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Author Topic: Words to grow By........  (Read 1466 times) Average Rating: 0
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DavidH
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« on: June 03, 2006, 04:26:51 PM »

Christ is Among Us!
I am interested in getting together a reading list of bookd that would help me to grow in the practice of the Orthodox Faith. I would appreciate any suggestions from fellow-believers here who could help me to discover any possible hidden gems I am unaware of. There is another thread where people suggest the book that most helped them to convert. Are there any titles that help you to continually convert? What titles have fired your love for God and neighbor SINCE becoming Orthodox? My own favorite has been St. Dorotheus of Gaza, "Discourses and Sayings",  especially the chapter on not judging others..............

In Christ,
Rd. David
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Fr. David
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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2006, 05:52:06 PM »

Unseen Warfare
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2006, 06:16:55 PM »


Unseen Warfare is incredible, what I read of it.  Truth be told i had to set it down and am yet to pick it up again.  A nun who i get a lot of advice from suggested it after i explained how it was affecting me. I personally have a lot of history with spiritism in the charismatic protestant churches, so it was definately.. effective.  Regardless, she told me that in some monasteries it's considered somewhat advanced, for that reason.  She was probably just being nice.
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jlerms
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2006, 06:20:01 PM »

The two books that keep the struggle alive in me are:

1)  Way of the Ascetics by Tito Colliander-  This book is short and concise yet full of wisdom and eloquent.  However, be prepared that although it sounds simple...it is a truly difficult way to be.

2)  Ascending the Heights- a layman's guide to The Ladder of Divine Ascent by Fr. John Mack
This is a wonderful distillation of St. John Climacus treatise.  He uses many direct quotes from St. John but for me makes it more clear...especially how it pertains to people of the world today.

Enjoy and God Bless, ÂÂ  Juliana

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zebu
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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2006, 08:38:48 PM »

I second "Unseen Warfare".  My priest lent it to me about two months ago and it has just taught me SO MUCH about living an Orthodox life.  It has everything, about prayer, humility, the Eucharist, everything.  And it is very practical too, in that it doesn't just say "Be humble" or "Learn to pray with your heart and mind together", it gives step-by-step directions on how to do that. It is just a really amazing book.
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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2006, 09:07:05 PM »

Saint Silouan the Athonite

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0881411957/sr=8-1/qid=1149383123/ref=sr_1_1/102-1651090-7340119?%5Fencoding=UTF8 
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falafel333
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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2006, 09:56:51 AM »

Thomas Merton, "New Seeds of Contemplation"

Thomas Merton has played an instrumental role in my own personal spiritual life and I believe he really revived it when the light was starting to dim...I would recommend anything by this author...
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pensateomnia
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« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2006, 01:03:40 PM »

Are there any titles that help you to continually convert?

The best for this purpose has to be St. Theophan the Recluse. Of his many writings, I prefer the extremely short and concise work, "The Path of Prayer," since it always encourages me to continue and deepen my prayer life.

Quote
What titles have fired your love for God and neighbor SINCE becoming Orthodox? My own favorite has been St. Dorotheus of Gaza, "Discourses and Sayings",  especially the chapter on not judging others..............

Ah. If you like St. Dorotheos, you should really also read St. Isaac the Syrian. A great beginning point (also for reasons of concision and deep insightfulness) is Sebastian Brock's translation of some of St. Isaac's sayings. See: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0728301458/qid=1060437292/sr=11-1/ref=sr_11_1/103-3267059-6579009?n=283155 This review describes the book's accessibility, usefulness and contents: http://www.monachos.net/books/patristic_sources/wisd_isaac.shtml

Other than St. Isaac, if you are looking to fire up your love for God and neighbor, there is hardly an author more to-the-point and indefatigable than St. Symeon the New Theologian. Lots of his work has been translated into English and there are some very accessible monographs on his life and spirituality, but my personal favorite English edition remains the one put out by Cistercian Studies, for its price, variety and selection: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/087907941X/sr=8-6/qid=1149612389/ref=sr_1_6/103-3267059-6579009?%5Fencoding=UTF8

More than any of these, however, I find myself consistently returning to two books. Some authors are good for this or that issue and some lead one on too much of a rabbit-trail or to the difficulties of extremity. These two books, however, are always refreshing, trenchant and valuable. The first is that absolute quintessential Christian spiritual classic, the Apophthegmata Patrum, which one can find in fine English prose in Benedicta Ward's translation: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0879079592/103-3267059-6579009?v=glance&n=283155

The second book -- and perhaps the best single option -- is called The Art of Prayer: An Orthodox Anthology. It is a compilation of sayings, pieces of advice and quotes -- all gleaned by a monk from his life's readings of Orthodox spiritual fathers (Greek and Slavic). It is thus an excellent summary, which represents a rather broad consensus of practices, opinions and spiritual insights. Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0571191657/qid=1149612915/sr=2-2/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_2/103-3267059-6579009?s=books&v=glance&n=283155
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But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)
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