Painting: Russian Icon of Saviour of Golden Locks, ca. 1200.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
'In the Heart of the Desert: The Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers: With a Translation of Abba Zosimas' Reflections'
By John Chryssavgis (Author)
Discover the spiritual wisdom of the Desert Fathers and Mothers, who left the distractions of the outward world behind in order to find their own path to God. The Desert Fathers and Mothers - those early Christian ascetics who withdrew from the world to seek God - have influenced the spiritual lives of many people, from Saint Augustine to Thomas Merton. Their words, sometimes inspiring and uplifting, sometimes agonisingly painful, sometimes humorous, always speak straight from the heart. They resonate through the centuries because they tell the story of the deserted soul in its pilgrimage from darkness to light, from ignorance to truth, from sin to sanctity.
This revised edition of Father John Chryssavgis' fresh and vital introduction to the spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers brings their words to life and provides a key which unlocks their relevance for the reader of today. It also features: · A preface by Sister Benedicta Ward, a translation of the 'reflections' by Abba Zosimas, an early Desert Father, 16 Colour photos and illustrations and a map of the ancient Near East, a chronology of the most important Desert fathers and Mothers, a full bibliography and a new extensive index.