In the fourth century, the wildernesses of Egypt and Palestine were inhabited by a strange breed of spiritual nonconformists: the first Christian hermits. Thomas Merton's affection for these "Desert Fathers" shines in this much-loved treasury of their acts and words of wisdom. His free translation from the Latin source Verba Senorium illuminates their radical lives with insight and humor and sets them in close relation to Zen recluses, Hindu renunciants, and all those who have ever fled conventional life in search of higher wisdom.
"Thomas Merton does not so much introduce the Fathers of the desert; he stands in their midst, as one of them."—Daniel Berrigan, author of Uncommon Prayer: A Book of Psalms