Unity gives life - Matta al-Miskîn

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Translation from Arabic: Samuel Rubenson
Foreword: Samuel Rubenson
Postscript: Gunnel Vallquist
Wire bound with unspread pages
Number of pages: 80
Year of publication: 2001

The spiritual leader of the Makarios Monastery, Father Matta al-Miskin (1919-2006), belonged to a small group of young monks who in the middle of the 20th century were seized by the opportunity to follow Christ in the footsteps of the early desert fathers. After living first in a monastery and then as a hermit in the desert for ten years, he came to the Makarios Monastery in 1970 and, together with his disciples, began an internal and external restoration that came to make this monastery one of the most important spiritual centers of the Coptic Church.

Father Matta left behind an extensive body of writing on a range of subjects, not least biblical commentaries. In the writing Enhet ger liv - his so far only book in Swedish - he summarizes the vision of unity that has made him one of our times' most challenged voices for the church's visible unity. A famous sentence in the book summarizes Matta al-Miskîn's vision of unity: "We must begin to live together in the single and innermost essence of the faith before we can agree on the content."

Here stands a spiritual master in one of Christendom's oldest churches, a modern-day desert father, calling Christendom to the Lord's table - not a looming goal after laborious debates, but the place where we receive the road food necessary for the journey towards the goal. (Gunnel Vallquist in the book's postscript.)