The Wisdom of the Desert


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The earliest writings were simply ordered by the initial letter of the Abba's name in the order of the Greek alphabet. It was those first editors who used the word apophthegms meaning: saying, maxim or aphorism —this is why this collection is now known as [Apophthegmata Patrum Alphabetica The Sayings of the Desert Fathers: The Alphabetic Collection.

This collection contains about a thousand items. The same editors knew there were also a lot of anonymous sayings and tales of the Desert Fathers and Mothers circulating. These sayings were placed in order of more or less similar subjects for instance: humility, charity etc. This collection contains about eight hundred items. It has sayings from the Alphabetic Collection and the Anonymous Sayings, combined and systematically ordered under twenty-one chapters.

This collection contains about items and therefore does not completely combine the two older collections. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Early Christian hermits, ascetics, and monks who lived mainly in the Scetes desert of Egypt beginning around the third century AD. People by era or century. Desert Fathers. Contemporary papal views. Aspects of meditation Orationis Formas , Christianity portal Classical civilization portal. Athanasius of Alexandria In Schaff, Philip ; Wace, Henry eds. Binns, John In Angold, Michael ed.

The Cambridge History of Christianity. Volume 5: Eastern Christianity. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

The Desert Fathers

Burton-Christie, Douglas New York: Oxford University Press. Chryssavgis, John Bloomington, Indiana: World Wisdom.

Egan, Harvey D. An Anthology of Christian Mysticism 2nd ed. Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press. Gregory, Timothy E. In Kazhdan, Alexander P. The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. New York: Oxford University Press published Guillaumont, Antoine Harmless, William Church History.

Oxford: Oxford University Press. Irvin, Dale T.

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History of the World Christian Movement. Keller, David G. McGinn, Bernard , ed. The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism. New York: Modern Library. Merton, Thomas Wisdom of the Desert. New York: New Directions published Meyendorff, John St Gregory Palamas and Orthodox Spirituality. Translated by Fiske, Adele.

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Nes, Solrunn Translated by Moi, Arlyne. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm.

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The Wisdom of the Desert: Some Sayings of the Desert Fathers.

Eerdmans Publishing. Parry, Ken; Melling, David J. The Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. Peterson, Michael D. In Benedetto, Robert ed. Riddle, John M. A History of the Middle Ages, — Rock, Stella Waddell, Helen []. The Desert Fathers.

The Wisdom of the Desert: Sayings from the Desert Fathers

Ward, Benedicta , ed. Kalamazoo, Michigan: Cistercian Publications. Retrieved 24 June Ware, Kallistos The Inner Kingdom. Wilfong, Terry G. In Petry, Carl F. The Cambridge History of Egypt. My understanding of these fascinating people was in desperate need of some balance and perspective. And so, on a recent and rare day off, I found myself driving to the picturesque Callaway Gardens for a day of walking the woods in solitude and in the hope of enjoying some rest.

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When I stood up to leave, I had finished this amazing little work and I knew I would be forever changed. The introductory essay by Merton is illuminating and strangely moving. Merton argues that the desert fathers have been wrongly maligned as anti-social and fanatics. He persuasively argues that instead of being anti-social, they were looking instead for authentic society thus the presence of sayings that the abbots passed on to one another and to the brethren , and that instead of being fanatics, they were simply intensely focused on living the crucified life.

Merton has hit the mark, and I daresay that I will be more cautious the next time I am tempted to laugh off these men who retreated from the world. The sayings themselves are pithy, concise, and brimming over with wisdom. Merton attributes this brevity to the humility of the Fathers and the fact that the closer we come to God, the less gregarious we inevitably become. Some of the consistent themes of this selection of sayings are anger, gluttony, humility, and control of the tongue. The sayings are frequently winsome, occasionally humorous, and inevitably inspiring.

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