The Path of Salvation which I'll be reading this Great Lenten season.
This is an awesome book, I have that book in front of me, as I am typing this. St Theophan the Recluse, is awesome. Some of his writing are complied in the Art of Prayer (An Orthodox Anthology) complied by Igumen Chariton of Valamo with an intro by Timothy Ware. And my favorite quote from St THeophan the Recluse is in the Art of Prayer.The essence of Christian Life
People concern themselves with Christian upbringing but leave it incomplete: they neglect the most essential and most difficult side of Christian life, and dwell on what is easiest, the visible and external.
This imperfect or misdirected upbrining produces people who observe with the utmost correctness all the formal and outward rules of devout conduct, but pay little or no attention to the inward movements of the heart and to true improvement of the inner spiritual life. They are strangers to mortal sins, but they do not heed the play of thoughts in the heart. Accordingly they sometimes pass judgements, give way to boastfulness or pride, sometimes get angry (as if this feeling were justified by the rightness of their cause), are sometimes distracted by beauty and pleasure, sometimes even offend others in fits of irritation, are sometimes too lazy to pray, or lose themselves in useless thoughts while at prayer. They are not upset about doing these thinbgs, but regard them as without significance. They have been to church, or prayed at home according to the established rule, and carried out their usual business, and so they are quite content and at peace. But they have little concern for what is happening in the heart. In the meatime it maybe forging evil, thereby taking away the whole value of their correct and pious life.
Let us now take the vase of one who has been falling somewhat short in the work of salvation; he becomes aware of this incompleteless, and sees the incorrectness of his way of life and the instablility of his efforts. And so he turns from outward to inward piety. He is led into this either by reading books about spiritual life, or by talking with those who know what the essence of Christian life is, or by dissatisfaction with his own efforts, by a certain intuition that something is lacking, and that all is not going as it should.
Despite all his correctness he has no inner peace; he lacks what was promised to true Christians, 'peace and joy in the Holy Spirit' (Rom. xiv. 17). Once this troubling thought is born in him, then by talking with people who have knowledge he will come to realize what the matter is, or he may read about it in a book. Either of these things will enable him to see the essential defect in the order of his life, namely his lack of attention to the movements within himself, and his lack of self-mastery.
He understands then that the essence of the Christian life consists in establisihng himself with the mind in the heart before God, in the Lord Jesus Christ, by the grace of the Holy Spirit: in this way he is enabled to control all inward movements and all outward actions, so as to transform everything in himself, whether great or small, into the service of God the Trinity, consciously and freely offering himself wholly to God." (The Art of Prayer)