A shrewd observer, a master psychologist, an accomplished raconteur, Dorotheos is also a learned man with a prodigious capacity for assimiliating in an organized harmony the wisdom of his precedessors in the life of the Spirit. Yet he is far more interested in humbly serving his brethren than in discoursing about the recondite aspects of the hescyhast experience. His genial candor makes him the ideal spiritual master to introduce modern readers to the rich spiritual universe of the deserts of Egypt, Palestine, and Syria.
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In a carefully choreographed propaganda video released in February 2015, ISIS militants behead twenty-one orange-clad Christian men on a Libyan beach. In the West, daily reports of new atrocities may have displaced the memory of this particularly vile event. But not in the world from which the murdered came. All but one were young Coptic [...]
This is an exceptional book, one of the most amazing and edifying Lives of modern holy elders ever to be translated into English. Elder Porphyrios, a Greek monk and priest who died in 1991, stands in the long tradition of charismatic spiritual guides in the Eastern Church which continues from the apostolic age down to [...]
In the early part of the fourth century, a few Christians, mostly men and some women, began to withdraw from “the world” to retreat into the desert, there to practice their new religion more seriously. The person who aspired to “renounce the world” first had to find an “elder,” a person who would accept him [...]
Born in Galatia in the 360s, Palladius enrolled as a monk on the Mount of Olives in his early twenties. As a monk, he traveled to Alexandria, the desert of Nitria, the Cells, Palestine, Rome, and the Thebaid. During his travels he encountered Rufinus of Aquileia, Melania the Elder, the hermit Dorotheos, Macarius of Alexandria, [...]
How did the monks of the Egyptian desert fight against the demons that attacked them with tempting thoughts? How could Christians resist the thoughts of gluttony, fornication, or pride that assailed them and obstructed their contemplation of God? According to Evagrius of Pontus (345 ‘399), one of the greatest spiritual directors of ancient monasticism, the [...]