"We must direct our souls with discernment."
This is the final Desert Wisdom blog as I have essentially exhausted my resources during the past three years.
Fortunately, books on the wisdom of the desert mothers and fathers abound. I imagine they would all find it wonderfully ironic as it was their goal to possess, like Jesus, as little as possible. Yet, there were still those in their own infinite wisdom that had enough foresight to collect the sayings of these men and women and pass them on.
And Thank God that they did so because over the centuries there have been multitudes who have benefited from the wisdom of our desert fathers and mothers.
In creating this blog, I have depended on half a dozen books or so and continue to add more to my "library."
The books I use include:
The Wisdom of the Desert
by Thomas Merton
Orthodox Prayer Life:
The Interior Way
by Matthew the Poor
The Desert Fathers:
Sayings of the Early Christian Monks
by Benedicta Ward
A Journey in the Wilderness
with Saint Anthony
by James Cowan
The Forgotten Desert Mothers
by Laura Swan
The Desert Mothers:
Spiritual Practices from the Women of the Wilderness
by Mary C. Earle
by Alan Jones
Friday, January 1, 2010
Thursday, December 31, 2009
They told the story of a hermit who was dying in Scetis. The brothers stood round his bed, clothed him, and began to weep. But he opened his eyes and began to laugh; this happened three times. So the brothers asked him, "Abba, why are you laughing when we are weeping?"
He told them, "I laughed the first time because you fear death; I laughed the second time because you are not ready for death; I laughed the third time because I am passing from labor to rest, and yet you weep." As he said this, he closed his eyes and died.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
A hermit said to a brother, "Do not measure yourself against your brother, saying that you are more serious or more chaste or more understanding than he is. But be obedient to the grace of God, in the spirit of poverty, and in love unfeigned. The efforts of a man swollen with vanity are futile. It is written, 'Let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall' (I Corinthians 10:12); 'let your speech be seasoned with salt' (Colossians 4:6) and so you will be dependent on Christ."
Monday, December 28, 2009
A hermit said to a brother, "When a proud or a vain thought enters your mind, examine your conscience to see if you are keeping God's commandments; ask yourself if you love your enemies; if you rejoice in your enemy's triumph, and if you are sad at his downfall; do you know yourself to be an unprofitable servant and a sinner beyond all others? But not even then must you think that you have corrected all your faults; to entertain such a thought as that would undo all the other good you have done."~~Proud Cheetah by Wycliffe Ndwiga