Author: Elder Aimilianos (Simonopetra)
Translator: V. Rev. Arch. Maximos Constas
Binding: Sewn softcover
This book contains six talks by Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra (Mt Athos), focusing on select passages from the Chapters on Love by St Maximos the Confessor. More than a simple commentary, these talks offer a profound yet approachable introduction to the principles and practice of Orthodox spirituality.
From Chapter One:
We often say that we love God, and sing the praises of His love, but we are not able to pray without distractions. If this is the case, it means we are not speaking truthfully, that our praises are empty, because genuine love for God is the generative cause of undistracted prayer, and undistracted prayer is the generative cause of the love of God.
Would you like to have a practical standard of measurement to see if you love God? Pay attention and observe whether or not you pray without distractions. See, in other words, if when you pray your mind is distracted and cut into pieces by desires, thoughts, passions, or by any other foreign element that is not spiritual or immaterial. If there is something that is able to divide our mind and cut it into pieces, this means that we do not love God, for the love of God is like a strong, surrounding wall that protects us and prevents anything from outside entering our inner, spiritual world. Otherwise it’s like I have a saw and I use it to cut up a piece of wood, and in so doing the pieces fly in different directions—something similar happens to the mind when it is torn to pieces by thoughts and passions, by the various inclinations of the heart, by desires, and anything else like this.
The Apostle Paul commands his disciple Timothy to â€œbe an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. This exhortation encapsulates the Orthodox Churchâ€™s expectations from her clergy and forms the basis of her Pastoral Theology. The aim of the present work is to guide the contemporary Orthodox priest in his application of the Apostleâ€™s words to his everyday life as a conduit of Divine Grace and shepherd of Christâ€™s flock. At the same time, its focus on the proper formation of the soul will benefit every Christian, whether ordained or not. Compiled from recent and historical sources reflecting the rich heritage of the Russian Orthodox Church.
This memoir of personal transformation has changed countless lives in Romania since it was first published there in 2014. Author Mioara Grigore describes how, as a self-absorbed religion teacher with thoughts of becoming a nun, she began an unlikely courtship with an atheistic math teacher. The math teacher found faith, the two were happily married, and within six and a half years five children were born to them, one with Down syndrome. Mioara’s life was full, her home brimming with love. Then came the devastating cancer diagnosis.
With unflinching honesty, a keen eye for detail, and endearing humor, Mioara recounts her intense struggle with cancer. With the help of her husband and children, of her spiritual father, and then of new friends who sacrificed themselves for her and her family, she turned that struggle into a journey of spiritual self-discovery. In the agony of her cross-bearing, she found what it means, at the deepest level, to love and be loved by others and by God. Ultimately, hers is a story not only of growth but of indomitable joy and triumph.
280 pages, paperback, illustrated.
by Nun Cornelia (Rees)
This double issue of The Orthodox Word features an article by Nun Cornelia (Rees), editor of the well-known OrthoChristian.com website, on the current metropolitan of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, His Eminence Onuphry (Berezovsky). Ukraine has been torn by political strife, especially since the overthrow of the lawfully elected government in 2014. Additionally, the country has been in the throes of a religious conflict, made far worse by the uncanonical granting of autocephaly to schismatics by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 2019. In the midst of these ongoing crises, Metropolitan Onuphry has been a truly Christian man of peace, an embodiment of the Gospel teachings, and a beacon of hope for his embattled flock. The article details his life and the situation he is facing, and contains a selection of his teachings.
Also featured in this issue is an article from the second edition of Genesis, Creation, and Early Man, by Hieromonk Seraphim Rose, which will soon be published in a digital edition and a third print edition. The article, “Modern Saints and Elders on Evolutionism,” provides teachings and commentaries by holy men of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries on the inadmissibility of Darwin’s theory of evolution for Orthodox Christians, and the incompatibility of this false theory with revealed Truth.
The issue concludes with the eighth installment of the English translation of letters of St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, followed by a book review of an outstanding new volume on Tsar-martyr Nicholas II of Russia and his family: The Romanov Royal Martyrs: What Silence Could Not Conceal, published by the St. John the Forerunner Monastery on Cyprus.
Metropolitan Anastasy was a leading figure of the Russian emigration following the Communist takeover of his homeland. A man of erudition, he formed a bridge between two worlds -- the Imperial Court of the last Tsar and the transient 20th century Russian diaspora. These reflections from his diary offer the groanings of his heart and musings on the eternal mercy of God which he writes “are part of my very essence.” They draw upon wisdom from sources as diverse as writers of classical antiquity, authors, composers and inventors of the age of enlightenment, offering unique perspectives on these. Also instructive are the bishop's inspired essays on the subject of revolution. This volume is enhanced by a short life of the author written by Archbishop Averky (Taushev) together with several black and white photographs.