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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Great expectations

They cause us more harm than good

As we struggle to live our lives in accordance with God’s will, it’s comforting to know that those who have gone before us faced some of the same challenges.

The desert fathers and mothers, who lived as hermits in Egypt and the Middle East in the third to fifth centuries, developed an everyday spirituality that can teach us about patience, humility, inner peace and hospitality. Known as the abbas and the ammas, they were often visited by spiritual seekers who asked them for “a word.” This wisdom has been collected in The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (Cistercian Publications, 1987), translated with a foreword by Benedicta Ward.


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November issue

NOVEMBER issue:

The ELCA's aging clergy wave

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