Blessed are those who mourn... In meditating on this Beatitude, the Desert Fathers often spoke of its connection with sorrow for sin, and their own experience of what came to Be called the ''gift of tears.'' They were insistent that entering into Christian joy was inseperable from this primary experience of compunction. Irenee Hausherr has traced this recurrent theme through the first millennium of the monastic tradition and made it accessible to those outside the monastic calling. In the almost half century since it was first published, and to the modern mindset constantly immersed in the language of ''self-esteem'' and ''self-fulfillment,'' Penthos is a jarring reminder of a pristine practice of self-knowledge and repentance. 200 pp.
An Eighth Day View:
'Penthos is precisely the kind of book most of us need today-something utterly unfashionable that can cut through the trendiness of contemporary spiritual consumerism. It is a book for serious people, about a serious subject. Besides being a very nice piece of historical theology, it qualifies as a fine book for devotional reading'-Worship. 'This book (as difficult as it is) will be of interest to students of the spirituality of the Christian East, to those who have made the Jesus Prayer an integral part of their spiritual discipline, and to others who wish to deepen their understanding of how our Christian identity is formed'-The Living Church.