“If you pray truly, you are a theologian.” -Evagrius Ponticus

Rediscovered this old post of mine about Evagrius over at The Witness Cloud while preparing for promoting my upcoming Desert Fathers course!


A monk at prayer, Bebenhausen, Germany (photo by MJH) A monk at prayer, Bebenhausen, Germany (photo by MJH)

One goal of the Witness Cloud is for us members to restructure our lives around prayer. Our primary means of doing this is joining the great cloud of witnesses (Heb. 12) who have prayed the regular structure of the daily (or divine) office, 2 to 4 times a day. Rather than the structure and rhythm of our lives being dictated by television times or solely by the work/school routine or by nothing at all, they are to be increasingly ordered through prayer —

True prayer, of course.

Merely reading the words of the liturgy and barely comprehending them to be able to say, ‘I prayed the office,’ is not true prayer. These thoughts come inspired by Evagrius Ponticus (d. 399), one of the most influential (and simultaneously controversial) mystical/ascetical theologians of the Egyptian desert; my brother (the other who…

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