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Paperback The Spiritual Life: And How to Be Attuned to It Book

ISBN: 0938635360

ISBN13: 9780938635369

The Spiritual Life: And How to Be Attuned to It

This description may be from another edition of this product. St. Theophan the Recluse, possessing a rare degree of patristic scholarship, combined with a thorough understanding of the soul of his native Russia and of contemporary people in general, was enabled...


Format: Paperback

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Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Practical Spiritual Advice

If you are interested in reading of the beginning of Spiritual Life then St. Theophan is one of the best advicers. Although his letters are written over a hundred years ago in Russia they apply to-day in our lives. The Spiritual Life is not only useful for beginners. In our time it is not easy to find 'elders', who give instructions to us directly, although they can be found when needed, mainly in the monasteries. It could be said that The Spiritual Life expresses the ideas put forth by the writer in his main work 'The Path to Salvation' applied to the daily life of a spiritual aspirant. This makes it a good companion to his main book and explains some of it in practical terms.

Written with love

St. Theophan's correspondence with the young woman is permeated with pastoral love. Not only is he highly organized in his writing and the flow of ideas, but he is thorough in every point he makes. Some readings may be a bit overwhelming -but the sections (each letter) are no more than 4-5 pages each, making it easier to digest. He addresses issues that I'm going through in my life and brings consolement, inspiration, direction and (very importantly) a call to action. I feel as if he is praying for me as I read his words.

An invaluable primer for all Christians

Although written to and by Russian Orthodox individuals, this book is an indispensable primer on leading the Christian life, no matter your denomination. It is a gentle, yet firm, goad for keeping on the narrow way to which we are called, but also puts life and all that it can bring in a light that stresses hope, forgiveness, and mercy. Many of the questions bedeviling society in St. Theophan's time and today are always discussed (and often answered) in a open and unique fashion, providing much grist for our inner mills.In short, this book can be praised only with superlatives. It changes lives, as few books written today can do. Though written over a century ago, its teachings are strikingly contemporary. It is ideal for those Christians, new to their faith or not, who are searching for a fruitful and inspiring means of (re)vitalizing their faith and worship. One letter read each morning is a rejuvenating tonic for the soul not to be missed!

An excellent guide for guarding the heart

St. Theophan's letters offer spiritual direction concerning the use of the Jesus prayer, the appropriate way to prepare for and make a healing confession, for directing one's mind toward God, and for ways of battling spiritual 'cooling off.' The first part also provides a very interesting, patristically inspired discussion of the soul. Another advantage is the fact that the publisher has placed in bold print those passages Fr. Seraphim Rose believed to be of special importance. While far from distracting, this only underscores important themes and points of advice. Additionally, some consider this book to be a sort of introduction to St. Theophan's other inspiring work, 'The Path to Salvation.' For converts or those looking for an example of an Orthodox piety of the Heart, this book provides a wonderful example of an older, less 'modern' form of piety. Furthermore, while St. Theophan is able to discuss things on an informed intelletual level, his is not an Orthodoxy of the mind, of definitions and philosophical distinctions. Rather, he emphasizes the ascetic and spiritual disciplines that, through the Grace of God, the Church, and personal effort, help one to struggle to grow in the likeness of Christ. This is all the more interesting since many consider St. Theophan to be perhaps the most educated Russian saint of the last century; yet, like Blessed Ignaty Brianchaninov and St. John of Kronstadt, this does not get in the way of a true Orthodox heart.
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