Friday, August 22, 2014

The Struggle for Virtue by Archbishop Averky

This book is available from Amazon

"Table of Contents
Preface
Introduction: The Essence and Meaning of Asceticism
1. Self-Asserting Pride and Christian Humility
2. The Importance of Spiritual Discernment
3. Gospel Love and Humanistic Altruism
4. Acquiring Gospel Love
5. Reawakening Our Conscience
6. The Christian Understanding of Freedom
7. Guarding the Heart Amidst the Distractions of Life
8. Resisting Evil
9. Waging Unseen Warfare
10. Christian Struggle
11. The Holy Fathers on Combating the Passions
12. Pastoral Asceticism
Notes
Subject Index
Scripture Index

Archbishop Averky is considered one of the great scholars of 20th-century Orthodoxy and this book brings to the English-speaking world his answer to the question “What is asceticism?” A bearer of the saving doctrine of the Patristic teaching, he steadfastly defended traditional Orthodoxy and passed on this teaching through his commentaries on Scripture and other works in the Russian language. In showing how evil is rooted out and virtue is implanted in the soul, Archbishop Averky counters the many false understandings that exist showing that the practice of authentic asceticism is integral to the spiritual life and the path to blessed communion with God." from the Amazon website

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Path of Entry to the Philokalia by Monk Maximos - available from Patristic Nectar Publications


To purchase this series please go to Patristic Nectar Publications


"The Path of Entry to the Philokalia: Selected Readings
as presented by Monk Maximos (Constas)


Many of you have expressed great interest in the Philokalia, but struggle with a method for entering and digesting these great texts.

As you know, the Philokalia is a collection of sacred Orthodox spiritual texts written between the fourth and the fifteenth centuries. The writers of these texts were concerned with inner asceticism, ceaseless prayer, and how one may attain a life of contemplative stillness and union with God. Although a treasure trove of patristic wisdom, the texts are not organized thematically in a manner that facilitates comprehension for the beginning reader.

To assist those interested in immersing themselves in the Philokalia, Patristic Nectar Publications has created an audio series of nine readings that constitute the traditional path of entry into these texts as presented by Monk Maximos (Constas). When the Philokalia is entered by listening to this selection in the order proposed, the listener is gradually and wisely initiated into the practices of inner attention, spiritual sobriety, and the Prayer of the Heart. Moreover, this selection amply demonstrates the Biblical and Patristic foundations of these practices, as well as their direct connection to the sacramental life of the Church. Because the mind must first be recalled from its many distractions, these works encourage the practitioner to use the breath as a way to lead the mind to the heart, and from there to invoke the name of Jesus Christ. Having understood the basic principles and practices presented in these works, one may afterwards move more freely throughout the other works in the Philokalia.

Each audio in this series may be purchased individually, or they may be purchased as a set. When purchased individually, the total cost is $60. Patristic Nectar is offering the set of all nine audios for $40 – a savings of 33%!

The set includes:

1. St. Nikephoros the Hesychast, On Watchfulness and the Guarding of the Heart

2. Saints Kallistos and Ignatios, Directions to Hesychasts

3. St. Hesychios, On Watchfulness and Holiness

4. Evagrius, On Prayer

5. A Discourse on Abba Philemon

6. St. Symeon the New Theologian, On Faith

7. St. Symeon the New Theologian, The Three Methods of Prayer

8. St. Gregory Palamas, In Defense of Those who Devoutly Practice a Life of Stillness

9. St. Gregory of Sinai, On the Signs of Grace and Delusion

And also included as an added bonus: Free PDF entitled:

Prologue of the Philokalia (On Noetic Prayer) - A Primer of Mystical Theology by St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite

(Please note: Monk Maximos also recommends reading: St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain, “Guarding the Mind and the Heart,” in id., A Handbook of Spiritual Counsel, trans. P. Chamberas (New York, 1989), 153-172. This selection is not included in this series or offered by Patristic Nectar Publications.)" from the Patristic Nectar Publications website

Friday, August 15, 2014

Coping with Stress a Cognitive Behavioral Approach




"Stress is ubiquitous and on the rise. How we learn to
manage it can have profound effects on our health and
well being. This series explains how our bodies
experience stress and demonstrates effective strategies
to help you thrive in a fast-paced world. On this edition,
Dr. Jason Satterfield, Director of Behavioral Medicine at
UCSF, explores adjustment to chronic medical and
stress-induced illnesses, HIV, and stress-management."
from YouTube

"ProfessorJason M. Satterfield is Professor of Clinical

Medicine, Director of Social and Behavioral Sciences,
and Director of Behavioral Medicine in the Division of
General Internal Medicine at the University of California,
San Francisco" from the Great Courses  website.

The science of cognitive behavioral therapy is very 
effective in removing and changing erroneous patterns
of thought that affect our mental and emotional 
well being. It also has significant similarities with the
Orthodox way of achieving spiritual wholeness, at the
most basic and initial steps.

The work that we Orthodox Christians must do within
our own hearts will have the most promising outcome
if we achieve mental and emotional wholeness before we 
engage in the deep spiritual work of renewing our hearts 
and our soul. We must order the house of our thoughts
before we pursue the deep things of God.

Fr Alexis Trader, a priest-monk in Mount Athos has
written a very interesting book on the relation between 
cognitive science and hesychasm. It is fascinating!


Available from Amazon

"Ancient Christian Wisdom and Aaron Beck’s Cognitive Therapy details a colorful journey deep into two seemingly disparate worlds united by a common insight into the way our thinking influences our emotions, behaviors, and ultimately our lives. In this innovative study about mental and spiritual health, readers are not only provided with a thorough introduction to the elegant theory and practical techniques of cognitive therapy, they are also initiated into the perennial teachings of ascetics and monks in the Greek-speaking East and Latin-speaking West whose powerful writings not only anticipated many contemporary findings, but also suggest unexplored pathways and breathtaking vistas for human growth and development. This groundbreaking interdisciplinary volume in the art of pastoral counseling, patristic studies, and the interface between psychology and theology will be a coveted addition to the working libraries of pastors and psychologists alike. In addition, it is ideal as a textbook for seminary classes in pastoral theology and pastoral counseling, as well as for graduate courses in psychology dealing with the relationship between psychological models and religious worldviews."
From the Amazon website

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Art of Salvation by Elder Ephraim of Arizona

The Art of Salvation is available from 
St Nectarios Monastery's Bookstore

Spiritual words shaped by the personal experiences
of Elder Ephraim. Thirty three homilies that are
indeed alive, informative, inspiring, and which 
outline, with profound simplicity, the means that
securely lead to salvation. Hardcover, 400 pages,
smyth sewn, full color, individually shrink-wrapped.
ISBN 978-0-9725504-4-4 
Translated and published by
St. Nektarios Monastery, Roscoe, NY

Manufacturer's suggested retail price $42.00
plus shipping and tax, if applicable


Table of Contents
Prologue
Introduction
Homily 1
I See Your Bridal Chamber


Homily 2
The Sanctification of the Soul

Homily 3
Only One Thing is Needed

Homily 4
The Christian Way of Life

Homily 5
Warfare Against the Passions


Homily 6
He Who is Sinless May Cast the First Stone

Homily 7
The Passion of Blasphemy

Homily 8
Bless and Do Not Curse

Homily 9
Abortion: The Finishing Blow

Homily 10
The Mystery of Repentance

Homily 11
Watchfulness, Prayer, and Confession

Homily 12
Pain, Sorrow, and Love

Homily 13
Forgive Me My God, Just as I Forgive Others

Homily 14
The Blessing of Almsgiving

Homily 15
The Books of the Conscience

Homily 16
Humility is the Cloak of the Godhead

Homily 17
Glory to Thy Compassion, O Lord

Homily 18
Until the End of the Age, Saints Will Continue to Exist

Homily 19

She Who is Wider than the Heavens

Homily 20
Pain and Suffering in Our Life


Homily 21
Repentance: Joyful Mourning

Homily 22
Orthodoxy: The Royal Path of the Gospel

Homily 23
Love: The National Anthem of Paradise

Homily 24
Eternal Pascha and the Heavenly Kingdom

Homily 25
Obedience is Life: Disobedience is Death

Homily 26
Christ-like Obedience

Homily 27
Obedience and the Spiritual Struggle

Homily 28
Spiritual Zeal

Homily 29
Confronting Temptations

Homily 30
Humble by Nature

Homily 31
The Frightful Hour of Death

Homily 32
Let Every Breath Praise the Lord

Homily 33
During Prayer, a Kind of Mystery Takes Place

Monday, August 4, 2014

"If Heaven is good and if I like to be bad, how am I supposed to be happy there?"

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson  Source

I think it is amazing that Bill Watterson came up with this cartoon!
This is why;

Proposition 1- If Heaven is good and if I like to be bad, how am 
supposed to be happy there? 
Calvin agrees Heaven is good. He acknowledges that in his inner 
being, he likes to be bad, bad being the opposite of good. Calvin likes
and embraces his inner darkness and does not want to change. He 
realizes that within these realities, as they are mutually exclusive, he 
could not possibly be happy in heaven.

Orthodox view- This state of affairs, as pertaining to unrepentant
sinners is very correct. I think it is amazing Calvin realizes he 
could not be happy in Heaven as he is now. This is a very 
Orthodox truth. The state of blessedness of the saints is the love
of God, His Grace, their participation in God’s uncreated Energy.
For an unrepentant sinner, this Grace is fire and torment, because
he rejects God’s love and holds on to his darkness willingly and 
knowingly! The gates of Hell are closed  from the inside!

For a complete exposition of this Orthodox truth, please read 
The River of Fire by Alexander Kalomiros

Proposition 2- How will you get to heaven if you like to be bad? 
asks Hobbes. But Calvin assumes he is going to Heaven even in his
unchanged inner state, and this is in contradiction with his 
acknowledgement of his inner badness (according to Hobbes), and
Hobbes confronts him with this fact.

Orthodox view- Hobbes is right! No one who in his heart 
embraces his passions and sins, his darkness, and refuses to 
repent, will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. 

In the Gospel of Matthew 5:17-22 NASB Jesus speaks;
 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not
come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and 
earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the
Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of
these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be 
called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches
them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
   For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the
scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. You 
have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’
and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’  But I say 
to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before
the court;"

Propositions 3 and 4- Let’s saydidn't do what I wanted to do. 
Suppose led a blameless life! Suppose I denied my true dark
nature. In other words, what if I abstain from doing evil, while 
preserving my inner evil disposition without changing inside; so I can
make it to Heaven?

This possibility is the way of Western Theology; accept your inner 
depravity, it is total and irremediable and all you have to do is receive
Jesus Christ in your heart and His righteousness will be imputed unto 
you from the moment you ‘believe’. It seems that Bill Watterson is
exposing, by means of this cartoon, the absurdity of this way of 
thinking (Calvin’s state is not only an idea but an inner condition).

Orthodox view- A change of heart is absolutely necessary. 
“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”. Jesus 
says in Matthew 5:8 Notice that here are included both external
acts as well as inner movements of the heart. Also remember 
that according to Christ's words, looking at a woman with lust is
adultery. Anger against our brother is murder. Avarice is idolatry.

The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians 5:16-21 NASB, writes,
"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the
flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit 
against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you
may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit,
you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, 
which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities,
strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 
envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I 
forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice
such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit
is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 
gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those
who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions 
and desires."

Proposition 5- Hobbes says, “I’m not sure I have that much 
imagination.”
Hobbes seems to be implying that Calvin’s hypothetical scenario, 
while technically possible, is not something Calvin could actually pull
off. Calvin’s past pattern of behavior makes his plan very unlikely to 
succeed.

Orthodox view-The passions (sinful dispositions of the soul), if
not repented from, and healed in the participation of the 
sacramental life of the Church, can and will dominate a person’s
behavior to the point where the sinner will continually sin, 
repeatedly and with very little power to turn around!

Proposition 6- Maybe Heaven is a place where you are allowed
to be bad.
As Calvin sees it, “Heaven”, the perfect ideal situation, is a ‘place’ 
where his inner darkness is totally free to be and to act. That is, 
provided he does not act on his inner evil disposition now, maybe he
will be allowed to go to heaven without having to change inside. 
Heaven to him is a place of self-indulgence and unlimited pleasures.

Orthodox view- This is the lie of the evil one, “happiness comes
from fulfilling the passions”. But the Fathers teach that a passion
is a movement of the soul contrary to nature. It ruins the soul
instead of fulfilling it. Passions cannot be satisfied.

"What is a passion? Passion is an unnatural movement of the soul, 

says Maximus the Confessor, just as a physical disease is something
unnatural to our body… 'Passion is an excessive feeling, or appetite, 
going beyond what is reasonable. Passions are a disturbance of our
soul contrary to our nature, in disobedience to reason. Passion is not
natural and it ruins our nature instead of fulfilling it- Clement of 
Alexandria”
From '
Path to Sanity' p.30, Dee Pennock, Light & Life Publishing Company, 
Minneapolis, MN 2010


Calvin is right about one thing, there is a time and condition when
he will be allowed to be bad. But it is not called Heaven. It is called
Hell and he will not be happy there. And repentance then will not 
be an option.

May our Lord Jesus Christ preserve us from such calamity!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Duties of the Heart


Duties of the Heart is available from Amazon
written by
R. Bachya Ben Joseph ibn Pakuda (also known as Beḥay and Baḥie)
in Arabic and translated into Hebrew by 
R. Jehuda ibn Tibbon
Translated into English by Daniel Haberman
Feldheim Publishers, N.Y. 1999
ISBN 1-58330-432-0
For a complete description of the contents of
this book set, please go to the following article in the


During the few years that I have been researching texts
on the 
spirituality of the heart, I have wondered about
the possible 
existence of specific texts from the Jewish
tradition, on the 
purification of the heart and on the 
possibility of having communion with God, in the heart,
through prayer.

Is there textual evidence in the Jewish oral or written

tradition of a deeper spirituality, beyond the fulfillment
of the commandments in an outward manner?

Of course we know that the Scriptures of the Old Testament; the Law, the Prophets and the Writings, are full of this teaching. Particularly the Book of Psalms is a text that vividly portraits the need of having a change of heart, i.e., inner personal sanctification. It actually unveils the experience of King Prophet David and other psalmists, while going through this process, as described by our Orthodox saints, Fathers, monastics and ascetics.

All the stages of the spiritual life are there; the tragedy of  sin, faith, repentance, God's visitation, striving for purification and holiness, the need of inner wholeness, God's silence, man's weakness and restoration, the increase in the knowledge of God, awareness of God's Presence everywhere and filling all things; finally, the acquisition of love and the settling of the heart in the pursuit of God. (For a discussion in detail on the stages of the spiritual life as experienced by the Orthodox Faithful, monastics and ascetics please go here and here)

R. Bachya wrote his 'Duties of the Heart' in 1040 c.e. He was a dayyan, a judge at the rabbinical court. In his book he makes the observation that unfortunately the outward fulfillment of the law, is often not preceded by a holy disposition of  the heart. He writes,

"The wisdom of the Torah (the Pentateuch or the five books of Moses, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomycan be divided into two parts: knowledge of the 'duties of the limbs', i.e, wisdom that is manifested externally; and knowledge of the 'duties of the heart', duties which belong to the hidden, private realm of the heart; it is the wisdom of the inward life", p.7 

Bachya laments that he could not (among Jewish writings) "find a book devoted to the knowledge of the inward life" p.11. He writes, "This came as a shock to me, and I began
to wonder : Perhaps these duties are not obligatory"...

"But when I investigated the matter...from the point of view of reason, Scripture and tradition, I found them (the duties of the heart) to be the basis of all the commandments!
If they were to be undermined, there would be no point to any of the duties of the limbs." 

Bachya  writes, "Once I became convinced, based on what has been presented here, of the need for the duties of the heart and of the obligation that we have to fulfill them; after observing that they have been neglected...it was one of God's graces upon me that He moved me to investigate the knowledge of the inner life.". p.31 This is truly remarkable! Notice how aware he is of God's Grace acting in his heart.

I am so moved by the writer's warmth of heart, by his devotion to God and by his humble zeal and compassion. This text is a love letter, an encomium to each and every person seeking righteousness and holiness, in the spirit of meekness.

I find it striking that Bachya, writing in the 11th century; like St John Climacus, who writes the Ladder of Divine Ascent in the beginning of the 7th; traces a starkly similar path towards the learning of the 'duties of the heart', the progression in virtue. 

Bachya is a great observer of human behavior, like St John, and like him, notes many of the same 'gates' (steps, in the Ladder) such as; that there is One God, reflection on creation, service, trust in God, devotion, prayer, humility, fear of God, repentance and abstinence from selfish desire i.e. the right ordering of the powers of the soul, mainly the intellect, (and by his text, I believe he is referring to what we, in Greek, would call the nous), which should rule over base desires and anger.

Bachya encourages anyone who is trying to learn the duties of the heart by stating that "What he cannot realize in deed he should master in knowledge, express longing for, in his speech and yearn for, in his heart. (Duties of the Heart 8:2). p.III

The end of this journey is, as we know, love of God. Then the Word of the Lord will be fulfilled in us as He spoke to His Prophet Ezequiel, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statues, and you will keep My judgments and do them." Ezequiel 36:26-27 NKJV


In the words of King David,**

"Ashrei temimei derech" ("Happy are those whose way is perfect")

"Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it
with my whole heart. Lead me in the path of your commandments,
for I delight in it. Turn my heart to your decrees, and not to selfish
gain. Turn my eyes from looking at vanities; give me life in your
ways. Psalm 119:1, 34-37**

Note
**"The Rabbis of the Talmud and Midrash, followed by Rashi and Radaq, maintain that Psalm 119 was composed by King David. This should come as no surprise, since there are other instances of "orphan psalms" that we know were penned by David (take, for example, Psalm 105, and the commentaries there)." Source

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hieromonk Basil, Monk Therapont and Monk Trophim, Martyrs of the Optina Monastery near Kozelsk, Russia



Available here

Thou Hast Proved Me, O God and Knowest.....The Life of Hieromonk Vasily
Originally pubished by the Brotherhood of St Cyprian, Moscow, in
cooperation with Optina Monastery, 2002
English translation by a nun of St Xenia Skete, Wildwood, CA
Copyright @ 2009 by Christ the Saviour Brotherhood Publishing


Russian Orthodox believers were shocked when, on Pascha morning in 1993, three young monks, were brutally murdered at Optina Monastery. The story of the martyric deaths of Fr. Vasily, Fr. Ferapont and Fr. Trofim spread throughout the country, which was then (and still is) undergoing a powerful resurgence of Orthodox life after years of represion.


In 'Thou hast Proved Me, O God and Knowest...'the reader comes to know Fr. Vasily through the remembrances of friends and family and through his own writings. His life provides insights into the struggles of a convert, because although baptized in infancy, Fr. Vasily returned to the Church as an adult. It also sheds light on contemporary Russian society and monasticism. (From the backcover)


The Writings of Hieromonk Vasily


On Repentance
What do I resemble when desiring to overcome my pride? I resemble a man trying to move a mountain with his own hands. I use all my knowledge and apply all my strength. I can see that my desire is unattainable-the mountain remains unmovable, but I do not give up my labors. I can see the futility of my efforts. I cry over my helplessness, lament over the impossibility of fulfilling my intention.


Despondency clouds the mind, sloth binds the body, and
hopelessness wounds the heart. "What is it all for?" these passions ask me, "No one needs your labor." And I reply, "It is needed for God Himself is helping me in it!"


Why do the same words, which yesterday I did not even
notice, today astound me by their magnitude and wisdom, so much so that I want to hold them forever in my heart? It is because of the inconstancy of my heart. Yesterday it was like ice, and therefore everything sophisticated and austere made it ecstatic, while today it is like melting snow, that rejoices in light and warmth. What takes place in the depth of my heart where neither my sight nor my mind penetrates? There, like the sun with its sunrises and sunsets, repentance is born and dies.


It is frightening to see in yourself a readiness to commit any of the most onerous sins. This is a bottomless abyss, a hellish precipice; it is eternal torment and death. Seeing this in yourself, you must always and unceasingly call out for help and mercy. I live, and I uphold faithfulness only outwardly, by God's mercy, but the Lord sees my infirmity and does not allow circumstances and burdens beyond my strength.


While washing yourself in the bathhouse, think: "I am
preparing my body for burial, washing and anointing it,"
and, "as I wash the dirt from my body, so do Thou also,
O Lord, create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me" (Ps. 50:10). In this way you will always conquer the indulgence of your body.


When you judge someone else, you [must] pray thus: after all, Lord, it is I who have sinned. Forgive me and have mercy on me!


By the waters of Babylon, there have we sat down and we wept (Ps. 136:1) The rivers of Babylon flow from my heart-the rivers of judgement of my brothers, ambition; the rivers of faintheartedness, fear and dread before various obediences; rivers of self-pleasing and self-pity; rivers of love of glory and anger, despondency, laziness, sadness; the rivers of all impurity, blasphemy, faithlessness, cunning, and uncleanness. I sit by my heart and weep over the endless flow of these rivers. Underground abysses feed these rivers, and the rivers of my passions feed the bottomless gulf of my sinful heart.

Lord! It is an abyss, the abyss of hell. In it there is no
support, no comfort. All is clamor, all is wickedness, all
is emptyness. God, in Thy name save me and give me
Thy hand, as Thou didst to Peter.

Don't you see how daily you add sin to sin? Why do you
return every day to the slimy excrement of your passions and vices?


Don't you see how everything you do reproaches you, your ignorance, impurity of mind and heart, your imperfection? Everything you have-your deeds, thoughts and feelings-are detrimental, flawed, mixed with vice and impurity; all is impoverished and orphaned.


Don't you see how the passions surround you and play with you, handing you around to each other? Don't you see how they leave you alone for a time and, standing a little distance away, watch how you, a weak person give yourself over to vainglory, forgetfulness, carelessness? 


They laugh, because one touch from them is enough to destroy all your peace and quiet and make it disappear; they laugh, because you are their inheritance, their slave, even a slave who thinks himself free. The sight of a slave with such high self-opinion, considering himself to be a master, gives them particular pleasure. Do you see your sin-flowing heart? How it slanders your brothers, all people, the entire world, night and day?


Heal me, Lord! Seal the flow of impurity, sin and vice.
Create a clean heart in me, O God, and renew a right spirit within me (Ps. 50:10). Because of my deeds I deserve eternal torments, but the Lord secretly nourishes a hope in my soul for His mercy. Otherwise it would be beyond my strength for me to live.


St Poemen the Great said, "Believe me, children, wherever Satan is, there will I be". He did not only think this way, he felt it.


The Lord allows you to see your heart as it slanders the
brothers-the Lord, and the whole world, day and night.
Then you see all the imposibility of correcting yourself,
the endlessness of your fall, the abyss of hell. Then you
quite admit that wherever Satan is, there will you be.
This is an awareness, a thought. But for St Poemen the
Great, it was a feeling. The difference is like night and
day. Therefore you only lament over your sinfulness,
while St Poemen the Great pours forth endless tears.
His soul felt the reality of the torments of hell and knew
them.


On Love
We need to love everyone as we love ourselves, and be
ready for death at any hour.


But another thing is possible: to love your neighbour as
yourself, to pray for him as for yourself; thus, seeing that
the sins of your neighbour are your sins, you descend into hell with these sins for the sake of your neighbour's
salvation.


"Lord, Thou gavest me love and changed everything for me, and now I cannot act in any other way ; I can only go to torments for the salvation of my neighbour. I moan, I
weep, I am terrified, but I cannot do anything else, for it
is Thy love which leads me, and I do not want to part with it; in it I gain hope of salvation, and seeing it within me, I do not despair utterly".


Selections from pages 140 to 149.
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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