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Way of the Ascetics: The Ancient Tradition of Discipline and Inner Growth Paperback – April 1, 1985
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As a Protestant encountering Eastern Christianity's unique ascetic tradition for the first time, this book provided invaluable insight into the meaning of the Gospel for our daily life.
By the time I finished it I was a Catechumen (one preparing for reception into the Orthodox Church).
If you decide to read it, first, open your mind to a different perspective on topics like fasting, prayer, alms giving, and worship. You'll find yourself continually revisiting New Testament passages like the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5 - 7) and even Leviticus shows up in a new light... Even if you never set foot in an Orthodox Church this book can provide a tremendous depth to your spiritual life.
The style is very direct and hard hitting, but not in an angry, argumentative way. It's extremely humble, while being up front and honest about what it is that we face in our battle against the oppression of death and sin in our life.
This book provides a basic roadmap, an outline, for how to free oneself from this oppression, both in act and mind.
At the same time, the author presents an asceticism that isn't extreme (no running off and locking yourself in a box for 20 years, or refusing to sleep ever again). Instead, it is extremely practical and straightforward - designed for people living in the world.
The last chapter even states that we are expected to live, more or less, like normal people - going to work, paying bills, eating and drinking, laughing and loving. Instead, however, by purifying ourselves of our attachment to all these things - by being free of the need for them - we free our mind and heart to be devoted to God.Read more ›
Check out "Encountering the Depths" by Mother Mary Clare and "The Orthodox Way" by Bishop Kallistos Ware. They've been a great help to many!
I would recommend this book to anyone who desires a more holy heart.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the most important books I have ever read. In fact I read it continually, over and over.Published 5 months ago by Theophan
As a dear friend of mine once said, "who needs boot camp, when you can read Tito?" How true that is. Read morePublished 5 months ago by adam douglas
We loved this book in hard bound and wish if would be reproduced that way. This little book has been read by us a page or two a day over and over for nearly 20 years. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Zoë Press
The word 'asceticism' often provokes images of men flogging themselves, sleeping in the cold with no blankets, wearing a hairshirt; basically engaging in extreme self-denial. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Darkhorse86
Every once in a while you discover a "pearl of great price" without knowing that you were even looking. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Clarke French
What a hidden little gem this book is. Though I'm Catholic, not Eastern Orthodox, I highly recommend it. Read morePublished 20 months ago by MDLION
I'm listing many books I purchased here on Amazon so others can see what's in my Orthodox library. I will come back in the future and rate each one separately. Read morePublished 20 months ago by ahiker4u
A precise, let's get to it presentation. Humbling for us non-ascetics, but a great guide towards spiritual improvement. Last chapters leave you with a "Yes, I can do it!"Published on April 15, 2014 by EleniMou