The Life Of John The Elder And The Cave Of Sapsas

There was an elder living in the monastery of Abba Eustorgios whom our saintly Archbishop of Jerusalem wanted to appoint higoumen of the monastery. The candidate however would not agree and said: ‘I prefer prayer on Mount Sinai.’ The archbisop urged him first to become higoumen and then to depart for the mountain but the elder would not be persuaded.

Ascetic: Reflections on the Way of Self-Sacrifice

An Anonymous writing


A boy once approached his father, ‘Old man, why do you fast?’ The father stood silent, bringing heart and mind together, and then:

‘Beloved boy, I fast to know what it is I lack.

For day by day I sit in abundance, and

all is well before me;

I want not, I suffer not, and I

lack but that for which I invent a need.

But my heart is empty of true joy,

filled, yet overflowing with dry waters.

There is no room left for love.

I have no needs, and so my needs are never met,

no longings, and so my desires are never fulfilled.

Where all the fruits of the earth could dwell, I have

filled the house with dust and clouds;

It is full, so I am content—

But it is empty, and so I weep.

Gregory Palamas: An Historical Overview

This is the first half of our two-part investigation in to the Palamite controversy and its influence on Orthodox theology. Here we will deal with the historical background in which the controversy developed and took place; the next discussion will then take up the particular theological issues put forth by St Gregory Palamas and examine them in more detail. As such, this investigation does not address the theology of the controversy in any more specific detail than is needed to paint a broad picture of the historical situation at hand.