On wealth and poverty:
The sermons of St John Chrysostom are noted as classical commentaries on the Christian life. Knowing well the realities of life in the world, the temptation of rich and poor alike, this great orator - "the golden-mouthed" - addresses the questions of wealth and poverty in the lives of people of his day. And yet, as the modern reader is confronted with his words, it becomes apparent that he too is being addressed; Chrysostom's words are words proclaiming the truth of the Gospel to all people of all times. The message of the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) is brought home to every person in these six sermons of Chrysostom with clarity, insight into the human dilemma, compassion and judgment.
On marriage and family life:
Christian tradition often seems to give only grudging approval to the married life, particularly its sexual aspect. In these sermons of St John Chrysostom we find an important corrective to this view. Although himself a monk, Chrysostom had a profound understanding of the needs of his congregation. Inspired by the epistles to the Corinthians and Ephesians, he discusses the reasons God instituted marriage--primarily to promote holiness of the husband and wife, and only secondarily to produce children. Chrysostom goes on to discuss sexual relations, the mutual responsibilities of marriage, and parenting. While parts of Chrysostom's sermons may seem limited to his own time, the vast majority of his advice has timeless relevance for the Christian family.
The Christian Orthodox Faith:
The Christian Orthodox Faith is a very easy read, offering a brief overview of all aspects of the Orthodox Church.
Our thoughts determine our lives:
“Love little things, and strive for that which is modest and simple. The Lord watches over us, and He is pleased that you long for His peace. Until the soul is ready, He will only sometimes allow us to see that He is present everywhere and fills all things. At these moments the soul feels such joy!… But then the Lord conceals Himself from us again, in order that we might long for Him and seek Him with our hearts!” -- Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica
Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica was one of the most renowned spiritual guides of Serbia in the twentieth century. As a novice he lived in obedience to Elder Ambrose of Miljkovo Monastery, a disciple of the Optina Elders. From him Fr. Thaddeus learned the Prayer of the Heart and the selfless love that came to characterize his whole ministry to the suffering Serbian people.
Born in 1914, Elder Thaddeus lived through all the suffering endured by Serbia in the twentieth century. Over the course of two World Wars, during the Communist takeover, and through the NATO bombings of 1999, he co-suffered with his people. He taught, counseled, and prayed for all who came to him in pain and sorrow. His words of love and hope provided spiritual balm for people from all classes of society.
In 2002 Elder Thaddeus reposed, leaving behind a large collection of his teachings, preserved by his faithful spiritual children. His life, teachings, and spiritual conversations are here presented for the first time in English.
The forgotten medicine:
“Greater than baptism itself is the fountain of tears after baptism, even though it is somewhat audacious to say so. For baptism is the washing away of evils that were in us before, but sins committed after baptism are washed away by tears.” -- St. John Climacus, 7th Century
Every Christian feels a natural yearning of the heart towards God, a true desire to taste the sweetness of communion, of being with Him as He created us to be; but the impurity of our hearts - full of passions, conflicts and fears - bars the way. Yet there is a cure for the weight of sin which burdens the heart and soul of each one of us and afflicts the conscience, keeping us from inner peace and from peace with our neighbours and loved ones.
“If our Saviour were to come, He Who is bringing the greatest gift - His heavenly grace with which He makes our souls happy and saves them - and if He were to seek shelter for Himself in our souls, where could He find a place to rest?” -- Fr. Seraphim Aleksiev
In the The Forgotten Medicine, the renowned Bulgarian spiritual father Archimandrite Seraphim (†1993) details the reasons many give for not coming to Confession, and for each of these he clearly brings forth the truth of the matter. For those who feel awkward because of not knowing how to approach Confession, he explains in depth how to prepare beforehand and what to do afterwards.
“In the Mystery of Repentance the spiritual afflictions of a man are treated, impurities of the soul are removed, and a Christian, having received forgiveness of sins, becomes innocent and sanctified, just as he came out of the waters of Baptism.” -- excerpt from The Forgotten Medicine
The Forgotten Medicine is the first volume to appear in a series of spiritual writings by Archimandrite Seraphim Aleksiev. It provides not only the Scriptural and theological foundations for repentance and Confession, but also a clear instruction for one’s own approach to this Sacrament
Wounded by love:
Elder Porphyrios, a Greek monk and priest who died in 1991, stands in the long tradition of charismatic spiritual guides in the Eastern Church, which continues from the apostolic age down to figures such as Saint Seraphim of Sarov and Staretz Silouan in modern times. In this book he tells the story of his life, and in simple, deeply reflected, and profoundly wise words he expounds the Christian faith of today.
This book was compiled after his death from an archive of notes and recordings of his reminiscences, conversations, and words of guidance, and was first published in Greek in 2003.
The vibrant personality of Elder Porphyrios at all times shines through his words with great transparency and charm. In his introduction to the Greek edition, Bishop Irenaeus of Chania writes: 'The words of blessed Elder Porphysios are the words of a holy Father, of a man with the gift of clear sight, who was ever retiring, humble, simple and ardent and whose life was a true and authentic witness to Christ to His truth and to His joy. Through his presence, love, prayer, counsel and guidance he supported an untold number of people in the difficult hours of illness, mourning, pain, loss of faith and death. He is a god-bearing Father of our days, a true priest and teacher who in his ascetic way fell in love with Christ and faithfully served his fellow man. His teaching is deeply impregnated with the ethos and theology of the Orthodox Church and is dominated by the person and image of Christ our Saviour.'
Saint Nektarios :
St Nektarios was born in Silyvria of Thrace on October 1, 1846 and gave up his soul to the Lord on November 8, 1920 at an Athens hospital. His baptismal name was Anastasios; the name Nektarios was given to him when he was ordained a deacon.
In 1886, after the completion of his studies, he returns to Alexandria of Egypt where he is ordained Archpriest of the Metropolis of Pentapolis. His philanthropic deeds, the love of his flock and his saintly manners that begin to manifest themselves give rise to jealousy and slander. As a result, he is expelled from Alexandria an unjust act that caused him great suffering.
He arrives in Athens where he is treated with distrust while new tribulations, sorrows and afflictions start to invade his life. However, nothing can extinguish the fire that his burning heart has for love towards Jesus Christ and towards his fellowmen.
During the last years of his life he established the convent in Aegina, where he was also entombed. Thus, his exemplary life, left an unfading mark in the 20th century; that of humility, perseverance, wise silence and hope. In other words, the mars of Saintliness
An introduction to God:
Speaking to non-believers and believers alike, Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick attempts to create a sacred space in which we can encounter God. In this compact volume, he distills the essence of the traditional Christian faith, addressing the fundamental mysteries of where God is, who God is, why we go to church, and why Christian morality matters. If you’ve only heard about the Protestant or Roman Catholic version of Christianity, what he has to say may surprise you—and make you long to encounter God in Jesus Christ.
Defeating Sin will help readers better understand the disease that troubles the human soul. Fr Joseph David Huneycutt provides invaluable aids in the spiritual life. He arms readers for spiritual warfare by giving them the tools to help them repent, to turn away from the passions and toward the virtues, and to make a thorough confession. Providing both the “diagnosis” and a course of spiritual therapy, Defeating Sin investigates the nature of the passions and the saving grace of the virtues. Many fundamental questions are explored: –What led to the fall of the devil and his angels? –What led to the fall of Adam and Eve, our first parents? –What causes our own falls? –How can we identify the deceptions and temptations of the enemy? –How do we get up when we fall? –How can we struggle toward God-pleasing solutions to our problems?
The art of Salvation:
Spiritual words shaped by the personal experiences of Elder Ephraim. Thirty three homilies that are indeed alive, informative, inspiring, and which outline, with profound simplicity, the means that securely lead to salvation.