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Publisher's Summary

Encountering the Desert Fathers and Mothers will enrich your prayer life and your faith.

Beginning in the third century AD, pious men and women journeyed into the Egyptian desert, where they sought to be "alone with God alone." Known as the Desert Fathers and Mothers, they pursued lives of solitude and prayer in order to make offerings of themselves to God. They acquired great insight into the spiritual life, which has been passed down to us in the Sayings of the Desert Fathers.

Now, you can discover the fascinating lives and works of such awe-inspiring figures as St. Antony the Great and St. Mary of Egypt. Through 15 audio lectures, you will journey into the ascetic world of the desert, a world that has much to teach us about our own time. The teachings of the desert are characterized by their simplicity, practicality, and timelessness. You will see the power of God at work in the lives of ordinary people who trustingly handed their lives over to Him.

In his foundational book, The Lausiac History, Palladius wrote, "Seek for meetings with holy men and women so that you may see clearly your own heart.... The grace of their thoughts will increase your strength." By looking at the heroic examples of the Desert Fathers and Mothers, you will gain invaluable insight into your own spiritual life.

Embark on this unforgettable spiritual journey today.

©2012 Now You Know Media Inc. (P)2012 Now You Know Media Inc.

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Preferring Christ to all else

Those who are new to the study of desert monasticism will find this a useful survey. It's broken down into 15 topics, each of which gives much information for spiritual consideration and further research. If you're already familiar with the subject, you will still enjoy Fr Bochanski's teaching. I appreciated his gentle manner and voice throughout as he brought life and relevance to a subject that can, if taught badly, be as dry as the desert in which the religious found themselves.

Perhaps the idea of desert monasticism has never seemed so strange as it does to us today. Maybe that's why it has so much to teach us. Have we gotten as far away from God as we are because of attachments and indulgences and diversions? If so, we have much to learn from these wise Abbas and Ammas.

Some left simple lives. Others left palaces and untold luxuries. Each preferred Christ to anything the world had to offer. But in choosing monasticism, they found they could abandon the world, but not the soul's struggle for holiness.

In fact, the desert fathers and mothers have much to teach us about spiritual warfare. Although their renunciation of the world allowed them to hear God more clearly, it also allowed the greatest of temptation and attacks from the adversary.

Their approach to spiritual direction was also enlightening. There was none of this ridiculous pop psych speak, nor the one size fits all answers which so often pass for direction these days. No, each piece of advice was individually chosen for each situation. This was not relativism, but enlightened guidance. It was about the person being directed, not the director. Modern self-appointed experts would do well to consider this, and the deep humility demanded of the position.

I found the whole presentation to be fascinating and recommend it to every Catholic.

These are the lectures:

1. Alone with God alone. 2. Development of monasticism. 3. Daily life in the desert. 4. St Anthony the Great. 5. Father of monks. 6. Wisdom of St Anthony. 7. Words of the fathers. 8. St Arsenius and St Makarios. 9. St John and St Poemon. 10. Mothers of the desert. 11. St Synclectica's advice for beginners. 12. St Synclectica's wisdom for life's journey. 13. St Mary of Egypt. 14. Desert conversions. 15. St Moses the Ethiopian.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-01-18

Insightful and thought provoking

Appreciated Fr. Philips relaxed style and efforts to make ancient stories applicable in the 21st Century. Some familiar stories but plenty of new information to digest and pray through.