Vol. 50, Nos. 1–2 (294–295) January–April, 2014 (Actual release date: August 15, 2014) ISSN: 0030-5839
"On the Providence of God" by St. John Chrysostom
"Glory be to God! by St. Ignatius Brianchaninov
"Healthy and Unhealthy Mysticism" by Archimandrite Seraphim Aleksiev
"On the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Homily 41" by St. Philaret (Gumilevsky), Archbishop of Chernigov
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In this issue:
On the Providence of God
by St. John Chrysostom
Presented here are the first nine chapters of St. John Chrysostom’s soul-profiting treatise. On the Providence of God was St. John’s last work, written at the very end of his life (A.D. 407), when he was in exile in the mountains of Armenia. He wrote this work to encourage his faithful flock in his see city of Constantinople and elsewhere, who were in distress due to his forced exile and the political intrigue and persecutions surrounding it.
As one reads On the Providence of God, one can only marvel at how powerfully the author was able to affirm God’s goodness and love amidst the uncertain and ignominious circumstances in which he then found himself. His meditations on God’s loving care for the world were the fruit of his entire life, which he had lived in devotion to His Master Christ—and especially of his final years, when that devotion, more than ever before, had been sorely put to the test. It was with such faith and serene trust in his Lord that St. John Chrysostom came to the end of his earthly life, having uttered his now-famous final words, “Glory be to God for all things!”
Glory Be to God!
by St. Ignatius Brianchaninov
The theme of this essay by a Holy Father of nineteenth-century Russia, St. Ignatius, echoes that of St. John Chrysostom’s work On the Providence of God. St. Ignatius, in fact, refers to St. John’s phrase, “Glory be to God for all things!” as a summation of the gratitude that man should have toward God’s providence. Although these two Holy Fathers—St. Ignatius and St. John—were separated in time by nearly a millennium and a half, they were one in their vision of life in this passing world, which was informed by an unshakable trust in the mercy and love of God.
Healthy and Unhealthy Mysticism
by Archimandrite Seraphim Aleksiev
This work by a renowned Bulgarian Orthodox spiritual writer was written over fifty years ago, in order to counteract the spiritual maladies of modern times and to provide their antidote. It hardly needs to be said that the “unhealthy mysticism” which he describes in this work has multiplied in the ensuing decades, both in the diversity of its manifestations and the number of its adherents. Because “unhealthy mysticism” is such a common pitfall among spiritual seekers, and because it has reached such epidemic proportions in our times, it often affects Orthodox Christians as well as the non-Orthodox. Nevertheless, it is only in the Orthodox Church that all the safeguards against such false spirituality are available. It is these that Archimandrite Seraphim gives us in the present work, drawing from the Holy Scriptures as well as from Patristic writings and Lives of saints spanning the Church’s history.
On the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Homily 41
by St. Philaret (Gumilevsky), Archbishop of Chernigov
A continuation of the serialization of St. Philaret’s Homilies. This particular installment focuses on Pilate’s freeing of the thief and rebel Barabbas instead of Jesus Christ, although he knew our Lord was wholly innocent.