Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Desert Fathers - with a Japanese perspective

During a trip to the Abbey of the Genesee last Saturday, I spotted a book about the Desert Fathers. I'd read other book collecting the Zen-like wisdom of the Fathers, so the book intrigued me. Henri Nouwen's name was prominent on the cover, so I figured he had written it.

Silly me.

While Nouwen helped to inspire it, and wrote an introduction, the book was actually a work of translation and illustration by Yushi Nomura, who'd been one of Nouwen's students at Yale. This edition is an updated version of the original 1982 book - with some lecture notes of Nouwen's added.

Despite the mistake about who'd written it, buying Desert Wisdom: Sayings from the Desert Fathers was no mistake.

Nomura did a nice job of selecting and translating, and his illustrations fittingly were Japanese in nature, highlighting that Zen-like quality of the saying that I'd mentioned earlier.

It  was a quick read - and one of those books that merits rereadings. Some of the sayings hit home based on some of my own current musings and challenges.

Nice find.

Pax et bonum

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