The Evergetinos

“One of the classic collections of Orthodox spiritual writings, the “Evergetinos” is a source of inspiration, spiritual guidance, and insight into the lives of men and women who, during the first few centuries of Christianity, attained to the highest ideals of the spiritual life.
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In the spiritual laboratory of the Egyptian deserts, these seekers after salvation, enlightenment, and union with Christ brought into sharp focus the teachings of the Apostles and the message of Holy Writ in their daily lives and activities. The stern, the loving, “fools for Christ”—all of the exemplars of Christian Sainthood, the many inhabitants of the many mansions above, are to be found in the rich and profitable lives portrayed in this collection. Also to be found are perfect models for every modern Christian who wishes sincerely to imitate those who have walked the path towards moral and spiritual perfection. This is the first English translation of this wonderful treasury of spiritual wisdom.
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The Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies is pleased to announce that, with the publication, on July 1, 2008, of the fourteenth and last volume—the third volume of Book Four—of the first complete text in the English language of “The Evergetinos”, we will now issue this classical Orthodox collection of the sayings and aphorisms of the Desert Fathers (as well as other Hesychastic writings) in a four-book library set, corresponding to the original Greek publication. These four volumes will be available in an attractive paperbound and a hardbound edition, in two color printing (red and black), with Byzantine-style line drawings, and replete with the original Prologue of St. Nicodemos the Hagiorite, an historical introduction by Archbishop Chrysostomos of Etna, a Preface by Hieromonk Dr. Gorazd, Director of the Institute of Eastern Christianity at the Charles University in Prague, and footnotes and indices. Each volume will be approximately 400 pages in length.
This monumental Patristic translation, twenty years in preparation, is the most important publication yet undertaken by the Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies. “The Evergetinos”, compiled by St. Makarios of Corinth and first published by St. Nicodemos in 1783, is a companion volume of “The Philokalia”—indeed a precursor, of sorts, to that work—, and together with it an essential and classical spiritual guide for Orthodox Christians seeking the inner life of spiritual transformation. The project, a collaborative effort, was initiated by Archbishop Chrysostomos while he was a Visiting Scholar at Oxford University in 1988 and continued to completion under his direction and editorship, and that of Hieromonk Patapios, with the collaboration of Bishop Ambrose of Methone, Bishop Auxentios of Photike, Monk Chrysostomos, Dr. Constantine Kokenes, Nun Lydia, Professor John V. Petropoulos, the late Professor John V. Rexine, and Reverend Gregory Telepneff.”
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““The Evergetinos[…]is a practical guide not only to monastic life, but also to the cleansing of the mind, the cure of the passions and proclivities towards sin, and the inner spiritual transformation that are prerequisites for the attainment of the goal of the Hesychast (in fact, the goal of all Christian life, or salvation as the Orthodox Church defines it): The acquirement of virtue, enlightenment, mystical union with the Mind of Christ, and the restoration of the image of God within the fallen human being, to the end, in a person’s ultimate ascent to Divine Love, of the attainment of ‘likeness unto God.’ In this process of divinization, or θέωσις (theosis), one comes into union, through ascetic struggle, with the Divine Energies (though without violating in any manner God’s transcendent unknowability). The spiritual aspirant thereby achieves the fullness of human potential here in this life and, though not immune to them, is turned away from and disinclined towards sin and imperfection. It is this goal which “The Evergetinos” envisions and which its edifying aphorisms, instructions, and exemplars of human deification by Grace illustrate.””
“The strength of those who wish to acquire the virtues is as follows: if they fall, let them not lose their courage, but let them be sure to make a new beginning at their endeavor. Insofar, then, as we put all our energy into practicing the virtues, let us await the Lord, showing Him a generous resolve and calling on His aid, and without fail He will strengthen us with His mercy and bestow His Grace on us in abundance, in which case we will accomplish every good easily and without exertion.” Abba Moses in “The Evergetinos”, Book I, Vol. III


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