One strength of the monastic model as presented in the early desert literature is the pastoral responsiveness to individual needs, while one weakness of this model is the apparent divide between body and spirit. The current image many of today’s readers might have of the monastic desert is of wizened, brittle hermits continuously at war with their bodies in an attempt to subjugate the flesh. Rather, I would propose that the early monks can offer us a refreshing view of psychosomatic integrity, one that can speak to current discussions of pastoral accompaniment.
Putnam, Aiden. 2018. Instruments of the Soul: Oikonomia and Bodily Asceticism. Obsculta 11, (1) : 51-60. https://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/obsculta/vol11/iss1/5.