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Christian spirituality is not a retreat or escape from life. On the contrary, it is a withdrawal from the spirit of a fallen. On the contrary, it is a withdrawal from the spirit of a fallen world lying in evil in order to cling to the source of life itself--Christ the true God. Because of the multitude of outstanding spiritual leaders which have existed in Russia, there have been several attempts to compile a collection from the Russian Fathers similar to that of the Greek Philokalia.
The teachings of these spiritual Fathers rest in the eternal truths and guiding principles of suffering Christianity, and their counsels are of particular value since--from that fount of eternal wisdom--they offer direction suited to the peculiarities of today's "modern age.
This, after all, was the primary purpose of the original Philokalia. One of the most beloved Orthodox saints of recent times--St. Seraphim of Sarov --was a priest, hermit and spiritual guide who, in early 19th century Russia, led many souls along the path of Apostolic Christianity. Seraphim's patristic teaching--equal to the ancient Church Fathers --and his "Diveyevo Mystery"--which, until now, has never been revealed in the English language since its disclosure in Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Philokalia means, "love of the good--love of the beautiful. On the contrary, it is a withdrawal from the spirit of a fallen Philokalia means, "love of the good--love of the beautiful. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published May 1st by St. Xenia Skete Pr first published April 25th More Details Original Title.
Little Russian Philokalia Vol. Seraphim of Sarov: Spiritual Instructions. Little Russian Philokalia Series 1. Other Editions 1. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Little Russian Philokalia , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Little Russian Philokalia. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Little Russian Philokalia Vol.
May 28, Volkert rated it it was amazing Shelves: christian , orthodox-christian , russian-authors , spirituality. The Little Russian Philokalia, Vol. It contains three main sections, the Spiritual Instructions of St. The book starts with an introduction on the Life of St. The final section of this chapter tells the story of man who came to faith because of his mystical encounters with the saint. I enjoyed reading about the life of St. Seraphim which I read twice , and then my favorite chapter was his Spiritual Instructions, which is solidly based on the monastic traditions of the Orthodox Church, but which has practical applications for non-monastics.
As a result of reading this book, I was given a copy of a biography of Saint Seraphim by Lazarus Moore, which I hope to read in the coming weeks. Mar 02, Stephen Case rated it liked it. Which is perhaps why this first volume of the Little Russian Philokalia, the writings of St. Seraphim, seemed progressively stranger as I read through it. Seraphim lived from the middle of the eighteenth century to the early nineteenth, during which time he became one of the best-known mystics of the Russian Orthodox Church.
He lived as a monk and ascetic in the Sarov Monastery in eastern Russia a city known today as being the center of the Russian nuclear industry. They provided, as I had hoped, some challenging and focusing readings for Lent.
Similar to The Practice of the Presence of God , The Imitation of Christ , or other classic works of Christian instruction, these are the sorts of words it seems necessary to always have on tap as a Christian reader. The concise, clear, sharp challenges that, if maybe I let them wash against me constantly like a stream against stone, might actually do some good.
How to be silent. How to be generous. How to cultivate a true love of God and others. Seraphim's instructions were also useful because they could provide an avenue into the writings of other Orthodox fathers, as he intersperses them with the words of older saints as well as scripture.
In the second portion of the book I was on less familiar ground, taking the first steps into the thick, alien forest of Russian hagiography.
Here my cynicism begins to raise its head a bit as the author of the spiritual instructions becomes move into the historical narrative.
Several hundred years ago is one thing; the s is something else. Finally, the volume concludes with again, to my post-evangelical, Western sensibilities the strangest and yet most compelling portion of the story. Compelling in the glimpse it provides into the sudden and tragic destruction of the religious heritage of Orthodox Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution and its slow and fitful rebirth in the closing decades of the twentieth century.
Pilgrims flock to the procession. Miracles ensue. What to make of it all? The paradox is that sanctity, the idea that holiness can truly intrude into the world in very real and tangible circumstances, remains for me one of the most viable arguments for the pursuit of the Christian life.
And the first portion of this book illustrates to me the appeal: that a life pursued in humility, love, and devotion is possible.
Yet if there are people who truly embody this, as St. Seraphim was reported to, why is it so hard to accept that the results that follow might be the sort of miracles and happenings outlined in the third part?
We want our saints at a safe distance, their words coming down to us through the filter of the centuries. It's harder to deal with them otherwise. View 1 comment.
Oct 13, Jacob Aitken rated it it was ok Shelves: alternative-research , ecclesiology , eschatology , soteriology. A brief life of St Seraphim of Sarov. Mostly well-written with some excerpts of Sarov's writings at the end.
There is the famous scene where he is surrounded by light with one of his acolytes and keeps urging him to "acquire the Holy Spirit. I have no comment. Those who disagree with him bear the burden of proof. I am t A brief life of St Seraphim of Sarov. I am troubled by Sarov's statement, "Acquire the Holy Spirit. This book might be nice piety and I can't deny that I really enjoyed some parts of it.
It is woefully lacking, though, in New Testament analysis. Jan 27, Eric Ryniker rated it really liked it. This is not a book I would have chosen for myself.
It was assigned to me in the course of a conversation about my formation. It's actually multiple texts bound together.
Part One: Spiritual Instructions is pure gold and what I needed in response to that question I brought my priest. Part Two: Acquisition of the Holy Spirit is pretty good, but not much really jived with me as attention-grabbing that isn't already in the Fathers or the hesychasts.
Part Three: The Great Diveyevo Mystery felt like it was probably very important to Russian Christians, but my total lack of a connection to Russia made this section the least interesting to me. Dec 14, Alan rated it it was amazing Shelves: books-i-highly-recommend , introduction-to-orthodox-church. A must read for anyone who has a devotion to St.
Seraphim of Sarov.
Little Russian Philokalia
This Little Russian Philokalia is a new collection of ascetic writings drawn from Russian sources, chiefly of the Eighteenth through the Twentieth centuries. These people have taught not only by the example of their life but also by wise counsel. Their wise words of instruction in righteous living are already available in part for whoever thirsts to know the right way of life. The writings [of the more renowned] have been published in volumes of complete works, and also in biographies or collections of letters to spiritual children. Nikodim, Bishop of Belgorod, 20th Century. Since the counsels of the Russian Fathers in the Little Russian Philokalia series come from recent centuries, they are of particular value in offering direction suited to the spiritual conditions of the modern age.
Read More Read Less. Latest Book in the Series. Little Russian Philokalia: St. Theodore of Sanaxar Vol V. Go to book.