Community of Saint John the Baptist, Essex

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Prayer as Infinite Creation

Prayer as Infinite Creation

Striving to keep the commandments and find salvation, the believer suffers great fluctuations. But through his own mistakes, failures, afflictions, and falls, he learns the weakness of human nature and therefore becomes more tolerant and compassionate to those around him. This is ascetic compassion. However, when Christ comes to dwell in the heart, a different kind of compassion is born in man. In essence, a specific property of God’s nature is imparted to him by grace. Man has bowels of mercies for those around him, because He Who dwells in his heart is all-Merciful.

Hypostatic Prayer: The Measure of Perfection

Man’s ‘daily bread’ is above all that which imparts to him the energy of God, that energy which gave him life in the beginning, and which has sustained and nourished his soul and spirit ever since. Thus, this energy ‘creates individual essence’ (ousiopoios), because it gives man substance, constitution and hypostasis; it is life-giving (zoopoios), because it gives him life, and life in abundance. It ‘creates logical reason’ (logopoios), because it makes man a reasonable being in the image of the Son and Logos of the Father Who is ‘the Firstborn among many brethren’. It is deifying (theopoios), because it refashions him, sanctifies him and perfects him as a worthy citizen and light-bearing child of the Kingdom of Heaven. ‘Christ’s words, realised in life, make man a god.’

The Otherness of Love

Just as at Pentecost, the hymns of the Church express strange sounds and paradoxical words of the Spirit, which surpass the darkened mind of man, yet witness to the awesome reality of God, so the Spirit releases strange echoes of redemption within the heart inhabited by the fire of love for God. The hymns of Pentecost sound strange in the ears of the world, and only the initiated can comprehend them. Similarly, the paradoxical echoes whispered in the ears of the friends of Christ, speak of ineffable mysteries pertaining to the love of God.

The Mystery of Christian Life

The majority of the texts in this book are taken from Saint Sophrony’s collection of drafts which did not reach book form in his lifetime, because he was so occupied in taking care of the monastery and those who visited with need of his prayer and counsel. The texts began in handwritten form, often on already used paper, so that not a scrap of paper – each one a gift from God – would be wasted. The final drafts were typewritten. Some texts were in files; others were on loose papers, many of which were not in any particular order.

The spiritual inheritance passed down from St. Silouan to St. Sophrony to Fr. Zacharias is invaluable as it speaks with such clarity to the needs of our time. That has been my experience - first as a seminarian, and now as a young priest. I routinely draw on the publications of the work of St. Silouan, St. Sophrony, Archim. Zacharias, & Archim. Peter - both for myself and for my pastoral work in the parish. The way these publications speak of the Gospel and the fulness of the life in Christ has been uniquely helpful to me personally and in my work as a priest.

I would also like to offer my thanks for the physical quality and overall appearance/aesthetic of the books themselves. The clothbound hardback with stamped text & logo makes for a superior look and feel for the books. The high-quality paper, uncrowded pages, and even the font, all contribute to the unparalleled reading experience. I appreciate that the books available in hardback will lay flat. Additionally, I have greatly appreciated recent publications - such as At the Doors of Holy Lent - that included two-color text and a ribbon bookmark. 

Fr. Anthony Saunders @St. Elizabeth the New Martyr Orthodox Church

Thank you for continuing to release Fr. Zacharias’s writings. They are incredibly encouraging personally and very helpful for pastoring. As a mission-planting priest, these books have enabled me to connect the hard work we are doing here with God’s desire for our salvation. I hope Fr. Zacharias is able to continue publishing for a long time.

Fr. Joel Wilson @Annunciation Orthodox Christian Church

I have read everything available from Archimandrite Zacharias, and yet every time I embark on reading his latest work, it's like I'm clinging to a tiny but precious thread that leads all the way to eternity. I am forever grateful for his wisdom and utterly penetrating insights into the nature of Orthodoxy and God's infinite love for His children, even when they turn away or don't realize His presence. More than ever, the world needs a voice like Archimandrite Zacharia's.

Robert David Vivian, Michigan USA

Archimandrite Zacharias books are like a good movie- I cannot stop reading them!!!!

Costakis Neocleous, Atlanta USA

I have recently purchased Christ, Our Way and Our Life from you and I am so very glad that I have. As an Anglican it is one of the most powerful works that I have ever read. Although I am only part way through, it has illuminated my thought with a clarity that I have not felt outside of Holy Scripture. I give my genuine thanks.

David, Staffordshire UK
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"Men are ignorant of the power of Christ's humility, and that is why they aspire to the things of this earth; but without the Holy Spirit they cannot know the force of these words of Christ. But he who has learned will never relinquish his knowledge, even were he to be offered all the kingdoms of the world.O Lord, grant me Thy humility that I may be filled with Thy love, and Thy holy fear may dwell in me.Life is burdensome without love for God. The soul feels sombre and stale; but with the coming of love her joy passes description.My soul thirsts after the humility of Christ, and yearns for it day and night, and ever and anon I cry with a loud cry:
'My soul yearns after Thee, O Lord, and weeping I seek Thee.'"Extract from the writings of Saint Silouan, whose memory the Church commemorates today. Happy and blessed feast unto all.#essexmonastery #sophrony #silouantheathonite #saintsophrony #orthodox #theology #christian #christianorthodox #christianbooks #clothbound #prayer #christianprayer
Letters to his Family - Saint Sophrony's Letter 4, to his sister Maria. Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois 11th December1958.
Letters to his Family - Saint Sophrony's Letter 4, to his sister Maria. Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois 11th December1958.
Monasticism: The All-Embracing Gift of the Holy Spirit has been published in hardaback clothbound for the first time."Monasticism is indeed a peculiar way of life, a heavenly institution, a gift of the Holy Spirit. The Desert Fathers of the 4th century, who inaugurated monastic life, felt that the heavens had come down to earth, as we sing on the day of Pentecost: 'The nations of the city of David have seen strange things today,' things of the world to come. Saint John Climacus says that 'Angels are a light for monks, and the monastic life is a light for all men.' This light is the knowledge of the way of the Lord and and His commandments, which is preserved upon earth in the Church, through the way of monasticism."#essexmonastery #sophrony #saintsophrony #archimandritezacharias #orthodox #theology #christian #christianbooks #clothbound #prayer #christianprayer #monastic #monasticlife #monasticism
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