The insights of the desert monks of the fifth and sixth centuries amaze, and startle, readers by their wisdom. Among other things, they teach "that the first step in overcoming our sinfulness is an honest perception of things as they are." By arranging these "words" in short daily readings, Tim Vivian invites modern readers to savor the monks' advice, as did those who collected these sayings, rather than dismiss them as a fascinating but irrelevant bit of history.
Tim Vivian is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at California State University, Bakersfield. He is the author of numerous books and articles on early Christian monasticism, including The Life of Antony (with Apostolos N. Athanassakis) and Words to Live By: Journeys in Ancient and Modern Egyptian Monasticism, both published by Cistercian Publications.
This is a fascinating and inspiring collection.
Becoming Fire would make a good addition to any Christian's library . . . here is a whole book full of good words.
The desert tradition is a tradition for our time, and we could do worse than allow the wisdom of the desert to shape our Christian sensibility. After all, we, too, live in a wilderness-cities and suburbs can be a wilderness just as much as any desert-and the fathers and mothers can help show us the way. Savor this book and pray with it: it is really worth it.
This book is indeed for all those who want to deepen their spirituality by entering into this wisdom of the desert day by day, story by story.
Catholic Books Review
Anyone familiar with this always intriguing, often provocative yet consoling literature will smile at hearing again well-loved, well-known sayings. . . . I am grateful not only to Tim Vivian and the other translators for bringing these words to us but also to Cistercian publications for making them available in this excellent volume.
Cistercian Studies Quarterly
Savor this book and pray with it: it is really worth it.
The Very Reverend Peter Eaton, Saint John's Cathedral, Denver, Colorado