Abba Isaiah of Scetis - Ascetic Discourses
Written in the fifth century, during one of the most formative periods of christian monasticism in Egypt and Palestine, the Ascetic Discourses show a strong influence of the Scriptures, both Old and New, and of earlier monastic writers. They are marked by a faithfulness to tradition, yet equally by a note of originality distinctive to the Gaza region. Abba Isaiah has set forth a practical guide for monks, ever aware of the challenges that interpersonal relationships present within monastic communities. Functionality, however, does not overwhelm Isaiah's emphasis of the intimate nature of the relationship between the monk and Jesus. He does this by illustrating that the imitation of Christ is at the core of each monk's life.