The narrow stretch of desert between the Jordan Valley and the hill country of Judea drew great biblical prophets ‘Elijah and John the Baptist ‘and unforgettable christian ascetics. Our best source of information on this movement from AD 400-600 comes from Cyril’s pen.
Though steeped in the ancient patristic and ascetic tradition, Theophan the Recluse was down-to-earth and very real, making profound, mystical realities understood by those he counseled. St. Theophan had the exceptional gift of being able to encourage all, no matter where they were on the spiritual path, to go further in their fight against the [...]
This series is a testimony to the Spirit breathing where He wills.” America John Climacus: The Ladder of Divine Ascent edited and translated by Colm Luibheid and Norman Russell notes on translation by Norman Russell, preface by Kallistos Ware “Prayer is the mother and daughter of tears. It is an expiation of sin, a bridge [...]
By H.G. Bishop Youssef
“The orientation of the monk is towards heaven, towards the life of another world. For this reason they are referred to as ‘earthly angels’; for while dwelling on earth they live as true citizens of heaven. To visit them is to visit the earthly paradise.” – The Sayings of the Desert Fathers “Angels are a [...]
The insights of the desert monks of the fifth and sixth centuries amaze, and startle, readers by their wisdom. Among other things, they teach that the first step in overcoming our sinfulness is an honest perception of things as they are. By arranging these “words” in short Daily readings, Tim Vivian invites modern readers to [...]
The funeral prayer is prayed on the monk during his ordination so as to raise him from the earthly life to a heavenly life. For this reason many people left the world and their family and lived in the deserts and caves longing for this life, the life of Christian perfection. Today many books are [...]
The fourth-century ascetic flight to the desert indelibly marked Christianity. The faithful who did not embrace the austerity of the desert admired those who did and sought them out for counsel and consolation. The ‘words’ the monks gave were collected and passed around among those too far away or too feeble to make the trek [...]