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Ancient Wisdom - beginning your spiritual life

Recently I have been slowly reading through a book called 'The Philokalia' which is a collection of texts written between the 4th and 15th centuries by spiritual masters from Orthodox churches.  They were initially written for the instruction of monks.  I have been reading it for two reasons:

  1. It is helpful to read outside your own church tradition. 
  2. People have been gaining wisdom in learning to follow Jesus for over 2000 years and we can learn from them as well as from contemporary writers.

From time to time I will post excerpts that I have found insightful.  As with other writings, we should weigh them carefully, compare them with scripture and hold on to what is good. 

This is from St Mark the Ascetic, Letter to Nicolas the Solitary:

This my son (it applies to all of us) is how you should begin your life according to God (ie with God).  You should continually and unceasingly call to mind all the blessings which God in His love has bestowed upon you in the past, and still bestows for the salvation of your soul.  You must not let forgetfulness of evil or laziness make you grow unmindful of these many and great blessings and so pass the rest of your life uselessly and ungratefully.


David Wanstall, 29/10/2014