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.
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The Scent Holiness Lessons from a women’s monastery Every monastery exudes the scent of holiness, but women’s monasteries have their own special flavor. Join Constantina Palmer as she makes frequent pilgrimages to a women’s monastery in Greece and absorbs the nuns’ particular approach to their spiritual life. If you’re a woman who’s read of Mount [...]
“Prayer is a refuge of God’s great mercy to the human race.” The refuge is a place of inner stillness and peace where the heart is fully opened to the embrace of God’s love. It is a return to the ancient paradise from which the human race, in Adam, had to depart because of disobedience [...]
This book was so popular and beneficial for those leading a spiritual life in pre-Revolutionary Russia that it was reprinted several times and distributed to all monasteries, sketes, and many parishes. It was a main guidebook for female monastic aspirants, giving them a right understanding of how to dedicate their lives to God. By reading [...]
St Shenouda is one of the fifth century’s most renowned Egyptian monastic leaders. During his monastic leadership his community grew to around four thousand monks and nuns. His spiritual ministry and miraculous works extended beyond the walls of his monastery to surrounding villages. He is known for his large library of Coptic Christian writings that [...]
Witness To Holiness : Abba Daniel of Scetis Abba Daniel, priest, monastic superior and model of holiness in the austere world of desert monasticism, lived in the sixth century. Some dozen stories about him, and a few sayings attributed to him, have survived in Greek, Syriac, Arabic, Coptic, and Ethiopic. This dispersion attests to his [...]
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 [...]