Desert Fathers and Mothers


by ed. Christine Valters Paintne

Desert Fathers and Mothers
Publication date: 2012-08-30
Number of pages: 176
ISBN: 9781594733734
The desert fathers and mothers were ordinary Christians living in solitude in the deserts of Egypt, Palestine and Syria 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 as essential to spiritual life and authentic communion with God. Focusing on key themes of charity, fortitude, lust, patience, prayer, self-control and visions, the Sayings influenced the rule of St. Benedict and have inspired centuries of opera, poetry and art.

Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, opens up wisdom of the desert fathers and mothers for readers with no previous knowledge of Western monasticism and early Christianity. She provides insightful yet unobtrusive commentary that describes historical background, explains the practice of asceticism and clarifies the ancient desert wisdom that will speak to your life today and energize your spiritual quest.
Printed version available
$22.95

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