About

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.
urban-wilderness-
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.

The author of this blog is a Priest of an Oriental Orthodox Church who lives and works in a city that is a desert. He lives in The Hermitage of St Cedd in an inner suburb of a large city.
tn_cedd

He can be contacted at gregory1 AT pacific.net.au

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