Desert Fathers and Mothers : Early Christian Wisdom Sayings Annotated & Explained
The desert fathers and mothers were ordinary Christians living in solitude in the deserts of Egypt, Palestine, Syria and Arabia who chose to renounce the world in order to deliberately and individually follow God's call. They embraced lives of celibacy, labor, fasting, prayer and poverty, believing that denouncing material goods and practicing stoic self-discipline would lead to unity with the Divine. Their spiritual practice formed the basis of Western monasticism and greatly influenced both Western and Eastern Christianity.
Their writings, first recorded in the fourth century, consist of spiritual advice, parables and anecdotes emphasizing the primacy of love and the purity of heart. Focusing on key themes of charity, fortitude, lust, patience, prayer and self-control, the Sayings influenced the rule of St. Benedict and have inspired centuries of opera, poetry and art.
This probing and personal SkyLight Illuminations edition opens up their wisdom for readers with no previous knowledge of Western monasticism and early Christianity. It provides insightful yet unobtrusive commentary that describes historical background, explains the practice of asceticism and illustrates how you can use their wisdom to energize your spiritual quest.
- Paperback | 192 pages
- 140 x 216 x 15.24mm | 226.8g
- 23 Jan 2013
- Jewish Lights Publishing
- SkyLight Paths Publishing,US
- Woodstock, United States
Other books in this series
10 Apr 2008
28 Feb 2014
06 Dec 2011
06 Jun 2011
25 Apr 2010
26 Oct 2007
--Paula Huston, author, The Holy Way and Simplifying the Soul
"Offers the reader a good drink from the clear stream of desert wisdom. She honors the tradition while making it entirely relevant to our times."
--Mary C. Earle, writer and Episcopal priest; author, The Desert Mothers: Spiritual Practices from the Women of the Wilderness and Celtic Christian Spirituality: Essential Writings--Annotated & Explained
"A splendid introduction to one of the most essential periods of the Western contemplative tradition.... Offers insight into the austere and wondrous spirituality of the desert ... and why their pithy teachings remain so essential for the study and practice of Christian spirituality today. [The] commentary makes the wisdom of the desert come alive."
--Carl McColman, author, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism and Answering the Contemplative Call