The Life and Teachings of St. Gabriel of the Seven Lakes Monastery.
Saint Gabriel, schema-archimandrite of the Seven Lakes Monastery near Kazan (†1915), was one of the last great spiritual guides to grace Russia before the Revolution. In his early monastic life he was a disciple of the great Elder Ambrose of Optina Monastery, and drank deeply of the living water there. His life thereafter was filled with trials, labors, and illness, all of which refined his soul and formed him into a superb guide to those around him.
The biography of St. Gabriel was written soon after his repose by one of his close disciples, Archimandrite Symeon (Kholmogorov), in an engaging and moving style. This biography bears witness to the elder’s unceasing and ardent prayer, his spiritual experiences, wondrous visions, and clairvoyance, as well as the Divine healings wrought through his prayers. Having single-mindedly sought after the highest good of love for God and man from his youth, he was granted a profound revelation of God’s love for the world, seen in His redemption of the human race. This revelation filled him with overwhelming gratitude to the Lord, especially as he contemplated Christ’s earthly life. Thus was opened to him that which he longed for: the experience of love for God with his entire being.
“I recognized that I was deeply sinful,” he wrote, “but at the same time a fiery hope in the saving love and mercy of the Lord truly uplifted my spirit. Tears of contrition poured forth from my eyes. And what my heart experienced at that time, I cannot describe. I felt no need of food. I was burdened when others visited me. I was blissful, wounded by love for the Lord. I was willing to remain even eternally alone and suffer, if only I could be with the Lord and be filled with love for Him.”
This love for God, which informed the elder’s entire life, filled him at the same time with an overflowing love for others. As one who knew him wrote: “Elder Gabriel showed utter childlike simplicity, all-forgiving love, and unchanging meekness. Love — in all of its pure and holy emanations in man — was not his property and did not come from him. It was a gift of God. This gift of grace-filled love was poured out abundantly by the Holy Spirit upon Fr. Gabriel, and that is why all who were near him felt so good, joyful, and comfortable.”
In his emphasis on God’s love for man, and on man’s grateful response to it by loving God and neighbor, St. Gabriel reminds one of holy Athonite elders of more recent times, St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia (†1991) and St. Paisios of Mount Athos (†1994), both of whom have been glorified by the Church in the last few years.
This new, greatly expanded book on St. Gabriel contains the elder’s Life — first published in English as One of the Ancients — and, for the first time in English translation, his complete writings and letters to spiritual children, as well as an Akathist hymn. It also features a biography of the author, who suffered martyrdom at the hands of the Communists in 1937.
Author: Archimandrite Symeon (Kholmogorov)
Pages: 424, illustrated
Author: Kopyttseva, Natalia Mikhailovna
This book is the ideal companion to the previously published Champion of Good: The Life of Father Ilarion (Holy Trinity Publications, Jordanville, 2011). All who have already encountered Father Ilarion through his life will be equally engaged by his words. Those who meet him first through his preaching will want to go on to read his life. Together, they convey a potent message of the possibilities that open to the human soul that turns to God with singleness of mind and humility. The sermons are grouped by subjects. One index lists the sermons in church calendar order and the other index lists the sermons in chronological order for those who wish to see what was preached in an historical context.
Copyright Holy Trinity Monastery
Author: Kopyttseva, Natalia Mikhailovna
In Father I saw a person who lived for God…. In all life’s situations, Fr Ilarion maintained a grace-imbued state of spirit, the fruits of which were love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and the other virtues that made it impossible to be near him and not feel glad just to be alive.
Many lovers of literature are familiar, through Dostoyevsky’s works, with the concept of the Russian "Staretz," or spiritual elder. This biography offers a vivid portrayal of an authentic Staretz of our own day, Father Ilarion—a monk of the renowned Glinsk hermitage in modern-day Ukraine, who spent much of his life as a parish priest in a village in the Novgorod region of Russia. His life offers a vision of a simple Christian life in the contemporary world that will captivate the reader and awaken or rekindle a desire to live a life centered on the love of God and neighbour rather than on the pursuit of material wealth.
It also presents unique insights into the Orthodox Church in Russia under communism and in the immediate post-communist period, demonstrating how the Faith was kept alive after the closure of so many churches and monasteries and the exile or execution of clergy and believers. The account of the life of the Glinsk hermitage is particularly detailed. With many first hand contributions from Father Ilarion’s spiritual children, this history also provides a glimpse into contemporary Russian culture and religious perspectives.
The book includes an eight page glossy photo insert.
Copyright Holy Trinity Publications
In the style of his beloved podcast, Fr. Barnabas Powell offers reflections for each workday of the year to inspire us to live out our faith in the real world every day. Read these brief, pithy thoughts for a shot of encouragement to live each day as Orthodox on Purpose.
Page Length: 272 pages
The Life and Teachings of Elder Paisius of Sihla.
Elder Paisius (Olaru) of Sihla (1897–1990) was one of the most beloved spiritual fathers of Romania in recent times. In his youth he lived a life of prayer and service, learning from an older generation of spiritual giants. After World War II he moved to Sihăstria Monastery, where his spiritual son, Elder Cleopa, had recently become abbot. It was there that he became renowned for his spiritual wisdom and discernment, confessing the monks and laymen who came to the monastery. Eventually he moved to the nearby Sihla Skete, where he could continue his life of prayer in greater solitude.
Throughout the Communist period, Elder Paisius was a refuge and shelter for those who desired to preserve their faith in those difficult times. Professors and doctors, farmers and factory workers all came to the humble elder to hear words of consolation, encouragement, and direction. A father of love and hope, he focused the gaze of his flock on Christ and His Heavenly Kingdom, expressing the wish that the Lord grant them a “little corner of Paradise.”
Included in the present volume are the life of this remarkable elder, many of his spiritual teachings, recollections of his spiritual children, interviews conducted with him, his letters, and his poetry.
“Prayer is not a theory that one learns in school. The prayer of the heart, that is, prayer made with the awareness of the heart, is a gift of the Holy Spirit…. Whoever loves God with his whole soul, with all his strength and all his heart, will be endowed with the gift of prayer of the heart and the gift of holy tears.”
Author: Archimandrite Ioanichie (Bălan)