Tan Books

Wisdom of the Desert Fathers and Mothers: Ancient Advice for the Modern World

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"Seek for meetings with holy men and women."

These words from fifth-century bishop Palladius ring as true today as they did 1600 years ago. Palladius wrote of his visit to the deserts of Egypt where he spent a decade in conversation with some of the many men and women who lived in caves, huts and monasteries, seeking solitude for prayer and a life "alone with God alone."

And now you can visit those same holy mystics and hermit. Through their own words, you will learn:

  • how they were able to make a complete offering of themselves to God

  • acquire great wisdom and insight into the spiritual life,

  • spread this great wisdom across the desert...and the world

  • and how you can bring their holiness and wisdom to bear in a busy world

Even in their own time, the greatest and wisest of these monks and nuns were recognized as abbas ("fathers") and ammas ("mothers"), and their life stories and their sayings were collected and widely, but through the years we have unfortunately lost connection to these holy ones.

Like the monks themselves, the teachings of the desert are characterized by their simplicity, their practicality, and their timelessness. Although they were developed amid circumstances quite different from modern urban life, you will find them readily adaptable and applicable to your own daily circumstances.

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