The Spiritual Guide in Orthodox Christianity

Table of contents

Share |

Notes

1. On spiritual fatherhood in the Christian East, the standard work is by Irénée ausherr, Direction spirituelle en Orient autrefois, Orientalia Christiana Analecta 44 (Rome: Pont. Institutum Studiorum Orientalium, 1955); English translation, Spiritual Direction in the Early Christian East, Cistercian Studies Series 116 Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 1990). Consult also I. Hadot, "The piritual Guide," in A. H. Armstrong (ed.), Classical Mediterranean Spirituality: gyptian, Greek, Roman (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986), 436-59; raham Gould, The Desert Fathers on Monastic Community (Oxford: Clarendonress, 1993), especially 26-87; Stephan B. Clark, Unordained Elders and enewal Communities (New York/Paramus/Toronto: Paulist Press, 1976); John hryssavgis, Ascent to Heaven. The Theology of the Human Person according to aint John of the Ladder (Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1989), 11-30; H. J. M. Turner, St. Symeon the New Theologian and Spiritual atherhood (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1990). For a comparison between Climacus and Symeon, see my introduction to the English translation of Hausherr, Spiritual Direction, vii-xxxiii. On the Russian tradition, consult J. B. Dunlop, Staretz mvrosy: Model for Dostoevsky's Staretz Zossima (Belmont, MA: Nordland, 972); I. de Beausobre (ed.), Macarius, Starets of Optino: Russian Letters of Direction 1834-1860 (Westminster: Dacre, 1944); Archimandrite Sophrony Sakharov), Saint Silouan the Athonite (Tolleshunt Knights: Monastery of Saint ohn the Baptist, 1991). For modern Greek examples, see Elder Paisios of Mount Athos, Athonite Fathers and Athonite Matters (Thessalonica: Holy Convent of the vangelist John the Theologian, Souroti, 1999). On Romania, see [Hiermonk eraphim Rose], Blessed Paisius Velichkovsky (Platina, CA: Saint Herman of laska Brotherhood, 1976); Romul Joanta (now Metropolitan Seraphim of ermany and Central Europe), Roumanie: tradition et culture hésychastes, Spiritualité orientale 46 (Bégrolles: Abbaye de Bellefontaine, 1987); English ranslation, Romania: Its Hesychast Tradition and Culture (Wildwood, CA: St enia Skete, 1992).

2. AP, alphabetical collection, Antony 37, 38 (PG 65:88B); tr. Ward, 8-9 (the translation needs correcting).

3. AP, anonymous collection, 244, 290: ed. Nau, ROC 14 (1909), 364, 376; tr. Ward, Wisdom, §§112,158 (34, 45).

4. Cited by Ivan Tschetwerikow, in Metropolitan Seraphim (ed.), L'Eglise Orthodoxe (Paris: Payot, 1952), 219.

5. Elchaninov, The Diary of a Russian Priest, 54.

6. I use "charismatic" in the restricted sense customarily given to it by contemporary writers. But if that word indicates (as properly it should) someone who has received the gifts or charismata of Holy Spirit, then the ministerial priest, ordained through the episcopal laying on of hands, is as genuinely "charismatic" as one who speaks with tongues.

7. In the alphabetical collection of the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, alongside 127 "abbas" there are three "ammas" or spiritual mothers: the women are in a minority, but they have their place in the Gerontikon. See Sister Benedicta Ward, "`Apophthegmata Matrum,", Studia Patristica 16:2, Texte and Untersuchungen 129 (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1985), 63-66; Joseph M. Soler, "Les Mères du désert et la maternité spirituelle," Collectanea Cisterciensia 48 (1986), 235-50.

8. Life of Antony, 87 and 81; tr. Gregg, 94, 90.

9. I follow here the generally accepted chronology of St Seraphim's life. But there is evidence to suggest that he may have begun his ministry as starets at a much earlier point, before his withdrawal into the forest in 1794. Yet even so the pattern of flight and return still holds good in Seraphim's case, at any rate in general terms; for, prior to 1813, his ministry as starets was restricted and sometimes totally interrupted. See Vsévolod Rochcau, Saint Séraphim: Sarov et Divéyevo. Études et Documents, Spiritualité Orientale 45 (Bégrolles: Abbaye de Bellefontaine, 1987), 53-84.

10. Archimandrite Lazarus Moore, St. Seraphim of Sarov, 126.

11. AP, alphabetical collection, Theophilus 2; quoted above, 89.

12. AP, alphabetical collection, Antony 27 (84D); tr. Ward, Sayings, 7.

13. AP, alphabetical collection, Antony 24 (84B); see above, 86.

14. On Ignaty and Theophan, see the introduction to Igumen Chariton, The Art of Prayer, 11-15. St Tikhon of Zadonsk is yet another example of one who, after many years of active pastorate, only became a recluse at the end of his life.

15. If the chairmen of committees and others in seats of authority were forced to write out personally in longhand everything they wanted to communicate, might they not choose their words with greater care?

16. See the perceptive discussion in Douglas Burton-Christie, The Word in the Desert: Scripture and the Quest for Holiness in Early Christian Monasticism (New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), especially chapter 5; and compare Max Picard, The World of Silence (London: Flarvill Press, n.d.).

17. For the Greek text of this apophthegma, see Evergetinos 1.20.11, ed. Victor Matthaiou, 4 vols. (Athens: Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Savior at Kronize Kouvara, 1957-66), 1:168-9; French translation in Lucien Regnault (ed.), Les Sentences des Pères du Désert, serie des anonymes (Sablé-sur- Sarthe/Bégrolles: Solesmes/Bellefontainc, 1985), 227.

18. Archimandrite Lazarus Moore, St. Seraphim of Sarov, 217-20.

19. Op. cit., 436-7.

20. AP, alphabetical collection, Poemen 8 (321C); tr. Ward Sayings, 167.

21. The Brothers Karamazov, tr. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (New York: Vintage Classics, 1991), 27.

22. See, for example, the story in AP, anonymous collection 293: ed. Nau, ROC 14 (1909), 377; tr. Ward, Wisdom, §16o (45-46). The monk is delivered as soon as he says, "Lord, by the prayers of my father, save me in this hour."

23. Questions and Answers, ed. Schoinas §§208, 239; tr. Regnault and Lemaire, §§113, 239. On the spiritual father as burden-bearer, see above, 119-20, especially the quotations from Barsanuphius. In general, the 850 questions and answers that make up the Book of Barsanuphius and John show us, with a vividness not to be found in any other ancient source, exactly how the ministry of pastoral guidance was exercised in the Christian East.

24. The Brothers Karamazov, tr. Pevear and Volokhonsky, 320.

25. AP, alphabetical collection, Antony 16 (8oc); tr. Ward, Sayings, 4.

26. AP, alphabetical collection, John the Theban 1 (240A); tr. Ward, Sayings, 109.

27. "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell," in Geoffrey Keynes (ed.), Poetry and Prose of William Blake (London: Nonesuch Press, 1948), 187.

28. "A Wonderful Revelation to the World," in Archimandrite Lazarus Moore, St. Seraphim of Sarov, 197.

29. AP, alphabetical collection, John the Dwarf i (2o4e); tr. Ward, Sayings, 85-86.

30. AP, alphabetical collection, Mark the Disciple of Silvanus 1, 2 (293D-296B); tr., 145-46.

31. Ibid., Joseph of Panepho 5 (229BC); tr., 103.

32. Ibid., Saio i (420AB); tr., 229. The geron subsequently returned the things to their rightful owners.

33. AP, anonymous series 295: ed. Nau, ROC14 (1909), 378; tr. Ward, Wisdom, §162,(47). Miraculously the child was preserved unharmed. For a parallel story, see AP, alphabetical collection, Sisoes 10 (394C-396A); tr. Ward, Sayings, 214; and compare Abraham and Isaac (Gen 22).

34. See above, first section.

35. Quoted in Yves Harnant, Alexander Men: A Witness for Contemporary Russia (Torrance, CA: Oakwood Publications, 1995), 124.

36. AP, anonymous collection 340: ed. Nau, ROC 17 (1912), 295; tr. Ward, Wisdom, §209 (56-57).

37. C. G. Montefiore and H. Loewe (ed.), A Rabbinic Anthology (London: Macmillan,1938), §494.

38. Father André Scrima, "La tradition du père spirituel dans l'Église d'Orient," Hermès, 1967, No. 4, 83.

39. AP, alphabetical collection, Poemen 174 (364C); tr. Ward, Sayings, 191.

40. Ibid., Isaac the Priest 2 (224CD); tr., 99-100.

41. Questions and Answers, §§25,51,35.

42. Quoted by Thomas Merton, Spiritual Direction and Meditation (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1960), 12.

43. Alexander Men, 124.

44. Buber, Tales of the Hasidim: The Early Masters, 256.

45. "The Monastic Rule," in G. P. Fedotov, A Treasury of Russian Spirituality (London: Sheed & Ward, 1950), 95-96.

46. Except that in the Rule, §46, it is said that monks may confess their sins in confidence, not necessarily to the abbot, but to one of the senior monks possessing spiritual gifts (tantum abbati, aut spiritalibus senioribus).

47. See I. Gorainoff, "Holy Men of Patmos," Sobornost 6:5 (1912), 341-44.

48. See my lecture, Through the Creation to the Creator, 5.

49. Bishop Sawa of Edmonton, Blessed John: The Chronicle of the Veneration of Archbishop John Maximovich (Platina, CA: Saint Heman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1979),104; Father Seraphim Rose and Abbot Herman, Blessed John the Wonderworker. A Preliminary Account of the Life and Miracles of Archbishop John Maximovitch, 3rd edn. (Plating, CA: Saint Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1987), 163. I heard the story from Father Jacob

Search site

Loading ...