Silence and Honey Cakes – The Wisdom of the Desert by Rowan Williams
In Silence and Honey Cakes, Rowan Williams returns to the desert fathers and mothers of the fourth and fifth centuries, revealing a spirituality that resonates strongly with aspects of the modern spiritual search. Drawing on their stories and sayings, he reflects on questions such as:
The Wisdom of the Desert was one of Thomas Merton's favourites among his own books - surely because he had hoped to spend his last years as a hermit. The personal tone of the translations, the blend of reverence and humour so characteristic of him, show how deeply Merton identified with the legendary authors of these sayings and parables, the fourth century Christian Fathers who sought solitude and contempation in the deserts of the Near East. The hermits of Scete who turned their backs on a corrupt society remarkably like our own had much in common with the Zen Masters of China and Japan, and Father Merton made his selection from them with an eye to the kind of impact produced by the Zen mondo.
Thomas Merton's sessions with the young monks at the Abbey of Gethsemani showcase Merton's brilliant ability to survey the key figures and synthesize their writings, inspiring his listeners and readers with what it means for the spiritual life. Like its companion volume, A Course in Christian Mysticism, this book is a collection of fifteen lectures that get to the heart of Merton's belief that monastic wisdom and spirituality are applicable for everyone. This compact volume allows anyone to learn from one of the twentieth century's greatest Catholic spiritual teachers. The study materials at the back of the book, including additional primary source readings and thoughtful questions for reflection and discussion, make this an essential text for any student of Christian desert spirituality.
By linking together a series of brilliantly-chosen texts from the early centuries of the Church, Olivier Clement lays bare the roots of the deeply mystical spirituality that has flourished among Christians through the ages. It demonstrates the constant thirst of the human being for the transcendent, and will appeal to anyone interested in the field of spirituality; it is a masterly contribution to Christian scholarship.
Discernment Matters is a resource for those who want to learn and practice discernment as taught by the early monastic tradition. it includes an accessible summary of teachings about discernment from monastic traditions of late antiquity, consideration of important tools for making decisions today and practical examples from the lives of St. Benedict and St. Patrick, as well as the experience of monastics today.
With this fifth volume of the Matters Series, Sr Meg Funk completes one of the most comprehensive presentations of the spiritual life available today, demonstrating why this inner work is both necessary and such a joy.