The Arena: Guidelines for Spiritual and Monastic Life

Overview

One of the most important and accessible texts of Eastern Orthodox Christian teaching on the spiritual life, this book draws upon the ascetic and mystical doctrine of the Greek Fathers and greats of the Orthodox Christian church. In an age alienated from spiritual culture and rooted in materialism, these teachings pose both a challenge and an invitation to those seeking heightened spirituality. This book is essential reading for anyone who desires a profound spiritual journey based upon an encounter with Christ ...

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Overview

One of the most important and accessible texts of Eastern Orthodox Christian teaching on the spiritual life, this book draws upon the ascetic and mystical doctrine of the Greek Fathers and greats of the Orthodox Christian church. In an age alienated from spiritual culture and rooted in materialism, these teachings pose both a challenge and an invitation to those seeking heightened spirituality. This book is essential reading for anyone who desires a profound spiritual journey based upon an encounter with Christ as God.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"People often ask me about books. The one I've been recommending most in the last few years is The Arena, by St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, a Russian Orthodox bishop of the last century who was canonized in 1988. Although written by a rigorous monk for fellow monastics, all Christians possessing the courage and discipline to engage this book with attention and obedience may study it with great profit."  —Fr. Thomas Hopko, dean emeritus, St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780884652878
  • Publisher: Holy Trinity Publications
  • Publication date: 8/1/2012
  • Edition description: Second Edition, Second edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Ignatius Brianchaninov was a 19th-century monk and the abbot of the St. Sergius Monastery in St. Petersburg, Russia. He is the author of On the Prayer of Jesus. Kallistos Timothy Ware is an Orthodox Bishop of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the retired Spalding Lecturer in Eastern Orthodox Studies at Pembroke College, University of Oxford. He is best-known as the author of the classic text The Orthodox Church.

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Table of Contents

Foreword to the Original English-Language Edition ix

Introduction xxi

Part I Counsels for the Spiritual Life of Monks 1

1 On the Study of the Commandments of the Gospel and Life According to the Commandments of the Gospel 3

2 People Will Be Judged at God's Judgment According to the Commandments of the Gospel 6

3 The Monastic Life Is Life According to the Commandments of the Gospel 8

4 On the Precariousness of the Monastic Life When It Is Not Based on the Commandments of the Gospel 9

5 On Guarding Oneself from Occasions of Sin or Temptation 11

6 God-Pleasing Life in Human Society Must Precede God-Pleasing Life in Silence and Solitude 14

7 On Guarding Oneself from the Good That Belongs to Fallen Human Nature 16

8 Concerning the Enmity and Conflict Between Fallen Nature and the Commandments of the Gospel 19

9 On Reading the Gospel and the Writings of the Fathers 21

10 On Discretion in Reading the Patristic Books on the Monastic Life 23

11 On the Solitary Life 25

12 Concerning Life in Obedience to an Elder 39

13 Concerning Life under Spiritual Direction 43

14 The Aim of the Monastic Life Consists in Studying the Will of God, in Making It One's Own, and in Obeying It 48

15 Love for Our Neighbor Is a Means of Attaining to Love for God 52

16 Humility in Our Dealings as a Means of Attaining to Love for Our Neighbor 55

17 On Prayer 58

18 On Preparation for Prayer 60

19 On Attention at Prayer 62

20 On the Cell Rule 64

21 Concerning Bows 65

22 On Adapting the Cell Rule to the Monastic Rule 68

23 On the Jesus Prayer 71

24 On the Practice of the Jesus Prayer 73

25 On Unceasing Prayer 75

26 On the Oral, Mental, and Cordial Jesus Prayer 77

27 On Divine Meditation 81

28 On the Remembrance of Death 83

29 The Narrow Way Is Designed by God Himself 86

30 The Teaching of the Holy Fathers Concerning the Narrow Way 95

31 Troubles Are the Special Lot of the Monks of the Last Time 103

32 Sources of Monastic Temptations 109

33 On the Necessity for Courage in Temptations 112

34 On Sobriety or Vigilance 114

35 On the Use and Harm of Bodily Discipline 120

36 Concerning Animal and Spiritual Zeal 123

37 Concerning Almsgiving 127

38 Concerning Poverty or Detachment 129

39 Concerning Human Glory 133

40 Concerning Resentment or Remembrance of Wrongs 139

41 The Meaning of the Term "World" 145

42 On Avoiding Acquaintance with the Opposite Sex 155

43 Concerning the Fallen Angels 160

44 The First Way of Struggling with the Fallen Angels 174

45 The Second Way of Struggling with the Fallen Angels 179

46 Concerning Dreams 180

47 On the Close Affinity Between Virtues and Vices 184

48 Concerning the Special Opposition of the Fallen Spirits to Prayer 187

49 On Keeping the Eye of the Soul from All That Is Harmful to It 193

50 Concerning Repentance and Mourning 197

Conclusion: Adaptations of the Rules for Present-Day Monasticism 210

Part II Rules of Outward Conduct for Novices 213

Introduction: On the Need for Rules 215

The Meaning of a Monastery, Rule 1 215

On Obedience and Obediences, Rules 2 and 3 215

On the Treatment of Sins, Rule 4 216

On Prayer and Conduct in Church, Rules 5-18 217

On the Duties of Readers, Rules 19-22 219

On Movement in Church, Rule 23 221

On Bows and Prostrations, Rule 24 221

On Uncovering the Head, Rule 25 223

On Maintaining Strict Reverence in Church, Rules 26-27 223

On Behavior in Refectory and Use of Food, Rules 28-30 224

On the Use of Wine, Rule 31 225

On Conduct in One's Cell and Reception of Visitors, Rules 32-37 225

On Clothing, Rule 38 227

On Relations with Brethren of the Monastery, Rules 39-43 227

On Leaving the Monastery, Rules 44-49 229

On Venerating the Miraculous Icons and Holy Relics, Rule 50 230

Conclusion 231

Glossary 235

Appendix: A Short Biography of St Ignatius (Brianchaninov) 239

Notes 241

Subject Index 267

Scripture Index 276

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