This book contains six talks by Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra (Mt Athos), focusing on select passages from the Chapters on Love by St Maximos the Confessor. More than a simple commentary, these talks offer a profound yet approachable introduction to the principles and practice of Orthodox spirituality.
From Chapter One:
We often say that we love God, and sing the praises of His love, but we are not able to pray without distractions. If this is the case, it means we are not speaking truthfully, that our praises are empty, because genuine love for God is the generative cause of undistracted prayer, and undistracted prayer is the generative cause of the love of God.
This book contains the homilies as well as the wonderous life of the Abbess of blessed memory, the venerable Gerondissa Makrina Vassopoulou.
“The venerable Makrina was blessed. All who read her discourses with prayer will sense the fragrance of Gerondissa’s prayer, the scent of the desert of Mt. Athos as it was experienced in a coenobitic monastery, the spiritual life of this true child of true hesychast fathers, and true mother of blessed nuns.” -Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos
“Her simple speech speaks to the hearts of all, for it comes from her authentic, holy experiences…. A person of praxis and theoria, Gerondissa was rich in virutes, and she was and still is a guide of others toward Christ and a model of authentic spiritual person, when virtuous examples to follow are becoming increasingly difficult to find. -Stavros Kourousis, Professor Emeritus, University of Athens
The Philokalia - a collection of the best writings from Orthodox spiritual masters across many centuries - is a treasure trove of direction for the spiritual life. But it can be overwhelming at first glance. Popular author and podcaster Angela Doll Carlson set herself the mission of reading through The Philokalia in a year and journaling about the thoughts it called up in her. The result is a thoughtful, inspiring daily devotional that introduces new readers to this great spiritual classic and helps us apply the wisdom of the ages to a layperson's life in the modern world.