Thursday, October 30, 2014

Guarding the Imagination by St Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain


Saint Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain 

What the Imagination Is and That It Produces the Same Passion as the Senses
Because I have already commented to you about the five external senses of the body, it is proper now to also comment briefly on the internal sense of the soul, that is, the imagination


Imagination is more refined than sense perception, but more coarse than the mind (nous*- see *nous below))and for this reason it stands between the mind and the senses, according to St. Gregory Palamas 1-see Notes below. The imagination is the map of the ruling mind, about which we spoke in the beginning, and upon which everything is recorded

it is the broad board on which things are painted; it is the wax on which things are imprinted. What things? All the things that we see with our eyes; all the things we hear with our ears; all the things we smell with our noses; all the things we taste through our mouths; and all the things we touch through the general sense of touch. 

According to the wise Vryennios who borrowed the saying from St. Maximos, "The body's world is the external objects, and the mind's are the thoughts." Aristotle called the imagination a common sense, because it alone contains all those images, all those sensations and dispositions which have entered from the outside through our five senses. He called it sense because the same passion and movement caused by all the external senses upon the soul is also caused by the imagination alone. 

In order to prove this [fact] many examples are brought forward by the metaphysicians, the physicians, the physicists and ethicists. I like to present my proof with this example only: Someone eats a lemon. Someone else stands by and sees him, and in seeing him he thinks that he too is tasting the sharp taste of the lemon so much so that the taste buds are affected in his own mouth.

Now, what is experienced by the observer can be experienced also by someone who is not observing the phenomenon of eating a lemon, but who is affected with a strong impression through the imagination. He who imagines strongly the sensation received by the one eating a lemon imagines himself to be eating a lemon also and gradually has almost the same reaction in his mouth. There is obviously a very close interplay between the external senses and those of the imagination which are affected by both one's physical and spiritual capacities.

This is the reason why, dear friend, knowing this you must guard your external senses from passionate objects, as we said before. At the same time, however, you must also guard the internal sense, that is the imagination, and not permit it to envision and remember passionate and shameful visions seen by the eyes, or the improper words heard by the ears, or the fragrances smelled by the nose, or the rich and delicious foods tasted by the mouth, or the soft things touched by the hands.

No, for what is the value of guarding the external senses and then not guarding the imagination, which possesses all the passionate impressions of the senses and causes through them the same passion and agitation to the soul? 

Joseph Vryennios has borrowed a quotation from St. Maximos to express this close relationship between the senses and the imagination: "As the body is capable of fornication with the body of a woman, the mind can also fornicate with the thought of the woman, through the imagination of that same body. A man imagines in his mind the form of his own body to be united with the form of the woman's body. The same is true with the other sins as well. Those things which the body does actively in the physical world, the mind also does in the world of thoughts"3. But why do I say that you must guard the imagination as you do the external senses? Actually, we must take greater care in guarding our imagination than our senses.

How does the Imagination Differ from the Senses?
The external senses are active only when external stimuli are present. The imagination however can open its "book" and reveal its sights and sounds, and so forth, even when the perceptible things are absent and man is alone enclosed within the walls of his home or in a far and isolated place. 

The imagination is a sort of very fine sense of touch, especially when a certain passion is invoked strongly. In fact it is often the imagination itself which prompts the external senses to enjoy some imagined passion and thus exercises a sort of influence over them. The imagination being itself a more refined sense than the external senses, as we said before, is consequently more rapid in movement, being able in a flash to impress and fashion passionate images of sin, and at the same time to attract the heart of consent. This is why greater care is needed to guard the imagination. 

St. Maximos said: "To sin in thought is so much easier than to sin in deed, as to wage war indeed is so much more difficult than to do so in thought"4. St. Basil also spoke about this when interpreting the passage in Job 2:5: "For Job said, 'It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts." The just Job was reasonable in considering the possibility and praying for hidden sin, since men have a tendency to readily fall into the sins of the mind. 

The activities of the body require both time and opportunity and toil as well as other persons to cooperate. The activities of the mind, however, are enacted in an instant, without toil, without burden and every time for them is appropriate to act"5. The imagination has a certain natural attribute and all the impressions it receives from the senses it wants to make them all visible so that it can see, as St. Gregory Palamas has noted 6.

For example, you hear, "Martha, Sophia." These are two simple sounds which have struck your eardrums and you have heard them. The imagination is not content to hear them as simple sounds, so it proceeds to fashion even the images of Martha and Sophia, thereby creating greater agitation and passionate pleasure in the soul. 

By the same token when you hear "kingdom of heaven" or "hell" or anything else that you have not actually seen before, you undergo a certain effort through the imagination to give them some visual form or image. Generally speaking, as we said in the chapter on sight above, the sense of sight sees things substantially; the imagination similarly makes visible what is imagined and in a sense represents them substantially. This is why imagination instigates a more serious war and a greater agitation. 

These then are the two natural consequences which follow one after the other: Namely, the effort one makes to imagine an object that is absent is the same effort one makes when it is present physically. Conversely, the less one tries to imagine a thing, the less one tries when it is physically present. 

Oftentimes the senses receive sense perceptions of things and simply leave them without curiosity. Later when one returns home, the imagination then remembers and describes with curiosity whatever the senses saw or heard or spoke in passing, and thus creates a greater war and agitation to the soul. 

The imagination, as soon as it receives and records the image of a beautiful person, can only with great difficulty wipe out that image, as we have noted in the chapter on sight. "The things we have suffered are the things we carry around with us through their passionate imaginations," as St. Maximos wrote 7. 

What is very strange is that we often imagine that person to be dead, while other times we touch with our hands the lifeless skull and the bones and yet our foolish and unreasonable imagination does not want to remember it as dead. It holds on to that first image that was impressed on the mind when that person was alive and does not cease to trouble us with it. And this can happen when we are awake or when we are sleeping. 

Also, the imagination not only records things, that is, receives images of things seen, but also recalls those images that have been forgotten, fashions other images on its own which it substitutes for others by adding or subtracting or changing. Thus it can change insignificant images insignificantly, both when we are awake and when we are asleep through our dreams, in which dreams, I suggest, you never believe. It is written: "For dreams have deceived many, and those who put their hope in them have failed" (Sir. 34:7).

From this we conclude that passionate imagination has greater power and authority over man than the senses themselves. Once someone is overcome by a passionate imagination he becomes altogether subservient to that imagination. Thus he may not be able to see even though he has the sense of sight; he may not hear even though he can hear; neither can he smell or touch. Having all his sense organs open, he appears to have them closed and totally inactive.

The Devil Is Greatly Related to the Imagination and for This Reason Uses It as an Organ of Deception

The devil has a very close relationship and familiarity with the imagination, and of all the powers of the soul he has this one as the most appropriate organ to deceive man and to activate his passions and evils. 

He indeed is very familiar with the nature of the imagination. For he, being created by God originally as a pure and simple mind without form and image, as the other divine angels, later came to love the forms and the imagination. Imagining that he could set his throne above the heavens and become like God, he fell from being an angel of the light and became a devil of darkness.

St. Dionysios spoke about this devil: "What is the evil in the devils? Irrational anger; unreasonable desire; and reckless imagination"8. St. Gregory Sinaite also wrote: "The devils were originally minds who fell from that immateriality and refinement and each of them received a certain material thickness"9. The devil uses the imagination as his organ. He deceived Adam through the imagination and raised up to his mind the fantasy of being equal with God. Before the disobedience Adam did not have the imaginative attribute, as St. Maximos noted:

"In the beginning, passion and pain were not created together with the body; nor forgetfulness and ignorance together with the soul; nor the ever changing impressions in the shape of events with the mind. All these things were brought about in man by his disobedience.

He who would remove passion and suffering from the body achieves practical virtue; he who would remove forgetfulness and ignorance from the soul has properly attained the natural vision; and he who would release the mind of the many impressions, has acquired the mystery of theology. 

For the mind of Adam at first was not impressed by the imagination, which stands between the mind and the thoughts, setting up a wall around the mind and not allowing it to enter into the most simple and imageless reasons of created beings. The passionate physical perceptions of the visible things are scales that cover over the clairvoyance of the soul and prevent its passage over to the authentic word of truth" 10

Adam, however, was able at first to be attached to the thoughts of the mind and to enter into them without the intermediary of the imagination.

The Lord Did Not Have Imagination
The new Adam, our Lord, did not have imaginations, according to the theologians. One of them, Georgios Koresios, wrote in his theological treatise on the Incarnation: "The Lord deserved merit not for his blessed vision and knowledge and the love that flowed from it, but for the knowledge that was poured upon him from God, and which was always active in Christ voluntarily and never interrupted by sleep or any other cause, as it happens in the mind of other men. 

The mind of Christ was completely independent of the imaginations which become a wall blocking our penetration into the immaterial realities of the spirit." Not only Adam but most persons who have ever fallen into sin and deceptions, into irrational superstitions and heresies and evil and corrupt doctrines, have all been deceived through the imagination. 

This is the reason why the holy Fathers call the devil a pantomime and an ancient painter, as we have seen especially in St. Chrysostom 11. St. Maximos has noted that the devils deceive men not only when awake but also when they are sleeping, but inciting them with the passions of the body through the imagination. This imagination is considered by the Fathers to be a bridge of the devils. 

St.Kallistos has written: "Imagination is like a multiform and many-head monster similar to the mythical Daedalos and Hydra, which the devil utilizes as a sort of bridge, as the saints have previously noted. These murderous villains communicate and unite themselves with the soul, making it into a hive of parasites, a place of passionate and fruitless thoughts"12

St. Gregory the Theologian said that imagination is the cause of both the consent and the act of sin. Do you see now, dear friend, how many evil things imagination brings about? I beseech you therefore, to guard your imagination as much as you possibly can so that no images harmful to the soul are impressed upon it, as they seek to enter through the senses. 

And if they have already entered, seek not to compromise with them or to give your consent in your heart, but run directly to God through prayer of the heart, which we are going to discuss in the following chapter. St. Syngletike has noted: "It is important not to give your consent to the imaginations. For it is written that if the spirit of the devil arises in you, do not leave the place of your heart, for such consent is tantamount to worldly fornication" (cf. Eccl 10:4) 13.

How Should Imagination Be Used and That We Will Be Judged by the Images Imprinted Upon It
I have referred to images harmful to the soul because there are other images which are permissible, as St. Kallistos noted. Such images include the contrition, the grief, and the humility of the heart; the meditations upon death, the future judgment, and the eternal punishments; the study and meditation upon creation and the Incarnation of the Lord; the phenomena of creation, the miracles, and the mysteries of the Lord's Incarnation - the birth, the baptism, the crucifixion, the burial, the resurrection, and so forth, as we have said before. 

Finally, it is permissible, when fighting against certain inappropriate and evil imaginations presented by the enemy, to use other appropriate and virtuous imaginations. 

Do not pay any attention to the shameful and fearful images of the foolish and irrational imagination and do not be frightened by them. Ignore them and consider them unworthy of your attention. They are empty playthings without any true substance. 

He who is used to ignoring the imaginations can also ignore the real things themselves that are depicted in the imaginations, as St. Maximos has noted: "He who conquers over the passionate fantasies will also be able to prevail over the realities they represent"14. 

Let me conclude this chapter and summarize what I have been saying. Know that if you impress upon the board and chart of your imagination beautiful and appropriate images, you will be praised on the day of judgment, when what each person imagines secretly will be revealed. But if you allow inappropriate and evil images to be recorded and to dwell in your imagination, you will then be condemned, as St. Basil has noted 15.

*NousThe word 'mind' (nous) as used by St Nicodemos in  this text, does not refer to reason, discursive thinking or logical thinking, but to the organ of the soul by which it can 'know', that is directly apprehend, spiritual realities; not by drawing conclusions, but directly under the inspiration of divine Grace. The Greek language makes a distinction between nous (translated as 'mind' here) which is the spiritual organ of knowledge of the soul; and diania or 'reason' the organ of knowledge of the brain through the senses and discourse. Orthodox Christian anthropology affirms that man has both organs of knowledge. Thoughts, reason and the senses can interact with the nous, both in a positive and in a negative manner, and in that way affect the heart, the spiritual center of man.

Notes
1. Physical Chapters, ch 27
2. Third Century, ch 53
3. Third Century on Love, ch 53
4. First Century on Love ch 63
5. Homily on Guard Thyself
6. Physical Chapters, ch 6
7. First Century on Love, ch 63
8. Divine Names, ch 4
9. St Gregory the Sinaite, ch 123
10. Second Century of Theology, ch 75
11. Homily on Prayer
12. Philokalia, ch 64
13. Quoted in the Biography of St. Syngletike
14. The Centuries on Love, ch 63
15. Homily on Virginity

from A Handbook of Spiritual Counsel, p.146-p.152, by St Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain, Trans. by Peter Chamberas, Paulist Press New York 1989
This book is available from Amazon

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, Speaks Highly of Russian Writer Dostoyevsky and His Work



I find this interview fascinating! Dr Rowan Williams speaks with admiration about Dostoyevsky, Orthodox spirituality and Orthodox Christianity. His insight into The Brothers Karamazov is, I think, quite Orthodox. He understands that in a world of chaos and hopelessness, God has preserved those who bear witness to the Truth, the Way and fullness of Life; being at peace in the midst of the storm, and being steadfast and resolute, with absolute Faith and trust in God.

In their prophetic lives, God's witnesses are meek and humble. They do not impose their understanding on others. They simply are, reflecting in their countenance and in their way of life, the Presence of the Living God.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Procesion with the Relics of St Gerasimos of Cephalonia




Today the Orthodox Church commemorate St Gerasimos of Cephalonia. I had the blessing of visiting Cephalonia in 2004. The reliquary was opened so I could venerate the saint and a supplicatory service was read by the priest, in which my name was included. I will never forget the holiness that permeated the nave of the church where his relics are kept. It reminded me of Prophet Moses when he was told by the Lord, "remove your sandals from your feet because the place where you stand is holy".

The saint has the Grace to free people from demonic possession, and the afflicted are brought to his monastery from many different countries. In this video you see and hear a poor woman who is suffering. But the demons are no match for the saint.

Holy St Gerasimos, pray to God for us!





2014 Procession with the relics of St Gerasimos

Friday, October 17, 2014

Buddhism and Eastern Asceticism Compared to Orthodox Christian Asceticism by Fr Zacharias Zacharou

Lotus Flower

"It is unfortunate that there is widespread confusion, not to mention delusion, in the inexperienced, whereby the Jesus Prayer is thought to be equivalent to yoga in Buddhism, or 'transcendental meditation', and other such Eastern exotica. 

Any similarity, however, is mostly external, and any inner convergence does not rise beyond the natural 'anatomy' of the human soul. The fundamental difference between Christianity and other beliefs and practices lies in the fact that the Jesus Prayer is based on the revelation of the One true living and personal God as Holy Trinity No other path admits any possibility of a living relationship between God and the person who prays.

Eastern asceticism aims at divesting the mind of all that is relative and transitory, so that man may identify with the impersonal Absolute. This Absolute is believed to be man's original 'nature', which suffered degradation and degeneration by entering a multiform and ever-changing earth-bound life. Ascetic practice like this is, above all, centred upon the self, and is totally dependent on man's will. Its intellectual character betrays the fullness of human nature, in that it takes no account of the heart. 


Man's main struggle is to return to the anonymous Supra-personal Absolute and to be dissolved in it. He must therefore aspire to efface the soul (Atman) in order to be one with this anonymous ocean of the Suprapersonal Absolute, and in this lies its basically negative purpose.

In his struggle to divest himself of all suffering and instability connected with transient life, the eastern ascetic immerses himself in the abstract and intellectual sphere of so-called pure Existence, a negative and impersonal sphere in which no vision of God is possible, only man's vision of himself. 

There is no place for the heart in this practice. Progress in this form of asceticism depends only on one's individual will to succeed. The Upanishads do not say anywhere that pride is an obstacle to spiritual progress, or that humility is a virtue.

The positive dimension of Christian asceticism, in which self-denial leads to one's clothing with the heavenly man, to the assumption of a supernatural form of life, the Source of which is the One True, Self-revealing God, is obviously and totally absent. 

Even in its more noble expressions, the self-denial in Buddhism is only the insignificant half of the picture. In the mind's desire to return to its merely 'natural' self, it beholds its own nakedness in a 'cloud of divestiture'. But at this point there is a grave risk of obsession with itself, of its marveling at its own luminous but created beauty, and worshiping the creature more than the Creator (Rom. 1:25). The mind has by now begun to deify or idolize its self and then, according to the words of the Lord, 'the last state of that man is worse than the first' (Matt. 12:45)." from Pravoslavie.ru

Please continue reading here

For more on Buddhism contrasted with Orthodox Christianity go here and here.

"My scars are become noisome and corrupt in the face of my folly." Psalm 37:6

Available from C.T.O.S.

On the Scar of Penitence
by St Gregory the Great

To the discussion of the abolition of the memory of aberrations it was 
subjoined: "My scars are become noisome and corrupt in the face of
my folly." Psalm 37:6

One who corrects and laments his error draws a scar over the wound.
But when a deceived mind recalls for its pleasure the sin of which it
has already repented, the scar of penitence which had formed reverts
to festering of the wound so that evil delight has a stench after the scar
has already showed the healing of the injury with restored skin.

From 'Homilies on the Book of the Prophet Ezequiel by St Gregory
the Great'  p.488, Translated by Theodosia Tomkinson, Center for
Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, Etna CA 2008 


                                                                        
                                           St Gregory the Great Source




                                                St Nikolai Velimirovich   Source

St Nikolai Velimirovich in his homily for October 17 ( in the Prologue of Ochrid) writes,

"The prophet speaks of the wounds of sins that he himself committed, and from which he sensed in himself the stench of sin. As much as this acknowledgment reveals the impurity of previous sins, so is the subsequent purity of the repentant one also shown.

For as long as man follows the corrupt path of sin, he does not sense its suffocating stench; but when he withdraws from this path and sets off on the pure path of righteousness, he senses the inexpressible difference between purity and impurity, between the path of virtue and the path of vice. 

Imagine a man who has spent the night in a stinking tavern and finds himself in a garden of roses the next morning. In the former there was stench, poison, debasement of soul and body, anger, discord, and the tormenting of himself and others. In the latter is God's great sun overhead, beautiful flowers everywhere, fresh air, wondrous fragrance, serenity and health. 

Imagine this, and understand that there is an even greater difference between the path of sin and the path of God. My wounds are foul and festering. Thus the great king describes the fruits of his sinful past. Nothing is as foul as sin, nothing festers as much and nothing spreads as much as sin. The stench of bodily wounds suggests, in only a small way, the unbearable stench of a sinful soul. 

That is why every holy thing distances itself from such a soul. The pure heavenly spirits hide from such a one, and the impure spirits of Hades seek its company. Every new sin is a fresh wound on the soul; every sin is corruption and stench. How does sin arise? From my foolishness explains the prophet. A mind derailed from its divine track leads man to sin. Until the mind is cleansed, man cannot be cleansed. 

But we have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16), says the Apostle. In other words, we have a mind put back on track, as was Adam's mind before the sinful stench. Hence brethren, all Orthodox teaching on asceticism concentrates on one main point: on the mind of man; on the cleansing and correcting of the mind.

O Lord Jesus Christ, Purity and eternal Source of purity, help us to reject our foolishness; help us to reason according to Thy mind. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen"
The Prologue of Ochrid p.417-418, St Nikolai Velimirovich, Trans. by Fr Timothy Tepsic vol 2, Sebastian Press 2008 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

On Slander by St Maximos the Confessor, St John Chrysostom and St Tikhon of Zadonsk

Source

“Inasmuch as you pray with all your soul for the one who has slandered you, so much will God reveal the truth to them who have believed the slander. “
– St. Maximus the Confessor, Chapters on Love, 4.89  Source


"Wherefore, not those that are slandered, but the slanderers, have need to be anxious, and to tremble, for the former are not constrained to answer for themselves, touching the evil things which are said of them, but the latter will have to answer for the evil they have spoken, and over these impends the whole danger."
St. John Chrysostom in Homily 42 on the Gospel of Matthew 12:33

"In Consolation of a Certain Brother Made the Victim of Slander
by St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

You are enduring terrible slander, as I hear. Accept what consolation I can offer.

1. Nothing happens to us without God; therefore, the wicked tongue also attacks us by the permission of God. For this reason be patient in the face of what God has sent. God hears the slander and also knows your conscience.

2. Be consoled by this -- that you are enduring false accusation. A clear conscience is consolation. It is better to be consoled by your conscience alone, even if the whole world slanders you, than to be accused by your conscience, when the whole world heaps praises upon you. This is my choice: let everyone slander me, if only my conscience with praise me. The conscience is a reliable witness that does not lie: it says what it sees and is silent about what it does not see. It stands alone against thousands of slanderers and offers a defence and consolation and, in time, shuts the mouths of the slanderers and covers them with shame.

3. You have many comrades in this misfortune. The saints of God endured much slander, and there are many who live now and who likewise suffer the same way. You are not the only one who suffers from this; many have travelled by this path and have made it smooth for us and summon us to come by the same path. Let us follow in their footsteps, that together with them we may glorify Jesus Christ Who redeemed us. O Jesus, attract us, weak and despondent to follow Thee and Thy saints.

4. Think on this and examine your conscience; have you not ever wounded anyone with your tongue? When this happens, then slander is punished by slander, and therefore endure with thanksgiving, that the sin be chastened here, so that he who committed the sin might be shown mercy later. "When we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world," says the Apostle (1 Cor. 11:32). O Lord, chasten us here, and have mercy on us there!

5. You see how God, with His mercy, turns to good that which Satan and the evil contrive for evil. Therefore, be calm now and console yourself, and forget all vanity.

6. Learn from this not to believe the gossip of others who spread slander. Just as you hear slander against youself unexpectedly, so those concerning whom evil rumors are circulated often hear them unexpectedly, not even knowing what they are being accused of. Give thanks for this together with the prophet: "It is good for me that Thou hast humbled me" (Ps. 118:71). Read these points which I am sending, and you will discover what I mean. Work for your salvation and remember me, a sinner."

Your well-wisher,
Bishop Tikhon
Source
Source: Orthodox Life, Volume 26, Number 6 (Nov.-Dec. 1976), pages 8-9

For more reading on slander, according to the Church Fathers, go here.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Recommended Reading

  • A Commentary On The Divine Liturgy by St. Nicholas Cabasilas, ISBN: 0-913836-37-0
  • A Night in the Desert of the Holy Mountain by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos Trans. by Effie Mavromichali, ISBN: 960-7070-31-3
  • A Spiritual Psalter or Reflections On God excerpted by St. Theophan the Recluse from the works of St. Ephraim the Syrian, Trans. by Antonina Janda, ISBN 0-912927-40-2
  • Against False Union ( with a prologue by Photios Kontoglou) by Alexander Kalomiros, Trans. by George Gabriel, ISBN: 0-913026-49-2
  • Akathist To Jesus Conqueror of Death, by St Nikolai Velimirovich, Trans. by Interklima, Copyright 2009, English Edition, by St Paisius Monastery, Safford, AZ
  • An Athonite Gerontikon by Archimandrite Ioannikios, Holy Monastery of St Gregory Palamas Kouphalia, Greece 1991
  • Byzantine Theology by John Meyendorff, ISBN: 0-8232-0967-9
  • Christ Our Way and Our Life by Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou, ISBN 1-878997-74-2
  • Christ The Eternal Tao by Hieromonk Damascene, ISBN 0-938635-85-9
  • Commentary on The Gospel of St Luke by St Cyril of Alexandria Trans. by R.Payne Smith, Studion Publishers, Inc. ISBN:0-943670-01-2
  • Concerning Frequent Communion by Nikodemos the Hagiorite, Trans. by George Dokos, ISBN: 960-86778-5-8
  • Confronting Controlling Thoughts by Antony M. Coniaris, ISBN: ISBN: 1-880971-88-7
  • Conversations with Children by Sister Magdalen, ISBN: 1-874679-21-5
  • Counsels from the Holy Mountain by Elder Ephraim of Philotheou, ISBN: 0-9667000-2-3
  • Daily Readings with St. Isaac of Syria, Trans. by Sebastian Brock, ISBM: 0-87243-173-8
  • Dance, O Isaiah by Constantine Platis, unknown printing 2000
  • Diary Of A Pilgrimage from the Ancient Christian Writers series, by Egeria, Trans. by George E. Gingras, ISBN: 0-8091-0029-0
  • Drinking from the Hidden Fountain by Thomas Spidlik, ISBN: 0-87907-348-9
  • Elder Ephraim of Katounakia Trans by Tessy Vassiliaou-Christodoulou, ISBN: 960-7407-33-4
  • Elder Paisios of Mount Athos Spiritual Counsels, Spiritual Awakening vol 2, Trans by Fr. Peter Chamberas, Holy Monastery 'Evangelist John The Theologian' Souroti, Greece 2007
  • Elder Paisios of Mount Athos Spiritual Counsels, With Pain And Love for Contemporay Man vol1, Trans by Cornelia A. Tsakiridou & Maria Spanou, Holy Monastery 'Evangelist John The Theologian' Souroti, Greece 2006
  • Epistles by Elder Paisios of Mount Athos, Holy Monastery of the Evangelist John the Theologian, Souroti, Greece 2002
  • Father Arseny Trans. by Vera Bouteneff, ISBN 0-88141-180-9
  • Flame in the Snow, A Life of St Seraphim of Sarov by Julia de Beausobre, ISBN: 0-87243-223-8
  • From St. Isaac The Syrian to Dostoyevsky by Archimandrite Vasileios, Trans. by Dr.Elizabeth Theokritoff, ISBN: 1-896800-34-3
  • Grace For Grace: The Psalter And The Holy FathersCompiled and Edited by Johanna Manley, ISBN: 0-9622536-1-8
  • Hesychia and Theology by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos, Trans. by Sister Pelagia Selfe, ISBN: 978-960-7070-60-9
  • His Life is Mine by Archimandrite Sophrony, ISBN: 0-913836-33-8
  • I Love Therefore I Am by Fr. Nicholas V. Sakharov, ISBN: 0-88141-236-8
  • In The Light of Christ, St Symeon The New Theologian by Archbishop Basil Krivocheine Trans. by Anthony P. Gythiel, ISBN 0-913836-91-5
  • Isaac of Ninaveh ( Isaac The Syrian) The Second Part, chapters IV-XLV, Trans. by Sebastian Brock, ISBN: 90-6831-709-1
  • Missionary Lettersof Saint Nikolai Velimirovich vol 1, Trans. by Hierodeacon Serafim, New Gracanica Monastery, Grayslake, IL
  • Monastic Wisdom, The Letters of Elder Joseph The Hesychast, ISBN: 0-9667000-0-7
  • Mount Athos Renewal in Paradise by Graham Speake, ISBN: 0-300-093535
  • Nil SorskyTrans. and Edited by George A. Maloney, ISBN: 0-8091-9810-7
  • Not of This World,Compiled and Edited by James S. Cutsinger, ISBN: 0-941532-41-0
  • On Prayer by Archimandrite Sophrony Sakharov Trans.by Rosemar Edmonds, ISBN 0-88141-194-9
  • On The Apostolic Preaching by St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Trans. by John Behr, ISBN: 0-88141-174-4
  • On The Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ by St Maximus The Confessor, Trans. by Paul M. Blowers & Robert Louis Wilken, ISBN: 0-88141-249-x
  • On The Human Condition by St Basil The GreatTrans. by Nonna Verna Harrison, ISBN: 0-88141-294-5
  • On The Incarnation by St. Athanasius, ISBN: 0-913836-40-0
  • On The Mother of God by Jacob of Serug, ISBN: 0-88141-184-1
  • Once Delivered to The Saints by Fr. Michael Azkoul, ISBN: 0-913026-84-0
  • Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ by Father Justin Popovich Trans. by Asterios Gerosterios, ISBN: 1-884729-02-9
  • Orthodox Psychotherapy by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos, Trans. by Esther Williams, ISBN: 960-7070-27-5
  • Orthodox Spiritual Life According to Saint Silouan The Athonite by Harry Boosalis, ISBN: 1-878997-60-2
  • Orthodox Spirituality and The Philokalia by Placide Deseille Trans. by Anthon P. Gythiel, ISBN 978-0-9717483-7-8
  • Orthodox Spirituality by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos, ISBN 960-7070-20-8
  • Passions and Virtues According to Saint Gregory Palamas by Anestis Keselopulos, ISBN: 1-878997-75-0
  • Patristic Theology by John S. Romanides, ISBN 978-960-86778-8-3
  • Prayers by the Lake by St Nikolai Velimirovich, The Serbian Orthodox Metropolinate of New Gracanica, Grayslake, IL 1999
  • Saint Cyril of Alexandria and the Christological Controversy by John McGuckin, ISBN: 0-88141-259-7
  • Santa Biblia Antigua Version de Casiodoro De Reina Revisada por Cipriano de Valera(1602) Revision de 1960, Holman Publishers 2008
  • St John of Damascus, The Fathers of the Church series, Trans. by Frederic H. Chase, Jr., ISBN: 0-8132-0968-4
  • St Seraphim of Sarov, A Spiritual Biography by Archimandrite Lazarus Moore, ISBN: 1-880364-13-1
  • St Silouan The Athonite by Archimandrite Sophrony, ISBN 0-88141-195-7
  • St. Symeon The New Theologian, On The Mystical Life, The Ethical Discourses, Trans. by Alexander Golitzin 3 vols. ISBN: 0-88141-142-6 and - 143-4, and 144-2
  • Standing In God's Holy Fire by John A. McGuckin, ISBN: 1-57075-382-2
  • Symeon The New Theologian, The Discourses, Classics of Western Spirituality, ISBN: 0-8091-2230-8
  • Symeon The New Theologian, The Practical and Theological Discourses and The Three Theological Chapters, Trans. by Dr. Paul McGuckin, Cistercian Publications Inc. 1982
  • The Acquisition of The Holy Spirit by I.M. Kontzevitch, ISBN: 0-938635-73-5
  • The Adam Complex by Dee Pennock, ISBN: 1-880971-89-5
  • The Ascetical Homilies of Saint Isaac The Syrian, Trans. by Holy Transfiguration Monastery, ISBN: 0-913026-55-7
  • The Authentic Seal by Archimandrite Aimilianos, ISBN: 960-85603-3-0
  • The Book of Mystical Chapters, Trans. and introduced by John A. McGuckin, ISBN: 1-59030-007-6
  • The Boundless Garden by Alexandros Papadiamantis Edited by Lambros Kamperidis and Denise Harvey, ISBN 978-960-7120-23-6
  • The Church Fathers ( Ante-Nicene, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, published by Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody Massachusetts, 37 vol. set
  • The Enlargement of The Heart by Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou, ISBN 0-9774983-2-8
  • The Faith of Chosen People by St Nikolai Velimirovich, The Free Serbian Diocese of America and Canada, Grayslake, IL 1988
  • The Faith of The Saints , A Catechism by St. Nikolai Velimirovich, ISBN:1-932965-06-8
  • The Fifty Spiritual Homilies, Pseudo-Macarius, ISBN: 0-8091-0455-5
  • The Gurus, the Young Man, and Elder Paisios by Dionysios Farasiotis, ISBN: 978-1-887904-16-2
  • The Heart by Archimandrite Spyridon Logothetis, ISBN 960-86639-4-6
  • The Hidden Man of The Heart by Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou, ISBN 978-0-9800207-1-7
  • The Holy Bible NKJV, Thomas Nelson, 1992
  • The Homilies of Saint Gregory Palamas by Christopher Veniamin, 2 vols. ISBN: 1-878997-67-X; ISBN: 1-878997-68-X
  • The Ladder of Divine Ascent by St. John Climacus Edited by Holy Transfifuration Monastery 1979, ISBN 0-943405-03-3
  • The Life of St. Anthony by St. Athanasius the Great, Eastern Orthodox Books, Willits, CA
  • The Lives of The Holy Prophets by Holy Apostles Convent, ISBN: 0944359-12-4
  • The Living Witness of the Holy Mountain by Hieromonk Alexander Golitzin, ISBN: 1-878997-48-3
  • The Luminus Eye by Sebastian Brock, ISBN: 0-87907-524-4
  • The Mind of the Orthodox Church by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos, Trans. by Esther Williams, ISBN: 960-7070-39-9
  • The One Thing Needful by Archbishop Andrei of Novo- Diveevo, ISBN: 91-2927-29-1
  • The Orthodox Ethos, Studies in Orthodoxy Edited by A.J. Philippou, Hollywell Press Oxford 1964
  • The Orthodox New Testament 2 vols., Published by The Holy Apostles Convent 1999, ISBN: 0-944359-17-5 & 0-944359-14-0
  • The Philokalia, The Complete Text compiled by St Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain and St Makarios of Corinth, Trans. by G.E.H. Palmer, Phillip Sherrard and Kallistos Ware Vol 4 ISBN: 0-571-11727-9
  • The Philokalia, The Complete Text compiled by St Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain and St Makarios of Corinth, Trans. by G.E.H. Palmer, Phillip Sherrard and Kallistos Ware Vol2 ISBN: 0-571-15466-2
  • The Philokalia, The Complete Text compiled by St Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain and St Makarios of Corinth, Trans. by G.E.H. Palmer, Phillip Sherrard and Kallistos WareVol 3 ISBN: 0-571-17525-2
  • The Philokalia, The Complete Textcompiled by St Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain and St Makarios of Corinth, Trans. by G.E.H. Palmer, Phillip Sherrard and Kallistos Ware, Vol 1 ISBN: 0-571-13013-5
  • The Philokalia: Master Reference Guide Compiled by Basileios S. Stapakis, Trans by G.E.H. Palmer, Phillip Sherrard, Kallistos Ware, ISBN: 1-880971-87-9
  • The Prologue of Ohrid, Trans. by Fr. Timothy Tepsic, vol 1 ISBN: 978-0-9719505-0-4; vol 2 ISBN: 978-0-9719505-1-1
  • The Psalter Trans. by Holy Transfiguration Monastery, ISBN: 0-943405-00-9
  • The Spiritual World of St Isaac the Syrian by Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev, Cistercian Publications, Kalamazoo, Michigan 2000
  • The Way of A Pilgrim trans.by R.M. French, ISBN 345-24254-8-150
  • We Shall See Him As He Is by Archimandrite Sophrony Sakharov, ISBN 0-9512786-4-9
  • Wisdom. Let Us Attend: Job, The Fathers, and The Old Testament by Johanna Manley, ISBN: 0-9622536-4-2
  • Words of Life by Archimandrite Sophrony, Trans. by Sister Magdalen, ISBN1-874679-11-8
  • Writings from The Philokalia On Prayer of The Heart, Trans. by E. Kadloubovsky and G.E.H. Palmer, ISBN: 0-571-16393-9