The life and wisdom of the desert fathers and mothers is not only retained in historical volumes, but has been a constant presence throughout the development of the church. A formative influence since the time of the early Christians, this wisdom has the power to transform and nurture even today. Using six fundamental aspects of desert monastic life as windows--The Cell, Patience, Praxis, Labor and Time, Solitude and Silence, and Humility--this book reveals the world that created the wisdom of early Christian monastic men and women. With this experiential approach to learning, Keller goes beyond simple reflection by providing substantial historical background, including the environment of solitude, ascetic disciplines, labor, and daily life experiences. Touching on the social, religious, political, and linguistic influences of the culture, it is an ideal introduction for modern readers with limited backgrounds in theology or church history. This book is ideal for those seeking spiritual mentoring or a discipline or prayer, and will appeal to those from all denominations and backgrounds, from those new to church history to oblates. The richness of this ancient wisdom will challenge modern Christians to catch the spirit of the desert elders and join in their struggle to live and authentic human life.