The Philokalia is an important collection of writings by Fathers of the Eastern Church dating from the fourth to the fourteenth century. It exists in three versions: the Greek, complied in the eighteenth century; the Slavonic; and the Russian.
The Russian text, translated by Bishop Theophan the Recluse in the nineteenth century, and consisting of five volumes (with which a sixth is sometimes associated), is the most complete of all three versions. It is the Russian text that has been used in translating into English this selection, which presents a range of Philokalia writings concerning the Jesus Prayer.
This classic of world spiritual literature is the firsthand account of a pilgrim's journey as he endeavors to live out Saint Paul's instruction to "pray without ceasing." The narrator, an unnamed nineteenth-century peasant, sets out on his pilgrimage with nothing but a Bible, a rosary, and some dried bread. As he walks, he recites the Jesus prayer ("Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me") - a prayer that is said to quiet anxiety and fill the heart with love for all creation. With this prayer constantly on his lips, the pilgrim undergoes a profound spiritual education. This edition includes the sequel to The Way of a Pilgrim, entitled A Pilgrim Continues His Way, which contains a lengthy appendix reviewing the teachings of the Holy Fathers on the Jesus prayer.
Written by an anonymous priest-monk living in asceticism on the Holy Mountain of Athos, The Watchful Mind is the fruit of a life of deep prayer. The unknown writer was a hesychast a practitioner of stillness and the Jesus Prayer and in these pages he shares with readers his hidden life, a life filled with spiritual struggles, ecstatic experiences, and mystical revelations. Moved by a burning love for Christ, the author does not give us a neatly composed reflection on the spiritual life, but rather an account of his own passionate search. This deeply personal book is an account of one holy man s unique journey in the life of contemplation. It touches on many aspects of the spiritual and ascetic life, particularly the hesychastic themes of watchfulness, spiritual warfare, and the prayer of the heart.
A spiritual anthology drawn from the Greek and Russian traditions, concerned in particular with the most frequently used and best loved of all Orthodox prayers--the Jesus Prayer. Texts are taken chiefly from the letters of Bishop Theopan the Recluse, along with many other writers.
The invocation of the Name of Jesus is a way of prayer more familiar to Christians of the East than of the West. In the Orthodox Church it is known as the "Jesus Prayer." It has also been used by many generations of Western Christians. It has a universal appeal--to Orthodox and Romans, to Anglicans and Protestants, to all kinds of Christians of both Eastern and Western traditions.
Thousands have fallen in love with the anonymously authored book The Way of a Pilgrim - the account of an ordinary man's encounter with the Eastern Orthodox Christian practice of the Jesus Prayer, which consists of the constant repetition of the short phrase, "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me." Here is the perfect introduction to this life-changing practice, as it was taught by one of the great spiritual lights of Russia. Bishop Ignatius Brianchaniov (1807 - 1867) provides wise instruction and advice covering all aspects of the practice, from how to get started, to approaching difficulties that arise, to dealing with friends and family who don't get what you're doing, to making this prayer (also called the Prayer of the Heart) the foundation of your life.
The author, Metropolitan Hierotheos, is a bishop in the Orthodox Church of Greece, and the author of many books on Christian spiritual life and theology. He is one of the most highly respected and widely read ascetical theologians in the Orthodox Church today. The Holy Mountain is Mt. Athos, a 40 mile long peninsula in northeastern Greece which is home to several thousand Orthodox monks, whose chief work is "praying without ceasing" using the Jesus Prayer, handed down from the early Church. The "desert" refers to the some of the very isolated places on Athos populated by hermit monks living hidden away in little huts or caves (as opposed to the large ancient monasteries on Athos). If we say that the Church is the spiritual army of God, then the monks are the Marines and the hermits are the Green Berets of prayer. interceding for the world and defeating the demons. The bishop is a frequent pilgrim to the Holy Mountain, the spiritual heartland of the Orthodox world. After a particularly fruitful visit with a hermit monk (a God-bearing elder who prefers anonymity), he wrote down their discussion about the Jesus Prayer and published it in Greek (now in over 9 Greek editions). It appeared in English in 1991, with six reprints and a revision, as well as in French, Spanish, Russian, and Arabic. This fascinating conversation has become a modern classic of Orthodox Christian spiritual literature, in the tradition of the Philokalia. Imported from Greece.
Contemplation, prayer, spirituality these words have become popular in our day among those despairing at the banality and emptiness of the contemporary scene. But popular as well are a myriad of pseudo-spiritualities, each offering its own shortcut to spiritual satisfaction. His Life is Mine is a refreshing contrast. The book deals with prayers, and especially with the 'Jesus Prayer' of Orthodox monasticism. Yet it is not simply a presentation of 'techniques.' The book is permeated by the awareness that prayer is not just the cultivation of a particular spiritual state, not the investigation of an abstract Idea or dissolution in an anonymous Whole, but an encounter with the personal Being, I AM, demanding in turn our own growth in personhood. As remarkable as the book is its author, Archimandrite Sophrony. Like a good plot, his life has proceeded from possibility to probability to necessity from marked success as a painter exhibiting in the great Paris salons after the Russian Revolution via a brief period of study at the Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris to Mount Athos, the Holy Mountain of Eastern monasticism, where he spent twenty-two years, first as a monk in the Russian Monastery of St Panteleimon and for the final seven years as a hermit in the 'desert.'
This unique study provides the reader with both a historical and spiritual understanding of the prayer which simply invokes the name of Jesus.
To pronounce the name of Jesus in a holy way is an all-sufficient and surpassing aim for any human life... We are to call to mind Jesus Christ until the name of the Lord penetrates our heart, descends to its very depths... The Name of Jesus, once it has become the center of our life, brings everything together.
So writes the "Monk of the Eastern Church" in the course of the present work. To those who wonder how such claims can be advanced on behalf of the Jesus Prayer, and how it is that this particular way of praying continues to appeal so powerfully to contemporary Christians, Eastern and Western, Orthodox and non-Orthodox, this short book provides an answer. Starting with the veneration of the Holy Name in the Old and the New Testament, the author traces the gradual development of the Jesus Prayer first in Byzantium and then in the Slav lands. He concludes with practical suggestions for its use today, showing how it is a prayer not only of the past but equally for the twentieth century. (...)
"O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me." This prayer has been on the lips of Christians since the time of the Desert Fathers. What is its history? How do we make it our own? This booklet traces the development of the Jesus Prayer through the early centuries of the Church, and follows its progression through Mount Athos, the teachings of St. Gregory Palamas, and others, and discusses its modern revival in the 19th and 20th centuries. Concludes with a brief discussion of how this prayer can be appropriated by the individual believer today.
In this book, entitled “Hesychia and Theology” (The Context for Man's Healing in the Orthodox Church), seventeen texts are published which make clear how indispensable for the knowledge of God is the hesychastic and neptic Tradition of the Church, as presented in the writings and teaching of the holy Fathers. Heyschia, as a method and means for healing man's soul, is the way along which every Christian must inevitably pass to reach communion with God. The knowledge of God, in other words theology, is the fruit of hesychia, and constitutes man's salvation.
The book is dedicated by the author to three recent Elders who “received, preserved and handed on the Sacred Tradition entrusted to them”, Father Paisios the Hagiorite, Father Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia and Father Sophrony the Hesychast, who lived the Mystery of the Cross and Resurrection of Christ, and suffered, learnt and taught.
A collection of articles on prayer and the spiritual life, together with some of the author's own prayers. A moving testimony to the relevance of Christ, who, for Archimandrite Sophrony, is "all, and in all, the beginning and the ending" of all things (cf. Col 3:11; Rev 1:8).