The Philokalia

February 15, 2008



There are many elements to the Philokalia. It is of course the “The Orthodox Spiritual Life” Our discussion is not on the singular work of Origen and his writings compiled in 360AD. But rather a group of spiritual writings dating in the church from the 4th through the 15th century. This second volume includes the first and consists of 5 volumes of work.

It was compiled in it’s last form by St Macarios and St Nicodemas from Mount Athos in Greece in 1777 and financed by John Mavrocordatos, Prince of Moldavia. And it’s final form was published in 1782 in Venice Italy and consisted of 1207 pages. The Philokalia consists of writings of such great men of the church as St Symeon the New Theologian, (part of my namesake), St Anthony the Great Philotheus the Sinaite, Maximus the Confessor( namesake of Bishop Reed in Georgia), Evagruis of Pontus, Nilus of Ancyra, Diadochus of Photice, Nicephorus the Monk, Ignatius Xanthopoulos and Kallistos. St Maximus the confessor is the largest contributor to the work. It is well to note, that these men were all what the modern church would call Charismatic. Oh how I love it. The topics of Philokalia include the following.

Nepsis– or inner attention, watchfullness, Asceticism- rooted in the word Askesis (struggle, pruning of the tree),Theosis – Union with God. The Passions- human impluses,The Gift of Tears,The ladder to heaven- from St John the ladder, Spiritual Synergy– A favorite of mine, Hesychasm– the practice of silence, Kyrie Eleison– Lord, Have Mercy, Descend with the mind into the heart, The inner closet, The inner flame.