Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Wisdom of the Desert

In the late 200s and early 300s, a few men and women drifted away to the deserts of Egypt to pursue Christianity alone, living as hermits in caves. By the mid-300s, there was such a surge toward this starkly disciplined form of Christianity that the caves began to fill up.

One of the many stories which survives from this period illustrates this rush to the desert:
Abbot Arsenius lived in a cell thirty-two miles away from his nearest neighbor, and he seldom went out of it. The things he needed were brought there by disciples. But when the desert of Scete where he lived became peopled with hermits, he went away from there weeping and saying: Worldy men have ruined Rome and monks have ruined Scete.
The situation which caused the rush to the desert was when Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. For many, this was confirmation of the rightness of the Christian faith. The crucified and risen Jesus had conquered the Rome. Yet, others were more deeply convinced that Christianity and politics could not mix and if mixed would never create a perfect Christian society. Those who fled to become hermits were often convinced that the only kind of Christian one could be in a Christian country was a complacent one.

One of Victoria's photos of Egypt, click to see moreWe learn of the hermits of the desert through their sayings and stories, preserved through an oral tradition and written down as early as the 4th century by persons interested in capturing their distilled wisdom. My wife, Victoria, has created a new website called, Wisdom of the Desert, which offers a new saying from these radically faithful Christians of 4th century Egypt.

You can visit the blog here:

In the archives is the sermon Accommodation vs. Love.

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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