Title: Earthen Vessels: The Practice of Personal Prayer According to the Patristic Tradition
Binding: Paper Back
Book Condition: New
Publisher: Ignatius Press March 2002
0898708370 / 9780898708370
Seller ID: 100676
Certain subjects -- especially those that teach us the good, the beautiful and the true -- are best begun with a cautionary word. Fr. Gabriel Bunge, an eremitical Benedictine monk and Patristic scholar, chooses Evagrius of Pontus: ''Do not merely speak with pleasure about the deeds of the Fathers, but demand of yourself also the accomplishment of the same amid great labors.'' While understanding the exquisite beauty of the patristic tradition on prayer, Fr. Bunge also recognizes that man is ''designed with a view to becoming,'' and that ''faith evaporates when it is no longer practiced in a way that accords with [this] essence.'' Here the Church Fathers are indispensable, standing nearest to the threshold of Christian prayer and teaching us the essential union of theoretikos (theory) and praktikos (practice). This ''grace of the origin'' (as Fr. Bunge puts it) ''stamps with the seal of authenticity everything that remains in living fellowship with it.'' Our work is to participate in that fellowship, and we think this book belongs in the hands of anyone who seriously desires a life of prayer. Bringing us into the company of the Fathers, Fr. Bunge reveals what they say about specifics -- places and times, physical orientations, gestures (be it the sign of the cross, bowing, kneeling or prostrating) and the manner of our words in accord with the tone of our silence. He has also included a very helpful appendix for setting up a prayer corner and beginning a personal rule. Of course, all this is only a beginning. Then comes the work of setting our foot to the path. 222 pp.