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Classic Wisdom


Santo Domingo de la Calzada


In a day when 'new' is best, why would we look to history for classic wisdom?

Gerald Sittser answers that question fabulously in his book Water from a Deep Well:

"Augustine is one saint among hundreds whose stories need to be told, remembered and cherished, for they remind us that we are not alone, that we do not know it all, that we have not exhausted the depths of the Christian faith. Their voices echo to us across the centuries, saying, "There is more, so much more!" They invite us to drink more deeply from the well of living water available in the Christian faith, which promises to satisfy the deepest thirst in all of us, a thirst that is part of our very nature as human beings."*

When I was introduced to the spiritual classics a few years ago, a gateway opened up to a world I'd hardly known existed. The Christian Church has twenty centuries of literature to offer, more than any person could master in a lifetime. Reading classic literature often requires a discerning spirit, but for those who are willing to respect and interpret it for our times, it holds a deep well of living water indeed.

On these pages I offer just a few selections and reflections upon classic wisdom. Though small right now, I hope the collection will continue to grow for as long as I'm given the opportunity to partake of these great spiritual masters.


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Augustine - Carmichael- Ignatius - Patrick - Taylor - Teresa

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Spiritual formation quotes
The quotes page contains a collection of quotes on being formed in Christlikeness, gathered from the centuries of church history.



Augustine of Hippo (354–430)
Confessions 'Late have I loved you', an excerpt from the most read autobiography in history.



Amy Carmichael (1867-1951)
If: what do I know of Calvary love? A reflection on Amy's perspective on forgiveness and grace in this tiny gem of a book, written for the team she led.



Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)
Volume 6 of Refresh Your Soul presents Ignatian imaginative contemplation.



Saint Patrick (387–493)
Patrick's Breastplate Also known as The Lorica or The Deer's Cry, this a beautiful and powerful prayer.



Hudson Taylor (1832–1905)
The Exchanged Life Hudson Taylor describes how he came to understand how he could draw upon Christ's indwelling presence for every need.



Teresa of Avila (1515–1582)
The Passover Lamb A Holy Week meditation which includes insight from Teresa.

Stilling the Soul Wisdom from a master teacher on prayer.



* Gerald Sittser, Water from a Deep Well: Christian Spirituality from Early Martyrs to Modern Missionaries, p.17


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Quote of the Week
"Somebody was telling me this week that nobody can make a violin speak the last depths of human longing until that soul has been made tender by some great anguish. I do not say it is the only way to the heart of God..."

Frank Laubach
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16-18 May 2014
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