Russian Letters of Spiritual Direction, 1834–1860

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Macarius, Starets of Optino
Selection, Translation, and Foreword by Iulia de Beausobre
Publication Data: Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1975
Format: softcover
Number of Pages: 115
Dimensions (l × w × h): 18.4 cm × 12.7 cm × 0.9 cm
ISBN: 0‒913836‒23‒0

Macarius, Starets of Optino
Selection, Translation, and Foreword by Iulia de Beausobre

“The starets Macarius of Optino was a spiritual director of lay people, monks, and priests. Starets—a synonym of starik, the Russian for ‘old man’—implies all the veneration given to an ‘elder’[...]. [...]Macarius, the gentle scholar, was the director chiefly of educated men and women. His rambling letters abound in quotations and learned allusions; they are[...]often pierced by rays of remarkably lucid thought and flashes of astonishing insight. [...]A great letter writer, Macarius corresponded easily, at length, and with many people.”


   Blessed are the poor in spirit
      1. Direction; 2. Self-Knowledge; 3. Discernment; 4. Conformity with the will of God; 5. Liberty of Spirit
   Blessed are they that mourn
      1. Sorrow; 2. Failure; 3. Poverty; 4. Bereavement; 5. Illness
   Blessed are the meek
      1. Humility; 2. Simplicity; 3. Patience; 4. Meekness; 5. Brotherly love
   Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness
      1. Presumption; 2. Repentance; 3. Trust in providence; 4. Dependence on grace; 5. Co-operation with grace
   Blessed are the merciful
      1. Life in the world; 2. Wealth; 3. Wages; 4. Work; 5. The life of religion
   Blessed are the pure in heart
      1. Passions; 2. Anger; 3. Hatred; 4. Pride; 5. Temptation
   Blessed are the Peacemakers
      1. Man and Wife; 2. Mother and Child; 3. Father and Child; 4. Brother and Sister; 5. Children
   Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake
      1. Prayer; 2. Illusions; 3. Illusions on Prayer
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