Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

May 2 | Just Keep Showing Up (Pt. 2)

Saint Athanasius

A.D. 296–373

Saint Athanasius is an intellectual giant in the history of Catholicism.

Most biographies focus on his momentous defeat of the Arian heresy, which denied the validity of the Trinity. What they gloss over is the fact that Athanasius was exiled from his home five times because of the enemies he made in his opposition to Arianism.

These exiles must have been devastating to Athanasius. He was away from home for almost forty years. He was falsely accused of horrible crimes. And he was forced to say goodbye to those he loved most. 

In his first exile, he was sent from his native Egypt to Germany. In his second exile, he was sent to Rome. For his next three exiles, he decided to take refuge with the Desert Fathers. Despite the constant upheaval in his life, he never stopped his spiritual practices. Instead, Athanasius took the opportunity to go deeper into his prayer and writing than ever before. He wrote many of his most famous works during his exile, such as On the Incarnation and The Life of Antony (a reflection on Saint Antony of the Desert who we covered on January 17).

The point is, Saint Athanasius didn’t let outer circumstances or his own feelings stop him from pursuing God. Saint Athanasius just kept showing up and God was able to work through him to do incredible things.

“Just keep showing up.” That’s practical wisdom we can all take into our spiritual lives, whether we’re exiled from our homeland or are simply going through patches when prayer feels dry.

Some days prayer will seem easy and others it will seem difficult. How it seems is never a good indication of how fruitful prayer is. Try not to judge your prayer. It is foolish to say, "I prayed well today." It takes at least ten years to determine whether you prayed well today. Just keep showing up.

In your spiritual life there will be long and dusty roads, epic mountaintop experiences, moments of fear and trembling in the dark valleys, beautiful mornings filled with hope, and long dark nights drenched with hopelessness. Throughout your journey, you will need an ever-flowing stream of practical insights to help you take the next step, but none will serve you better than the simple wisdom of, "Just keep showing up!"

No matter what, just keep showing up. Remember, it is not about what we are doing. It's about what God is doing in us, through us, and with us—when we show up.


I will just keep showing up to my spiritual routines, no matter how I’m feeling.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: The Defense of the Faith

Also Known As: Athanasius the Great 

Feast Day: May 2

Image of mountain and man reflecting in the water below.

Get Daily Saint Reflections and More!

Start your day with Saint of the Day, Gospel Reflections, Mass readings, and other inspiration!

Image of woman holding the book the wisdom of the saints

Walk with the Saints

Gain wisdom from some of the greatest men and women who ever lived.