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

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

by Philip Bochanski


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781505114157
Publisher: TAN Books
Publication date: 04/23/2020
Pages: 220
Sales rank: 516,045
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Father Philip G. Bochanski, a native of suburban Philadelphia, was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1999.  In addition to several parish assignments, he has served as a high school teacher, chaplain for cloistered nuns, and spiritual director for seminarians. In 2017, he was appointed executive director of Courage International, an apostolate that provides pastoral care to men and women who experience same sex attractions and have chosen to live a chaste life.  He is an award-winning author, and has published several articles, books and audio lecture series on such topics as Church history, spirituality and pastoral care.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Alone With God Alone 1

1 Why the Desert? 3

2 The Development of Monasticism 13

3 Daily Life in the Desert 23

Part 2 St. Anthony the Great 35

4 The Life of Anthony 37

5 Father of Monks 48

6 The Wisdom of Anthony 57

Part 3 A Garden in the Wilderness 67

7 The Words of the Fathers 69

8 St. Arsenius and St. Macarius 78

9 St. John and St. Poemen 92

Part 4 St. Syncletica and the Desert Ammas 105

10 The Mothers of the Desert 107

11 St. Syncletica's Advice for Beginners 119

12 St. Syncletica's Wisdom for Life's Journey 128

Part 5 Finding Healing in the Desert 137

13 St. Mary of Egypt: Into the Desert 139

14 Desert Conversions: St. Mary of Egypt and St. Moses the Ethiopian 150

15 St. Moses the Ethiopian: A Convert's Wisdom 160

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