St Catherine’s Library, and the Jasmine in the Heart

Welcome to our monthly newsletter.

• We open our February selection with a brief text about the library at Saint Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai, where the profound contemplative life of the monks has been accompanied over the centuries by their scholarly and philological endeavours.

Following in the footsteps of John Klimakos and the Desert Fathers, the monks of Saint Catherine’s climb the Ladder of Divine Ascent rung by rung, renouncing the world in anticipation of the apocatastasis, the ‘restitution of all things in God’.

• We are also pleased to add to our Sacred Audio Collection a moving example of Punjabi Islamic spirituality, with one of the best known songs by the revered Sufi master Sultan Bahu: Alif Allah chambe di booti, “The Name Allah is like a jasmine planted by the master in my heart.”

Repeating “Allah!” you’ve memorized Him, but the veils have not gone.
You’ve become a learned scholar through constant study, but still you seek gold.
You’ve read thousands of books, but your cruel soul will not die.
Bahu, none but the mystics have killed this inner thief.

Enjoy listening!