A Word From the Desert

February 26, 2018

Silence (Vigilance)

One of the Fathers said, 'If the interior man is watchful, he can preserve the exterior man also; if this is not the case, let us guard our tongue as much as we can.'

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February 9, 2018

Crowns Part 2

The old men used to say that the temptation to lust is like a hook. If it is suggested to us and we do not let ourselves be overcome by it, it is easily cut off; ...

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March 11, 2017

Heaven and Hell

One of the old men said, ‘In the beginning, when we came together, we spoke to the good of souls, we advanced and ascended to heaven; now when we come together, we fall into slander and we drag one another to hell.’ Sayings of the Desert Fathers Artwork: Phyllis Nicoll

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October 8, 2016

Speak A Word, Father

In the context of a whole life of prayer, the role of the 'abba', the spiritual father, was vital, literally, that is to say, 'life-giving'. The abba was the one who, really knowing God in his own experience, could most truly intercede for his sons. He was the one who discerned reality and whose words, […]

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September 24, 2016

Tongue And Belly Under Control

Abba Pambo came to Abba Antony and said: “Give me a word, Father,”...

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August 20, 2016

Talking Along The Journey

We should be careful lest it may happen to us that while we are talking during the journey ...

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July 16, 2016


Abba Macarius said, 'When Mass is ended in the Church, flee my brothers' and one answered, 'In this solitude, where to can we further flee?'

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June 20, 2016

Refreshment Refused

It was said of an old man that he dwelt in Syria on the way to the desert. This was his work...

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May 28, 2016

Bodily Ascetism And Interior Vigilance

Which is the better practice – bodily asceticism or interior vigilance?

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November 14, 2015

Asceticism and Vigilance

You must not say in your heart against your brother that you are more vigilant or more ascetic than he is, but by the grace of Christ . . .

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