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Bread & Water, Wine & Oil: An Orthodox Christian Experience of God
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on May 29, 2015
This book has chapters on the Holy Mysteries of Holy Eucharist, Baptism, Chrismation, Confession, Anointing of the Sick, Marriage and Ordination, but it's primary focus is that we come to the Divine Liturgy not to be informed or entertained, but to worship God. When we attend Divine Liturgy it is to "lay aside all earthly care: that we may receive the King of all". Again and again this book states, "Orthodoxy is nothing less than a relationship with God." "We do not go to church to understand. Rather, we go to church to meet God..." "We can only meet God in the present moment....We choose whether or not to live in the present moment...We can only make decisions in the present moment. We can only enjoy sights and sounds in the present moment. We can only love or hate in the present moment...Of all the possible points in time, only the present moment is available for repentance. The past cannot be taken back and remade. The future remains forever outside our reach...One of the important functions of prayer is to bring us into, and to assist us to remain in, the present." The purpose of the Orthodox Church is one of joyful worship.
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on October 25, 2014
Concise but thorough book.
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on August 16, 2014
This is a little bit of a difficult read, but a wonderful tool for people who are just getting to know the Orthodox Church.
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on April 23, 2014
I am a giver of books. I tend to stock up and give away the really good ones as needed. This is one of those rare treats, a book that shines the light of the Christian East in ways those of us from the west can get our heads around, or actually, more importantly our hearts in tune with. The first chapter alone is worth the price of the whole book as Fr. Mel (with his doctorate in psycho-therapy or something like that) breaks down the whole problem with our out-of-control-busy minds, and makes the mystical wisdom of countless monks and Abbas accessible for every day folks like me. (Actually, you can read that whole amazing chapter online for free right here on Amazon.)

I will be giving a lot of these away to inquirers that walk in to our parish and whose hearts are hungry to dive into the Mysteries of God. I've read no better introduction.
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on May 14, 2013
First time I've been able to comprehend concepts like "nous" and others. Discussion on logismoi helpful in understanding how the mind works in relation to the heart.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2012
As a Catholic of the Roman Rite, I read this book in order to learn more about the faith of my Orthodox brothers and sisters. I also wanted to enrich my own faith with what I can learn from the eastern tradition. Archimandrite Meletios Webber did an excellent job of giving an overview of the Orthodox faith. I especially loved the first couple chapters focusing on the need for Christians to get out of one's head and into one's heart. A faith that only lives in the mind is no real faith at all. All in all Archimandrite Meletios Webber deepened my understanding of the Christian way and I look forward to learning more about the eastern Christian tradition in other books.

Here is my but...

The author has a tendency to contrast the Eastern Orthodox way with the Western Catholic way and always leaves the reader with the impression that the Eastern way is superior to the Western way. Archimandrite Meletios Webber seems to reduce Western Christianity to a religion that only takes place in the mind - simply full of rules and regulations and goes on to describe the Eastern way as going much deeper and giving a more authentic experience of God. Throughout the book the author paints a very unfair and inaccurate understanding of western Christianity which, I would imagine, leave many unfamiliar with western Christianity with a negative impression of the Church in the west.

His portrayal of the Catholic Church is very incomplete. To learn more about the Eastern Orthodox Church I would highly recommend this book but caution that its characterization of Catholicism is incomplete at best and unfair at worst.
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on November 28, 2011
Job well done. Everything was fast and efficient. I would recommend them to anyone else. Thank you for your help.
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on November 13, 2011
Excellent book to help a person in understanding what makes Orthodoxy unique and the author does a great job explaining the difference between the mind and its constructs and the heart. After reading this part it becomes clear why Orthodox worship is worship in Spirit and Truth. I recommend this to all who are investigating the Orthodox faith and all those interested in the faith. This book does an excellent job of explaining the faith in a practical way that appeals to Western minds.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2011
Once you get started reading this book there is a clear meaning to what is being written. He takes the time to clearly and in no technical or over-worded manner to explain the points he highlights.

Brings theology to a level anyone can understand.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2010
I was finishing Dragon's Wine and Angel's Bread by Fr Gabriel Bunge when I ran across this book. Fr Gabriel's book reviews the thought of Evagrius Ponticus in a way that's meaningful primarily to Orthodox monastics; here in "Bread and Water" I found much the same material, but presented in terms a modern American layman can grasp.

Fr Meletios' experience both in monastic prayer and in pastoral care makes this one of only a few books I'd recommend to non-Orthodox Christians who want to know what the inner life of Orthodox Christians is like. (Another would be Father Arseny 1893-1973 - Priest, Prisoner, and Spiritual Father)

Best of all, Fr Meletios presents his material firmly within its true context of life in the Church. Authentic Orthodox spirituality is ecclesial, even for anchorites or hermits: asceticism and the prayer of the heart are organically connected to the sacramental and liturgical life of the Church and the communion of saints.
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