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The Sayings of the Desert Fathers: The Alphabetical Collection (Volume 59)

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9780879079598: The Sayings of the Desert Fathers: The Alphabetical Collection (Volume 59)
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The fourth-century ascetic flight to the desert indelibly marked Christianity. The faithful who did not embrace the austerity of the desert admired those who did and sought them out for counsel and consolation. The 'words' the monks gave were collected and passed around among those too far away or too feeble to make the trek themselves - or lived generations later. Previously available only in fragments, these Sayings of the Desert Fathers are now accessible in its entirety in English for the first time. We have a great deal to learn from their integrity and their unrelenting courage, from their vision of God - so Holy, so great, possessed of such a love, that nothing less than one's whole being could respond to it. These were men and women who had reached a humility of which we have no idea, because it is not rooted in an hypocritical or contrived depreciation of self, but in the vision of God, and a humbling experience of being so loved. They were ascetics, ruthless to themselves, yet so human, so immensely compassionate not only to the needs of men but also to their frailty and their sins; men and women wrapped in a depth of inner silence of which we have no idea and who taught by 'Being', not by speech: 'If a man cannot understand my silence, he will never understand my words.' If we wish to understand the sayings of the Fathers, let us approach them with veneration, silencing our judgments and our own thoughts in order to meet them on their own ground and perhaps to partake ultimately - if we prove able to emulate their earnestness in the search, their ruthless determination, their infinite compassion—in their own silent communion with God.

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About the Author:
Benedicta Ward is Reader in the History of Christian Spirituality in the University of Oxford. Her most recent book is Anselm of Canterbury: His Life and Legacy (SPCK 2009). She is a member of the Anglican monastic community of the Sisters of the Love of God.
Review:
. . . the only English translation of the most complete version of the Apophthegmata Patrum, a compilation of sayings from the desert monks of Egypt, Syria, and Palestine in the fourth to sixth century, likely to be widely read and enjoyed for their own sake.Choice

A delightful insight into the lives of ascetics who left all to follow Christ . . . a very readable translation of an important collection of sayings.Sisters Today

. . . should be on the shelf of every library concentrating in spirituality.Abba

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. Revised edition. Language: English. Brand new Book. `Give me a word, Father', visitors to early desert monks asked. The responses of these pioneer ascetics were remembered and in the fourth century written down in Coptic, Syriac, Greek, and later Latin. Their Sayings were collected, in this case in the alphabetical order of the monks and nuns who uttered them, and read by generations of Christians as life-giving words that would help readers along the path to salvation. Seller Inventory # AAV9780879079598

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Book Description Paper Back. Condition: New. This classic Western translation of the sayings of the Desert Fathers has played a crucial role in the formation of Christian spirituality and has led countless men and women into the desert questing for a truer knowledge of God and themselves. Unlike the anonymous, or Systematic Collection, these sayings are attributed and arranged alphabetically, rather than topically. You'll find familiar voices here, such as Gregory the Theologian, Anthony the Great, and John Cassian alongside lesser known, but no less helpful hermits such as John the Dwarf, Paul the Simple, or the hermitess Sarah. These athletes of God left teachings framed by the simplest of words--yet understandable only by those whose wisdom is born of humility. Seller Inventory # 209926

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