, March 03, 2021
This is by far the most inspiring and informative book I have ever read about Orthodox monasticism! It really brings out the beauty of life devoted to God, without becoming a legalistic rule-book. Even though it’s a big book, it is a quick and delightful read with plenty of fascinating anecdotes.
One thing I love about this book is that it succeeds in presenting the teachings of the holy Fathers in a way that is contemporary and relevant. I especially appreciate how it doesn’t shy away from controversial issues, such as when disobedience is appropriate, what role technology should play in the life of a monk, and whether non-Orthodox books should be read. My favorite section is “Obedience and Freedom,” which shows the subtle yet important difference between free obedience in the spirit of Christ, and imposed discipline in the spirit of the military. The author, who was the disciple of a contemporary saint, draws upon a broad range of knowledge to create this bouquet of insights.
I was surprised to see how much of the book is relevant for people not in a monastery. This book is a real eye-opener!
There’s a sample of 140 pages of this book at www.stnilus.org/sample
- thorough presentation of every aspect of monastic life
- many inspiring quotes from the saints you won’t find elsewhere
- huge index makes it easy to find anything you want
- the book is a bit heavy to hold comfortably in your hands