A Call to Renunciation and Watchfulness: Maroons & Monastics

A Beach Keeper's Journal

In the fourth century, many Christians fled to the deserts of northern Africa and the Middle East to escape worldly distractions and struggle against their temptations. Some were tired of the growing complacency that was creeping into the Church now that Christianity had become legal.  Others had little trust in government protection even though Emperor Constantine ended the persecutions.  Life in the desert was harsh and very simple.  But, the desert fathers and mothers found freedom in the wasteland.

Some were in the wastelands for only a short time. Yet, they carried the spirit of detatchment from worldly greed and power in the cities and towns they lived in.  Some noted bishops and priest gave liberally to the poor and maintained a rather Spartan existence.  In every generation there were those who imitated those original desert fathers.  Russia had it’s Northern Thebaid.  Other monks eked out a living on the…

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