I am most grateful for the replies I have received following my first posting. I feel that I returned from Anafora last October with a grain of the desert planted in my heart that has continued to multiply.
Personally, I feel that the Anglican Church (of which I am a priest) is the poorer for having lost touch with the spirituality of the desert as exemplified in the monastic tradition. In our effort to be 'new' and 'relevant' we are losing touch with our roots, and rootless plants whither and die! Senior appointments are often made on the basis of intellectual and academic achievement without discernment of the 'pastoral heart' within a person. In one of his talks at Anafora, Bishop Thomas spoke of the monk within him reminding him of the need for humility and prayer when, at times, as bishop he became a little too arrogant or self-assured. I, too, need to remind myself continually that I am called to have 'the care of souls' as the primary goal of my ministry.
The monastic pattern of prayer and work has much to teach not only the frenetic spirit of the modern world, but also that of the modern church.
I shall find time to seek more information on the concept and practice of desert spirituality posted by Severus for which I am indebted.
By the way, I have just received my copy of 'Our Daily Life' that I look forward to reading.
I sense that finding the British Orthodox Fellowship and its forum will be a source of much encouragement on my continuing spiritual journey with God and in God. For this I give much thanks!