The Little Russian Philokalia
“Philokalia means “love of the good” or “love of the beautiful.” It was the name given to a celebrated Eighteenth-century collection of Greek patristic writings on Christian spiritual life, teaching the path to inner sobriety and the fullness of union with God.
This Little Russian Philokalia is a new collection of ascetic writings drawn from Russian sources, chiefly of the Eighteenth through the Twentieth centuries.
“For the last two centuries there have been many people of God-pleasing life in Holy Russia. These people have taught not only by the example of their life but also by wise counsel. Their wise words of instruction in righteous living are already available in part for whoever thirsts to know the right way of life. The writings [of the more renowned] have been published in volumes of complete works, and also in biographies or collections of letters to spiritual children. But many instructions of others were published either in old magazines or books which have become rarities and are not available now to the general public…” St. Nikodim, Bishop of Belgorod, 20th Century
Since the counsels of the Russian Fathers in the Little Russian Philokalia series come from recent centuries, they are of particular value in offering direction suited to the spiritual conditions of the modern age. The Little Russian Philokalia series can serve as an intermediary between the earlier Fathers of the Greek Philokalia and the spiritual strugglers of our own times.
The humble advice offered by holy men in the Little Russian Philokalia series renders an inestimable service to a true seeker of salvation–a follower of Christ’s narrow path of humility and unceasing spiritual labor. The Series contains much teaching on prayer, inward silence and vigilance, and the acquisition of virtue through following the commandments of the Lord.”
Vol. 1: St. Seraphim of Sarov: Spiritual Instructions
Vol. 2: Abbott Nazarius of Valaam: Counsels
Vol. 3: St. Herman of Alaska: Treasury of Spirituality
Vol. 4: St. Paisius Velichkovsky: Field Flowers
Vol. 5: Elder Theodore of Sanaxor: Sayings
Vol. 6: Elder Zosima of Siberia: Special Wisdom
1. Seraphim Rose (Editor, Translator) “Little Russian Philokalia: St. Seraphim of Sarov” [St. Herman Press; 5th edition (April 25, 2008)
“One of the most beloved Orthodox saints of recent times–St. Seraphim of Sarov (1759-1833)–was a priest, hermit and spiritual guide who, in early 19th century Russia, led many souls along the path of Apostolic Christianity.
The first volume of the Little Russian Philokalia series contains the Life of St. Seraphim, his “Spiritual Instructions to Laymen and Monks,” his soul-saving conversation with Nicholas Motovilov “On the Acquisition of the Holy Spirit” (St. Seraphim’s patristic teaching–equal to the ancient Church Fathers)–and his “Diveyevo Mystery”–which, until now, has never been revealed in the English language since its disclosure in 1902.”
2. Seraphim Rose (Translator) “The Little Russian Philokalia: Abbot Nazarius of Valaam” [St. Herman Press, 1997)
“The second volume of the Little Russian Philokalia Series is dedicated to the “Grandfather” of an entire century of great ascetics of Valaam Monastery, Blessed Elder Nazarius (1735-1809). He was the spiritual father to St. Herman of Alaska and was responsible for sending the first Orthodox mission to America in 1794.
Holy Scriptures and the writings of the Fathers were the daily food of his soul. His soul became so penetrated by the thought of divine things that the only subject of his conversations was what might profit the soul.
Like St. Anthony the Great, Abbot Nazarius possessed experience and knowledge of the spiritual life in practice, and spoke of how to practice Christianity in order to attain genuine sobriety of soul. He allowed no leeway for idle meditating or fantasizing.
Elder Nazarius burned with an unquenchable love of truth. His watchful eye was keen; his words carried great power. Severe and seemingly inaccessible in appearance, by his words alone he could soften hearts into love and obedience.
The Little Russian Philokalia Series Volume II also contains a short spiritual ladder by Abbot Nazarius’ disciple, Hilarion of Valaam and Sarov Monasteries, and contains several hymns composed by Fr. Seraphim Rose in honor of Blessed Nazarius.”
4. Fr. Seraphim Rose “Little Russian Philokalia: St. Paisius Velichkovsky” [Saint Herman Press, 1994]
“The fourth volume of the Little Russian Philokalia series is comprised of the only independent spiritual works, outside of his letters, of St. Paisius Velichkovsky: “The Scroll” and “The Field Flowers”. “The Scroll” was written in response to an attack on the main work of true monastic life–the cleansing of heart and mind through the mental activity of the Jesus Prayer, while “The Field Flowers” is a collection of 44 ascetic homilies by Elder Paisius representing a continuation of the deepest ascetic tradition of Christianity–unseen warfare.
The Little Russian Philokalia series, Volume IV conveys the teachings of a humble, yet vitally important, servant of Christ–one singularly responsible for the contemporary revival of Orthodox Christian spirituality.”
6. “Little Russian Philokalia: Elder Zosima of Siberia: Special Wisdom” [Saint Herman Press, ?]