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Matericon: Instructions of Abba Isaiah to the Honorable Nun Theodora
Also included in this book are the collected sayings of the Desert Mothers, presented for the first time in English. This edition stems from the translation of St. Theophan the Recluse, and includes his introduction.
A valuable extract from the spiritual world of the earliest monastic period, available for the first time in English translation. Abba Isaiah (died ca. 490) offered teachings that found a place in the earliest collections of sayings of the Fathers and also in the Philokalia. Now we have another of his works, a letter replying to a request by the nun Theodora for spiritual instruction, with the addition of a ''matericon,'' a collection of sayings of Desert Mothers such as Syncletica, Sarah, Matrona, Pelagia, Theodora, Melania, and others. The third part of this book contains his actual scripture-laden advice on the life of stillness which Theodora had requested. ''Just as the meadows look, when filled with all kinds of flowers, so is this present book of mine, O sacred and sweetest child. In it you will find all the flowers of the virtues -- attention of the mind and the practice of the heart -- for the purification and salvation of your soul, if you so desire... May the Lord of Glory be with you.''