This book looks at Orthodox monasticism from many different angles. Monasticism is described as the life of the Gospel, its aim being to fulfil Christ’s commandments as completely as possible. Drawing on Holy Scripture, the writings of the Fathers and contemporary elders, the book informs us about the role and mission of Orthodox monasticism, its relevance to today’s world, but also its secularisation in our time. A fascinating selection of talks given at professions of individual monks and nuns gives insight into what leads someone to embrace this way of life and how they can retain their inspiration. The book then looks at monasticism on two holy mountains – Mount Athos and Mount Sinai – mostly through talks and analyses of books, including the letters of Elder Joseph the Hesychast, the Ladder of St John Climacus and St Gregory of Nyssa’s Life of Moses. Other sections consider the mystery of the cross in the monastic life, drawing on St Basil the Great and Archimandrite Sophrony of Essex. The culmination of the book is a chapter interpreting the Service of the Great and Angelic Schema – a rare opportunity to read extracts in English from this beautiful and awe-inspiring service, together with an explanation of their purpose.
Μητροπολίτης Ναυπάκτου Ιερόθεος