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The Ancient Fathers of the Desert: Section 5

Section 5 of sayings from the book, 'The Ancient Fathers of the Desert.'

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The Ancient Fathers of the Desert: Section 4

Section 4 of sayings from the book, 'The Ancient Fathers of the Desert.'

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The Ancient Fathers of the Desert: Section 3

Third section of sayings from the book, 'The Ancient Fathers of the Desert.'

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The Ancient Fathers of the Desert: Section 2

Section 2 of sayings from the book, 'The Ancient Fathers of the Desert.'

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The Ancient Fathers of the Desert: Section 1

First section of sayings from the book, 'The Ancient Fathers of the Desert.'

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The Ancient Fathers of the Desert: Introduction and Commentary

As Eastern Orthodoxy grows among English-speaking peoples, Western Christians are becoming increasingly familiar with Christianity�s oldest tradition, with the Church which claims to bring to modernity the very spirit and essence of the Apostolic Church. Yet this familiarity, as flattering as it might be to a venerable faith which has seen the ancient witness of millions upon millions of its children fade into social and historical obscurity in the West, is fraught with danger. For, paradoxically, the growth of Eastern Orthodoxy is occurring at a time when Orthodox spirituality is at a particular low. A vast majority of the Church struggles in Eastern Europe under the yoke of political persecution. In many places the simple discus�sion of Orthodoxy is perilous. Monasticism, often characterized by Eastern Fathers as the barometer by which Orthodox spiritual health is measured, is engaged in what appears to be a losing battle with contemporary social ideals and morality. Some of the most popular Orthodox theologians are tainted in their teachings by Western thought and by a non-Orthodox mentality. And with overwhelming sadness, we have seen, in the last several decades, the passing of many of the spiritual giants (Elder Philotheos Zervakos of Greece and Archimandrite Justin Popovich of Serbia, among others) who have been our living links to Orthodoxy�s healthier spiritual past.

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