Sunday, September 12, 2010

Desert Spirtuality

In my class called Introduction to Christian Spirituality, we're currently in a section regarding the "Desert Fathers" and the spirituality that they showed and taught. One of our readings for this week comes from John Climacus who lived around 6-7th century CE, writing a book titled Κλίμαξ or Scala Paradisi in Latin, meaning the Ladder of Divine Ascent. We're only reading a portion of it, but it was interesting to read what I was used to seeing from Reformers & Puritans almost a thousand years before they said it:

Let us fear the Lord not less than we fear beasts. For I have seen men who were going to steal and were not afraid of God, but, hearing the barking of dogs, they at once turned back; and what the fear of God could not achieve was done by the fear of animals. Let us love God at least as much as we respect our friends. For I have often seen people who had offended God and were not in the least perturbed about it. And I have seen how those same people provoked their friends in some trifling matter, and then employed every artifice, every device, every sacrifice, every apology, both personally and through friends and relatives, not sparing gifts, in order to regain their former love.

I wonder if the Reformers & Puritans and others of the "Western" Christian persuasion read the Desert Fathers?

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