“I Know a Man in Christ”: Elder Sophrony the Hesychast and Theologian

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Metropolitan of Nafpaktos Hierotheos
with a Foreword by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
Publication Data: Levadia, Greece: Birth of the Theotokos Monastery, 2015
Format: softcover
Number of Pages: 454
Dimensions (l × w × h): 23.8 cm × 16.3 cm × 2.6 cm
Additional Information: full-color and black-and-white illustrations
ISBN: 978‒960‒7070‒89‒0

   
Metropolitan of Nafpaktos Hierotheos
with a Foreword by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

“More than thirty years have passed since the day that I made the acquaintance of the ever-memorable Elder Sophrony Sakharov. I met him for the first time in 1976 at the Monastery of St John the Baptist in Essex, England, and from then onwards I was in frequent communication with him, the Monastery and the Fathers, particularly Father Zacharias, and I also delighted in the Elder’s teaching. I continuously talked and wrote about the Elder as the years passed, and from time to time I would promise that one day, if God accounted me worthy, I would write a book about this great contemporary Father. Unfortunately all my other concerns did not allow me to do so until now. The present book is divided into two parts. The first, entitled Spiritual Autobiography, includes chapters referring to the person and teaching of Elder Sophrony through his own writings. The second part, Everyday Life - Pastoral Ministry, describes how the Elder served as a spiritual father, how he approached people, how he passed on to those who came to him seeking help the atmosphere of hesychia (stillness) in which he lived, and what he said to me during our numerous meetings.”
—“Preface by the Author to the Greek Edition”

CONTENTS

   Foreword by the Ecumenical Patriarch to the Greek Edition
   Preface by the Author to the Greek Edition
   Introduction
Part 1
‘Spiritual Autobiography’
   1. The Charismatic Elder Sophrony
      1. The Theology of Elder Sophrony
         a) The Theological Formation of Elder Sophrony Sakharov
         b) A Presentation of the Theology of Archimandrite Sophrony
   2. ‘Spiritual Autobiography’
      1. The Teaching of the Church as the Fruit of Experience
      2. Marvellous Works
         a) Early Experience
         b) Struggling with God - Mindfulness of Death
         c) Fall
         d) Returning to Christ — “I AM THAT I AM”
         e) Mourning
         f) Reaching up to God
         g) Visions of the Uncreated Light
         h) The Coming of the Uncreated Light and Its Concealment
         i) Sermon on the Uncreated Light
         j) Living Confirmation — Saint Silouan
      3. Conclusion
   3. ‘Struggle to Know God’
      1. Meeting and Conversation with David Balfour
      2. Reflections on the Book Struggle to Know God
         a) The Basis of the Book Saint Silouan the Athonite
         b) Two Levels of the Spiritual Life
         c) Self-emptying Love
         d) The Experienced Spiritual Guide
         e) Hesychastic and Liturgical Life
         f) ‘Triple Alliance’
         g) Conversion of Non-Orthodox to Orthodoxy
         h) The Orthodox Church and other Organisations and Confessions
         i) Self-emptying Love after the ‘Rift’ and the Fall
         j) Miraculous Intervention and Repentance
         k) General Impression
         l) Testimony
      3. Autobiographical Elements
         a) Reason for the Letters
         b) The Orthodox Church
         c) Theophany — Divine Grace
         d) Godforsakenness
         e) Spiritual Struggle
         f) Temptations
         g) Orthodox Monasticism
         h) Spiritual Guidance
         i) Saint Silouan
Part 2
Everyday Life — Pastoral Ministry
   1. Elder Sophrony in Everyday Life
      a) Welcome
      b) Divine Liturgy — Prayer
      c) Refectory
      d) Hospitality
      e) Love for People
      f) Discussion — Confession
      g) Visits
      h) Love for Nature
      i) Sense of Humour
      j) Taking Leave
   2. Theologian and Shepherd
      • 1976
      • 1977
      • 1978
      • 1979
      • 1980
      • 1981
      • 1982
      • 1983
      • 1984
      • 1985
      • 1988
      • 1991
   3. Various Words of the Elder
   In Conclusion
   Encomium by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and St Vlassios for Elder Sophrony the Hesychast and Theologian
   Appendix
   Timeless Relevance
   1. ‘The Elder of the Monastery’
   2. ‘Living Theology’
   3. ‘Elder Sophrony’s Personal Participation in the Mystery of the Cross’
   4. ‘On Prayer — The New Book by Archimandrite Sophrony’
   5. ‘From the Morning Watch until the Night’
   6. ‘The Theology of Elder Sophrony’
   7. ‘The Chariot and Horseman of the Israel of Grace’
   8. ‘Elder Sophrony’
   9. ‘The Person as Truth in the Teaching of Elder Sophrony’
   Photographs
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