Weekly Readings & Teachings
Weekly Readings & Teachings are insights and spiritual teachings on a 3 year cycle, curated by our core teachers.
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Cassian does not restrict this type of prayer to certain periods of the day, but urges Cassian and Germanus to ‘ceaseless prayer’; “You should, I say, meditate constantly on this verse in your heart. You should not stop repeating it when you are doing any kind of work or performing some service or are on a journey.
This significant flowering of Christian contemplative prayer lasted about two centuries in the deserts of Egypt, Palestine and Syria. It was Cassian, who brought it to the West in the early 5th century. He founded two monasteries in Marseilles in 415, one for women and one for men.
We have been looking at some the essential aspects of meditation. All of them were based on the teaching of the early Church and the Desert fathers and Mothers, especially the teaching of Evagrius, the teacher of Cassian, and one of the most influential Desert Fathers. But what made the early Christians move into the desert in the 4th Century CE, at first around Alexandria and later in Palestine and Syria?