Book Review: By Way of the Desert
Compiled By: Bernard Bangley
Publisher: Paraclete Press ISBN: 9781557255372
I dearly adore the writings and the teachings of the ancient church fathers and mothers. There is depth and simplicity to their expression of faith that draws me in a profound way. Here, in By Way of the Desert, Bernard Bangley has taken these rich teachings from early Christianity and compiled them into a collection of daily readings. The format is simple and to the point with most of the devotional writings fitting on a four inch by five inch page. An example of one of the day’s readings follows:
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23)
Abba Antony said, “When you sit quietly alone you escape three wars: hearing, speaking, and seeing. The one thing you will fight all the time is your own heart.”
Keep your heart with all vigilance.
I have been enjoying this collection as a supplemental reading to other devotional exercises. Its brevity also makes it enjoyable to thumb through a number of “wisdom nuggets” that I can carry with me through the day.
If you’re unfamiliar with the writings of these early Christians, this might prove the perfect way to get acquainted with them. Their wisdom is timeless as you’ll soon find out.