The Spiritual Life and How to be Attuned to it

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St. Theophan the Recluse
Translated by Alexandra Dockham
Publication Data: Safford, AZ: St. Paisius Serbian Orthodox Monastery, 2003
Format: softcover
Number of Pages: 304
Dimensions (l × w × h): 21.0 cm × 13.5 cm × 1.9 cm
Additional Information: black-and-white illustrations
ISBN: 0‒9729956‒0‒9

St. Theophan the Recluse
Translated by Alexandra Dockham

Third Edition

“Once, in the middle of the dance floor at some annual ball, a young lady had a sudden glimpse of the immortality of her soul; and as this vision flashed upon her inward eye, she was struck with the thought that all this swirling around the dance floor was utterly futile. Amazed and disturbed, she wrote to the recluse: ‘Is this normal, or is it a morbid hindrance to a desire for a happy life in the world?’ The answer to her question evoked a correspondence which resulted in this volume.”
—“1. The Subject of Our Correspondence: The Spiritual Life”


Introduction by Protopriest Milos M. Vesin
   1. The Subject of Our Correspondence: The Spiritual Life
   2. Vanity of Worldly Life
   3. Emptiness
   4. Spiritual Freedom or Spiritual Slavery
   5. The Life of the Body
   6. The Life of the Soul: The Intellectual Aspect
   7. The Life of the Soul: The Desirous Aspect
   8. The Heart and the Aspect of the Sense
   9. Spiritual Life
   10. Faith in the Existence of God
   11. The Influence of the Spirit on the Soul
   12. The Supremacy of Spiritual Life
   13. Life According to the Spirit
   14. The Covering of the Soul
   15. How the Saints Hear Our Prayers
   16. The True Goal of Life
   17. A God-pleasing Life
   18. The One Thing Needful
   19. Ancestral Sin
   20. Disturbance in the Nature of Man
   21. The Necessity of Union with God
   22. The Redemptive Uplifting of Fallen Man
   23. True Spiritual Zeal
   24. Renewal and Self-Cleansing
   25. The Hidden Action of Grace
   26. The Activity of Grace
   27. Inner Concentration
   28. Examples of the Free Resolve to Live According to Grace
   29. Patience and Constancy
   30. The Inner State According to Macarius the Great
   31. Supporting This Initial Yearning
   32. Govenie: The Path of a Virtuous Life
   33. Govenie and Conduct at Home
   34. Preparation for Confession
   35. The Disposition of One’s Heart
   36. The Mystery of Repentance and Confession
   37. Harmony with the Will of God
   38. A Conscious Renewal of the Vows Given at Baptism
   39. How the Enemy Tries to Lead One Astray
   40. Various Causes of Spiritual Cooling
   41. Final Counsels Before Confession and Communion
   42. Unceasing Remembrance of God
   43. Inner Peace
   44. Warning to One on the True Path
   45. Undistracted Prayer
   46. General Rules for Staying on the True Path
   47. A Prayer Rule
   48. How to Attain Undistracted Prayer
   49. The Burdens of Life
   50. Arousing in Oneself Unceasing Remembrance of God
   51. Turning the Burdens of Life to Spiritual Profit
   52. Burning Love for God
   53. Passions as an Obstacle to the Spirit
   54. Warfare with the Passions
   55. More About Warfare with the Passions
   56. The Slightest Movements of the Passions
   57. Stages in the Development of Passions
   58. Prayer in the Warfare with Passionate Thoughts
   59. St. Hesychius on Warfare with the Passions
   60. Cleansing the Heart
   61. Guarding the Hearing and Sight
   62. Active Warfare with the Passions
   63. Singing and Music
   64. Solitude
   65. St. Poemen on the God-pleasing Life
   66. A Journey to the St. Sergius Lavra
   67. Diligent Confession
   68. The Need of a Good Counselor
   69. Depression and Fear
   70. On the Reading of Spiritual and Secular Books
   71. On Coldness in Prayer
   72. The Vow of Renunciation of the World
   73. The Vow of Chastity
   74. Yearnings for Monastic Life
   75. The Tricks of the Enemy
   76. Temptations from Unbelievers
   77. Obedience to Parents
   78. Injustice and False Accusation
   79. Final Anxieties and Disturbances
   80. Rest After a Storm
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