Community of St John the Baptist, Essex
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Our New Publications

The Service of Saint Sophrony the Athonite

Publishing the first edition of the Service of Saint Sophrony with the approval and blessing of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, we hope that it will help us draw near to our saints, so that we may be edified by their word and so that their intercession may continue to minister that which Elder Sophrony, wise in God, considered the greatest miracle in all the created world: the union of the heart of man with the eternal Spirit of God.

Thirst for Life Eternal

Sayings on the Sundays of the Pentecostarion

The meaning of Pentecost is precisely to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, which will fill every molecule of our being with the incorruptible love of Christ. It will make our heart vibrate with His life-giving word that testifies with power that ‘though we were dead, yet we shall live’ eternally. The Holy Comforter will render us ‘taught of God’. He will continually initiate us into His mystery, revealing His benefits known and unknown, which make our heart melt with the warmth of His love and be overwhelmed by the only legitimate sorrow, provoked by the awareness that we are unable to thank Him as He deserves and as is befitting unto Him.

At the Doors of Holy Lent

We stand with awe at the doors of the fearsome Great Lent. It is fearsome, not because it imposes on us superhuman exercises, but because of the awesome things the grace of this period performs in the heart of the faithful. In the bosom of the Church, the atmosphere is stirred up spiritually, and the grace that permeates it is so tangible and abundant that it would be terrifying to lose it.

Theology as a Spiritual State

The word conceived in the silence of prayer is imbued with the uncreated energy of Divinity and brings healing, informing men’s hearts with grace. This path could perhaps be the solution to the problem of the colossal fragmentation of the word observed today. The word that is born in the heart unites man with the current of holy tradition and gives him simplicity Which in the language of theology, is the same as divine fullness. Just as the human body is holy because it is the temple of the Holy Spirt, so also the human word, when it integrates with the perspective of the Divine words becomes channel of grace.

Man, the Author of his Likeness to Christ

Prayer is a natural activity and attitude of man’s spirit, made in the image and likeness of God. The hidden energy of prayer is nothing other than the natural motion of man’s soul towards God, which was established within him by the Lord when He fashioned him. When this energy is released, the soul’s regeneration by the grace of repentance begins. Without prayer, it is impossible for God’s reasonable creature to fulfil his destiny, to become a god by His grace.

The Furnace of Love

Christ is the Son of love and the God of love, Who bestows the spirit of love. Eternal life is the continuation of the relationship that man cultivates with Christ for as long as he lives on earth. If in this life this relationship is genuine and inspired by the love of God, in the world to come love for God will grow from one fulness to a greater fulness. If it is strong, holy and perfect, it will become stronger, holier and more perfect ‘still and still’. And this will be the blessedness of the spirits of just men made perfect in the Kingdom of God.

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