.

Anthony the Great, Letters 19.5, 6, in “The Letters,” Arabic version

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2 Responses to “Spiritual Tribulations- By: St. Anthony the Great”


  1. 1 Vasiliki March 7, 2010 at 8:30 am

    This was beautiful! Thank you St Anthony!

  2. 2 theladyjournal March 8, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    This was indeed beautiful. It’s like the enemy tries so hard to tear us down when we’re at such a spiritual high for God! But he will never win, because we serve an awesome God, & He is bigger than ALL things!


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