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on April 22, 2016
Read this offering ready to meditate on the content
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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 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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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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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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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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on June 15, 2010
In the very first pages Archimandrite Webber sets what he calls the foundation for the rest of the book to come. This foundation is one of the various paradigms, hierarchies, or anatomies of the soul's powers or faculties. He chose an anatomy which I have only heard of a few times and only by very few scholars. Of the various paradigms he chose, what I believe to be the most problematic - yet, if this was going to be the foundation, he needed to choose a working model. Yet, he could have utilized one of the more common and less problematic ones from the Philokalia or one of a few variants put forth by St. Theophan the Recluse. Nevertheless, it is the hierarchy he was most comfortable with. The point of my discomfort was the way he put this paradigm forward: very authoritatively and exclusively - as if there were no other ways that have been recognized by the Church Fathers. If he would have done what Fredericka did in one of small books, I would have been fine. She stipulated that the working model she chose was "not" the only one and offered references for those who wished to study the issue later on. After my initial discomfort with what could possibly be mislead others to think there is only one view held by Orthodox Christians, I moved forward.

The format of the book itself was not very user-friendly. The lack of connecting sentences required going back to chapter, heading and subheading title to remind oneself what the context of the topic was. Several times I read what did not sound to correct, only to go back and remind myself of the specific context - then I found it in line with the Church's teachings and dogmatics. Nevertheless, I continued reading and I am very glad I did.

The 2nd part of the book dealing with the major Mysteries/Sacraments of the Church was fantastic! In fact, the pace of my reading progress slowed almost to a standstill on some pages, so that I could copy very profound quotes from the book. If, for no other reason - this section makes the book worth reading.
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