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Tag Archives: desert spirituality

Freedom in the Desert

Mystics and the Margins Freedom in the Desert Tuesday, September 29, 2020 When Christianity became the established religion of the Roman Empire, something remarkable and strange took place. A whole set of people began to flock to the margins of the Empire to pursue God. They went to the deserts of Palestine, Cappadocia, Syria, and… Continue Reading Freedom in the Desert

The Peasant’s Alphabet

Action and Contemplation: Part Three The Peasant’s Alphabet
 Friday, January 24, 2020 Abba Poemen (340–450) taught that the right question in all circumstances was “Who am I?” [1] St. Francis of Assisi (1182–1226) would spend whole nights praying “Who are you, my most dear God, and who am I . . . ?” [2] It is through encountering the absolute safety of God that we discover… Continue Reading The Peasant’s Alphabet

The World Carried Inside

Action and Contemplation: Part Three The World Carried Inside
 Thursday, January 23, 2020  When so much of our world is focused on making us feel like human “doings” instead of human beings, moving into solitude and silence is both a gift and a burden. Once we have overcome the external pressure to perform, we are left with… Continue Reading The World Carried Inside

A Practical Twofold Process

Action and Contemplation: Part Three A Practical Twofold Process 
 Wednesday, January 22, 2020 As in the early church, the desert Christians were deeply committed to Jesus’ teachings and lived practice. Their chosen solitude and silence were not anti-social but a way to become better at seeing clearly and at loving deeply. Withdrawal was for the sake of… Continue Reading A Practical Twofold Process

The Prayer of Quiet

Action and Contemplation: Part Three The Prayer of Quiet
 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 The Desert Fathers and Mothers withdrew from cities to the desert to live freely, apart from the economic, cultural, and political structure of the Roman Empire. At first, the empire persecuted the church, but in 313 CE, Constantine gave Christianity a privileged status, not out of enlightenment or goodwill but in service of uniformity and… Continue Reading The Prayer of Quiet

The Desert Mystics

Action and Contemplation: Part Three The Desert Mystics
 Monday, January 20, 2020 Though I deeply admire the Desert Fathers and Mothers, I must be completely honest with you. There is much about them that I do not find attractive or helpful. And it is important to share that here, or you might pick up one of the collections of their “sayings” and… Continue Reading The Desert Mystics

Contemplative Consciousness

Action and Contemplation: Part 3 Contemplative Consciousness
 Sunday, January 19, 2020 I’ve heard some concerns over the years that contemplation is a practice of “Eastern” meditation wrapped in a Christian disguise. Some Christians have even been taught that seeking union with God through silence makes room for the “devil” to get in. While understandable, these apprehensions are based on a… Continue Reading Contemplative Consciousness

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