The Desert Fathers/Mothers and the Early Church Patriarchs were from an ascetic 
tradition. "Effort" meant "nepsis" - the preservation of vigilant attention. 
Effortlessness meant to rest that attention in the heart and then offer 
everything to God. That is why they were called the Neptic Fathers.

If interested, try this - The Therapeutic Strategy of Nepsis
 The Therapeutic Strategy of Nepsis
 For the ancient fathers, a basic prerequisite for genuine growth in the 
spiritual life involves a constant attitude of nepsis or watchfulness.  The 
word neps...
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It will give you some of the characteristics of original Christianity. That 
means the original tradition before the historical split between Rome and 
Constantinople. That means the era when the Pope was known as the Bishop of 
Rome rather as a titled dictator.
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