Meet a Mystic: Amma Syncletica

The rooms in Spirit Center are named for famous mystics and monastics. Here is one of them.

Amma Syncletica was among the Desert Mothers and Fathers (Ammas and Abbas) who took to the silence of the natural world in order to draw closer to God. This meant a life of severe deprivations and hardships, but also great spaciousness and beauty. The result was the emergence of profound early Christian teachers that influenced later saints and leaders, including St. Benedict.

Amma Syncletica lived from mid-fourth to mid-fifth century in Alexandria, Egypt. Some twenty-seven of her “sayings” have been preserved by the women who joined her in the desert as disciples of Christ.

Amma Syncletica said: “In the beginning there is struggle and a lot of work for those who come near to God. But after that there is indescribable joy. It is just like building a fire: at first it is smoky and your eyes water, but later you get the desired result. Thus we must kindle the divine fire within ourselves with tears and effort.”