Maria of Olonets: Desert Dweller of the Northern Forests

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9780938635741: Maria of Olonets: Desert Dweller of the Northern Forests
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The monastic ideal is a complete renunciation of the world, and involves an inner struggle necessary for the soul's ascent towards God. Those who have been most faithful to this ideal have been the desert dwellers--hidden away from the seductive tumult of the world.

In the first half of the 19th century, the Russian land was rich in dense woods and forests in which the sound of the axe was rarely heard. In these dark forest preserves--in the mysterious silent depths of dense green thickets--it was not only wild animals who lived but many desert dwellers also made their dugout dwellings in the earth. There they performed secret ascetic labors known only to the One to Whom they had dedicated themselves in their hidden and deliberately buried life.

MARIA OF OLONETS offers an extraordinary account of one woman's solitary struggle. Maria's life is a witness to the reality of Christ's otherworldly Kingdom.

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