Lessons on the Early Desert Monastics: The Lausiac History

We are starting up our weekly lessons again with lives of the desert hermits as found in the work “The Lausiac History,” written by Palladius. What is remarkable about this collection, written in the early fifth century, is that it covers monastic lives from all the major regions of the Eastern Church from Antioch down to Alexandria. Further, Palladius offer tales of those monks who both excelled and failed at their work, giving a very real view of monastic life and its difficulties. Not only that, but it is through the Lausiac History that we find a great wealth of information pertaining to female monastic during that time period.

We will be covering particular lives depicted in this History over the next several weeks, and using them for conversation and meditation. Some aspects of these lives we can appreciate and want to incorporate. We may take issue with other aspects described. We may find some very pertinent warning to our own spiritual disciplines as well.

To start, I invite you this week to read the from the Preface through the Prologue to get an idea about what Palladius was offering. Any thoughts or insights that may occur to you, I invite you to share in the comment section here. You will be able to read the text online, graciously provided by Fordham University here: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/palladius-lausiac.asp.

I look forward to reading your responses! God’s Peace.

Silentio Coram Deo, Br. Kenneth

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