Saturday, May 06, 2006

recommended readings

In an interview with, his eminence Met. Laurus (ROCOR) listed recommended spiritual readings. I thought it might be useful to compile some links to available online texts:
I have never given much though to which of the Holy Fathers were my favorites. Of the ancient fathers I would name St Athanasius the Great: his works contain a bright love for Christ, which first made a strong impression upon me as a young monk. Amid the fuss of daily life it is good to read a page or two from "On the Incarnation of the Word" by St Athanasius in order to center oneself. Also, the works of St Basil the Great, his epistles and letters, in which he expresses care for the purity of the faith and for ecclesiastical peace. And the writings of St Gregory the Theologian, and St John Chrysostom [Matt, Acts/Rom, 1/2 Cor, Gal-Phle, John/Heb, misc]. From the holy fathers of our time, I would name St Ignatius Brianchaninov, a profound teacher of repentance, humility and patience [prayer, fasting, Fathers]; and St Theophan the Recluse, teacher of prayer [prayer rule, soul, inner peace, Christian life, anathema]: we were educated on the works of these Russian fathers, and they are necessary to every monk today. Why do we need the Holy Fathers? They lived a genuine church life and confessed it. We desire to join this life. This is impossible to do for oneself, without guidance. They are our mentors. To those new to the faith I would recommend "Directions on the Spiritual Life" by Abba Dorotheus, and even those experienced in the spiritual life would do well to reread this book periodically. It is the alphabet of spiritual life. The second thing is the Lives of the Saints. Whoever reads the Lives, and prays to those saints, will be inspired then to emulate them and will receive the assistance through their prayers. It is good also to read "My Life in Christ" by St John of Kronstadt.

1 comment:

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