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Exquisite Mutualities: A Reflection on Some Early Monastic Themes in the Apophthegmata Patrum Using Gregory Boyle’s Tattoos on the Heart and Barking to the Choir

The themes in the early monastic sayings and stories, some of them discussed here, are not neatly numbered and segregated as a linear presentation necessarily makes them; they’re much more like marrow and bone, bone and sinew, sinew and muscle, muscle to movement. Here I will make connections when I can. The themes are like a quilt on a bed, seen whole from a distance; and they’re the threads and cross threads one studies and appreciates when looking at the quilt close up.

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