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Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading

From Sr. Karen

The list of books I am choosing are related to the Ammas of the Desert, the Midwives of Wisdom.

Ps-Athanasius. The Life of Blessed Syncletica. Part One: The Translation.

Translated by Elizabeth Bryson Bongie. Part Two: A Study of the Life by Mary Schaffer. Toronto: Peregrina Publications, 2001. OR: Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2005.

Elm, Susanna. ‘Virgins of God’: The Making of Asceticism in Late Antiquity.

Oxford Classical Monographs. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994.

Gingras, George E., trans. Egeria: Dairy of a Pilgrimage.

ACW 38. NY: Newman Press, 1970.

Petersen, Joan M, trans. Handmaids of the Lord: Holy Women in Late Antiquity & the Early Middle Ages.

CS 143. Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 1996.

Ward, Benedicta, trans. Harlots of the Desert: Study of Repentance in Early Monastic Sources.

CS 106. Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 1987.

Ward, Benedicta, trans. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers: The Alphabetical Collection.

CS 59. Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 1975. (Ammas Sara, Theodora and Syncletica were included in this collection)

Brown Peter. The Body and Society: Men, Women and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity.

Lectures on the History of Religions, N.S. 13 NY: Columbia University Press, 1988.

Forman, Mary. Praying with the Desert Mothers.

Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2005.

Swan, Laura. The Forgotten Desert Mothers

Day, Agnes. Light in the Shoe Shop: A Cobbler’s Contemplation.

Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2013

From Sr. Gertrude

I also offer the following book review/recommendation:

A worthwhile read for anyone interested in communal life, or those already immersed, is Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s slim volume, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community (NY: HarperCollins, 1993). Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), German pastor and theologian, offers profound insight into the depth, meaning, and significance of living in Christian community stemming from his experience in an underground seminary in Germany during the Nazi years. In five chapters, he addresses, ‘Community’; ‘The Day with Others’; ‘The Day Alone’; ‘Ministry’; and ‘Confession and Communion’. I offer here a few of my favorite quotations, which may serve as teasers.

‘Innumerable times a whole Christian community has broken down because it has sprung from a dream wish. The serious Christian, set down for the first time in a Christian community, is likely to bring with him a very definite idea of what Christian life together should be and try to realize it. But God’s grace speedily shatters such dreams. Just as surely as God desires to lead us to a knowledge of genuine Christian fellowship, so surely we must be overwhelmed by a great disillusionment with others, with Christians in general and, if we are fortunate, with ourselves’ (p. 14).

‘He who loves his dream of a community more than the Christian community itself becomes a destroyer of the latter, even though his personal intentions may be ever so honest and earnest and sacrificial’ (p. 15).

‘Let him who cannot be alone beware community…Let him who is not in community beware of being alone’ (p. 84).

Happy reading!

From Sr. Suz

The list of books I am choosing are related to the Ammas of the Desert, the Midwives of Wisdom.

Sayings of the Desert Fathers, by Benedicta Ward

Sayings of the Desert Mothers, by Benedicta Ward

RB 1980 Rule of St Benedict, by Timothy Fry (Editor),‎ Timothy Horner (Editor)

The Cistercian Way André Louf

Anger Thich Nhat Hanh

Website for monastic books by monastic authors and scholars