It is unlikely he received the Eucharist even once during his twenty years of solitude.

15 May

In The Life of Saint Anthony, the founder of monasticism, we can easily discover many of the first monks’ most pressing concerns. Anthony withdrew from social life and moved into a desert for a year. When friends came to check on him, he refused to see them. He persisted for twenty more years in lonely asceticism, after which time he was joined by others who sought to emulate him, Although he accepted their presence for a time, he eventually withdrew still farther into the desert to live in complete seclusion. Thus, Anthony separated himself not only from the world but also from the Church. As Herbert B. Workman has pointed out, it is unlikely he received the Eucharist even once during his twenty years of solitude.
In the first period of his life of renunciation, Anthony tried to imitate deeds of experienced and virtuous men. Later, when he moved off into the desert by himself, the ever-increasing ascetic rigor of his life reached its culmination. He immured himself in a tomb, where devils came to him nightly and tormented him both psychologically and physically. Finally, when it became clear that the devils could never hope to sway him from his course, Anthony received his reward, a communication from God. The Lord came to Anthony and told him that He had watched him suffer and persevere and that He would now help him and glorify him. This communication was renewed at various times throughout his life, and his biographer, Athanasius, referred to it as a voice Anthony “was accustomed” to hear.

It seems reasonable to assume that the goal of Anthony’s was to achieve this direct communion, or “vision” of God. Anthony himself referred to this experience, as had Greek interpreters of Mathew, as “perfection”:

Do not be fearful when you hear of perfection, nor be surprised at the word, for it is not far from us, nor does it exist outside of us; perfection is within our reach, and the practice of it is a very easy matter if only we will it.

I would suggest that Anthony and many other anchoritic monks lived the way they did because they assumed that perfection, or communion with God in this life, was possible. They also assumed that only God would initiate this communion but that they themselves could achieve a state of being which was conducive to it. This state was described by Anthony:
We need only will perfection, since it is within our power and is developed by us. For, when the soul keeps the understanding in its natural state, perfection is confirmed. The soul is in its natural state when it remains as it was created, and it was created beautiful and exceedingly upright.

Marcia A Morris, Saints and Revolutionaries The Ascetic Hero in Russian Literature (Studies of the Harriman Institute State University of New York Press, Albany 1993 p.18 -19

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