Desert Wisdom Article by GTS Alumna

GTS alumna V.K. McCarty (M.A. ’11) was delighted recently to be invited by Prof. Clair McPherson to present her newly published article in the current issue of Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction (V. 18, No. 3, September 2012, pp. 52-61) to his Ascetical Theology 1 class. The article explores Christian spirituality at a time when early monasticism was on the threshold of evolving from single hermits in the desert into communities seeking salvation in life together. Prof. McPherson’s class was quick to identify how the contemplative vs. community aspect, which played out in the origins of monasticism, is present in most spiritual experience today. “There’s often a tension present right in there with the synergy of it,” says McCarty. The Desert Dwellers have left the church a rich treasury of wisdom sayings and “Wisdom from the Desert for Spiritual Directors” also offers suggestions for their application in the modern-day parish setting and in spiritual direction. “But I took a different tack with the class,” McCarty reports, “encouraging them to make use of the resources of the many Episcopalian monastic communities which are active today.”  V.K. serves as the Acquisitions Librarian for the Christoph Keller, Jr. Library and says she enjoyed the lively interplay of class discussion around the sayings of the Desert Dwellers and her article, which is available in the Library.