Beginning in the nineteenth century, a remarkable succession of illumined elders residing in Optina Pustyn Monastery helped bring about a spiritual renewal in Russia. Figures from Dostoevsky and Soloviev to Khomiakov and Kireyevsky to Gogol, Tchaikovsky, Turgenev, and even Tolstoy sought their advice. This collection of sayings from the Optina Elders, focuses upon the path … [Read more...] about On Salvation — From the Elders of Optina Monastery
Philosophy & Theology
If our salvation requires repentance, and if we desire salvation, why do we find it so difficult to repent? St Basil the Hesychast, spiritual father of St Paisius Velichkovsky, explains that the difficulty lies not simply in our commission of sins, for there is no man without sin (John14:4-5), but in our chronic justification of these sins, and hence our blaming others for … [Read more...] about The Problem with Self-Justification: Or, How to Keep Rowing Upstream
Common misconceptions about common words can lead to common errors writes Hieromonk Gabriel, but when those errors force a reading of scripture not in accord with the meaning of the Apostle they will end up driving people away from the Church. We see this in our day with words like “mercy,” “compassion,” “tolerance” and others that are thrown … [Read more...] about Should St. Paul Have Been More Tolerant? What Modern Churches Are Missing
The Church Fathers maintain consistently that there is no repentance after death. This claim bears upon both the great question of how we shall fare after our departure from this life, as well as the more immediate question of how we ought to live now. But if the soul retains consciousness after our earthly repose, precisely what is it that makes postmortem repentance … [Read more...] about Is There No Repentance after Death?
In a world where it is becoming increasingly unwise to entrust the education of our children to teachers who promote trendy, “relevant” curricula, the question arises “What, then, should we teach them?” British philosopher and public intellectual St Roger Scruton argues eloquently that the supposedly “irrelevant” traditional curriculum of … [Read more...] about The Virtue of Irrelevance: An Essay on Education