Archive for March, 2008

Citydesert

Posted in Uncategorized on March 11, 2008 by citydesert

The name of this blog is taken from a major study of Egyptian monasticism by Derwas Chitty: his work was called The Desert a City, and is obviously influenced by that great Anglo-Catholic poet, T.S. Eliot as much as by that great Roman Catholic monk, Thomas Merton. Chitty began it by noting:

This making a City of the Wilderness was no mere flight, nor a rejection of matter as evil (else why did they show such aesthetic sense in placing their retreats, and such love for all God’s animal creation?). It was rooted in a stark realism of faith in God and acceptance of the battle which is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual things of wickedness in the heavenly places. [Derwas Chitty (1901-1971) The Desert a City Crestwood, NJ, St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1995:xvi]

desert a city

And he asks:

Has it not its challenge for today?

If there is a challenge for contemporary Christians, and one which, to use Chitty’s words is rooted in a stark realism of faith in God and acceptance of the battle which is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual things of wickedness in the heavenly places it is surely in the Desert which is the contemporary City.

This blog offers explorations of Eastern Christian spirituality in the context of modern urban living. It follows in the tradition of the illustrious Saint, John Cassian (ca360-cs432) who sought to translate the Desert Spirituality he experienced in the Christian East into the life of urban Western Christians.

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