Today the Church honors Anthony, who was the first of our Catholic monks. Now, these might sound like just a lot of fancy words, but for Christianity's first thousand years , our monks and nuns followed the philosophy of Plato, while in the past thousand years we have been followers of Aristotle.
The big difference between those two is that followers of Plato believe that our souls exist n heaven before we are born, while the followers of Aristotle believe that our souls and bodies are a unit created together.
In 250 B.C. the followers off Plato took a severe turn. A Platonic philosopher named Zeno began saying that our bodies are little prisons, and to be mentally healthy. we must subject our bodies to depravations that will force them to free our souls. That weird Platonic philosopher had to hold his classes on the school steps. And, with the Greek word foe steps being STOA, the perverted followers of Zeno came to be known as Stoics. Today's Saint Anthony was a Stoic who strove to free his soul by punishing his body.
The text books on the philosophy of Aristotle were lost for a thousand years; but they were found again in the time of Thomas Aquinas. Thomas Aquinas rejected the Stoic belief in punishing our bodies. In its place, following Aristotle he said our objective must be to have strong bodies in strong souls.