"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, October 12, 2015

Laymen in Today's Plentiful Deserts

The invaluable St. Vladimir's Seminary Press recently sent me two books, including a book I wish I had had more than a decade ago in grad school when reading the desert fathers and mothers, and lamenting that so many of their riches had remained hidden in the tradition and not brought out to help Eastern Christians of the 21st century. Now such a book appears to have been written: Daniel OpperwallA Layman in the Desert: Monastic Wisdom for a Life in the World (SVS Press, 2015), 201pp.

About this book we are told:
Orthodox Christians today have no lack of resources on monastic spirituality. And yet startlingly little has been done to critically engage the monastic tradition and adapt its ancient wisdom for the Orthodox faithful living in today s complex society. A Layman in the Desert aims to bridge this crucial gap.
Working with the Conferences of St John Cassian, Opperwall constructs a kind of relationship handbook that shows us how the desert saints of old can help us build healthy, Christ-centered relationships with our spouses, children, friends, and coworkers.

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