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Philokalia

A Conversation on the Philokalia with Special Guest, Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware)

In this 35 minute face-to-face video interview Fr. Josiah discusses the sacred Orthodox spiritual texts known as The Philokalia with one of the three translators of the Philokalia into English and the only one still living: His Eminence, Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware). Metropolitan Kallistos is a leading authority on the Philokalia, and will introduce the listener to its riches as well as revealing behind the scenes information about the English translation itself.

Watch the interview >

The Path of Entry to the Philokalia: Selected Readings
as presented by Monk Maximos (Constas)

Many of you have expressed great interest in the Philokalia, but struggle with a method for entering and digesting these great texts.

As you know, the Philokalia is a collection of sacred Orthodox spiritual texts written between the fourth and the fifteenth centuries. The writers of these texts were concerned with inner asceticism, ceaseless prayer, and how one may attain a life of contemplative stillness and union with God.  Although a treasure trove of patristic wisdom, the texts are not organized thematically in a manner that facilitates comprehension for the beginning reader.

To assist those interested in immersing themselves in the Philokalia, Patristic Nectar Publications has created an audio series of nine readings that constitute the traditional path of entry into these texts as presented by Monk Maximos (Constas). When the Philokalia is entered by listening to this selection in the order proposed, the listener is gradually and wisely initiated into the practices of inner attention, spiritual sobriety, and the Prayer of the Heart. Moreover, this selection amply demonstrates the Biblical and Patristic foundations of these practices, as well as their direct connection to the sacramental life of the Church. Because the mind must first be recalled from its many distractions, these works encourage the practitioner to use the breath as a way to lead the mind to the heart, and from there to invoke the name of Jesus Christ. Having understood the basic principles and practices presented in these works, one may afterwards move more freely throughout the other works in the Philokalia. 

Each audio in this series may be purchased individually, or they may be purchased as a set.  When purchased individually, the total cost is $60.  Patristic Nectar is offering the set of all nine audios for $40 – a savings of 33%! 

The set includes:

1. St. Nikephoros the Hesychast, On Watchfulness and the Guarding of the Heart

2. Saints Kallistos and Ignatios, Directions to Hesychasts

3. St. Hesychios, On Watchfulness and Holiness

4. Evagrius, On Prayer

5. A Discourse on Abba Philemon

6. St. Symeon the New Theologian, On Faith

7. St. Symeon the New Theologian, The Three Methods of Prayer

8. St. Gregory Palamas, In Defense of Those who Devoutly Practice a Life of Stillness

9. St. Gregory of Sinai, On the Signs of Grace and Delusion

And also included as an added bonus: Free PDF entitled:

Prologue of the Philokalia (On Noetic Prayer) - A Primer of Mystical Theology by St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite

(Please note:  Monk Maximos also recommends reading: St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain, “Guarding the Mind and the Heart,” in id., A Handbook of Spiritual Counsel, trans. P. Chamberas (New York, 1989), 153-172.  This selection is not included in this series or offered by Patristic Nectar Publications.)

To Purchase the entire Path of Entry to the Philokalia series for $40, click "Add to Cart"!

To purchase each audio separately, see here.

The Entire Set:  $40.00
For the Encouragement of the Monks in India who had Written to Him: One Hundred Texts together with An Ascetic Discourse written to the Same monks
St. John of Karpathos

This Philokalia text from St. John of Karpathos was written as an antidote to discouragement and despair that had afflicted a community of monks. This beautiful text so full of honest evaluation of the trials of concerted Christian living provides numerous words of consolation and encouragement to the struggler such as, "When you are being tested by trials and temptations, you cannot avoid feeling dejected. But those who till the earth of hardship and tribulation in their hearts are afterwards filled with great joy, tears of consolation and holy thoughts"...and again, "To anyone among you who is oppressed by a sense of his worthlessness and inability to attain holiness, this is our message: if he attains dispassion he can see Jesus, not only in the future, but coming to him here and now, with power and great glory."

Online Download:  $10.00
On the Holy Fathers of Scetis and on Discrimination
St John Cassian

On the Holy Fathers of Scetis and on Discrimination is a short treatise on the supreme virtue of discrimination or discernment by St. John Cassian as found in the first volume of the English Philokalia. The Philokalic text is a Greek excerpt and summary made by St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain from St. Cassian's Latin classic The Conferences. In this beautiful and eminently practical guide for spiritual progress St. John Cassian produces the teaching of the Desert Fathers on the supreme value of discrimation as "the source, root, crown and common bond of all the vritues." Besides explaining how discrimination holds together all spiritual effort in proportion, he offers many practical counsels on how to acquire discernment.

Both Parts:  $5.00
Ascetic Discourse by St. Neilos the Ascetic

St. Neilos the Ascetic, disciple of St. John Chrysostom and one-time city-prefect of Constantinople turned monk and Abbot, provides in 50 pages - the longest of all texts by far in Vol. 1 of the English Philokalia - a substantial rationale and vision for investing one's energies in the cultivation of the soul and the acquisition of heaven, rather than the care of the body and the pursuit of earthly glory and fame. Chocked full of spiritual interpretations of Old Testament texts, St. Neilos utilizes his vast knowledge of Scripture and vast life experience to promote the development of Christian spiritual life. This text is duly famous for its profound reflections upon the gravity and significance of being a spiritual father.

Price: Complete 50 page reading only $15

Complete 50 page reading:  $15.00
St. Diadochos of Photiki: On Spiritual Knowledge and Discrimination
St. Diadochos of Photiki

Patristic Nectar Publications presents a century of texts entitled On Spiritual Knowledge and Discrimination by the fifth century master of the spiritual life, St. Diadochos of Photiki. This publication, the latest in our continuing Philokalia project in which PNP is producing a complete audio version of the English Philokalia, is a treasure trove of guidance for deep prayer and the purification of the heart as well as presenting precious pearls on the significance of Holy Baptism, proper discernment of interior evil, and a guide for evaluating dreams.

All 4 Tracks:  $10.00
St. Thalassios the Libyan: On Love, Self-Control and Life in accordance with the Intellect
St. Thalassios the Libyan

This beautiful collection of 400 aphorisms on love, self-control and life in accord with the intellect is the only extant work of St. Thalassios, the Libyan abbot, close confidant of St. Maximos the Confessor, and the recipient of several of St. Maximos' theological treatises and personal letters. These sage and pithy teachings are full of precious wisdom for the development of a sturdy spiritual life and a fruit-bearing rule of prayer. St. Thalassios writes, "Maintain a regular level of ascetic practice and do not break your rule unless forced to do so. You will not find the rigours of ascetic life hard to bear if you do all things with measure and by rule." The saint's advice has many applications for contemporary urban Christians who want a deeper life with Christ. This treatise is found in Volume 2 of the Philokalia.

All 5 Tracks:  $5.00
Evagrios the Solitary, On Asceticism and Stillness
Evagrios the Solitary

Evagrios the Solitary, sometimes known as Evagrios Ponticus, was a disciple of the Cappadocian Fathers, ordained reader by St. Basil the Great and deacon by St. Gregory the Theologian. He became a monk of the Egyptian desert, and is the most prolific author of the Desert Fathers. He exercised a tremendous influence on both Eastern and Western monasticism, and four of his writings were included by the Holy Fathers in the 1st Volume of the Philokalia. PNP offers for download Evagrios' treatise: On Asceticism and Stillness. In this beautiful and brief text Evagrios hymns the great virtues of solitude, and provides practical counsels on how to maintain and deepen inner quiet. He addresses issues of diet, personal interactions, clothing, possessions, hospitality, friendship, exile, restlessness, practical handiwork, unavoidable commerce, the contemplation of eternal things, illness, vigils, prayer, and the temptations of over attachment to locality. As a summation of his valuable counsel he writes, "Be like an astute businessman: make stillness your criterion for testing the value of everything, and chose always what contributes to it."

Online Download:  $5.00
St. Maximos the Confessor On the Lord's Prayer
St. Maximos the Confessor

The vast majority of the 2nd volume of the Philokalia is dedicated to writings of St. Maximos the Confessor. On the Lord's Prayer is a masterful exposition of the content of the most famous Christian prayer. Holy Father's exposits the prayer phrase by phrase, asserting that within the text of the prayer we find the entire aim and purpose of the Incarnation: human deification. The Confessor affirms that hidden in the Lord's Prayer are seven divine mysteries granted to men: theology, adoption as sons by grace, equality with the angels, participation in eternal life, the restoration of human nature when it is reconciled dispassionately with itself, the abolition of the law of sin, and the destruction of the tyranny that holds us in its power through the deceit of the evil one. If we sit as faithful students at the feet of St. Maximos and learn from his wisdom, we will never pray the Lord's Prayer the same again.

All 4 Tracks:  $5.00
Ss. Kallistos and Ignatios: Directions to Hesychasts
Ss. Kallistos and Ignatios

This lengthy and thorough treatise on the prayer of the heart is arranged in the genre of the Century, and authored by the great 14th century Saint-Patriarch of Constantinople Kallistos I and his co-laborer, St. Ignatios of Xanthopoulos. St. Kallistos was a spiritual son of St. Gregory of Sinai (also an author in the Philokalia) for many years on Mt. Athos. This extensive treatise, over 100pp of text, ranges over a broad field of topics on how to acquire pure prayer including the methods of fasting, the importance of the Holy Mysteries, the nature of faith, the arrangement of the day, the signposts of progress in prayer, the dangers of prelest, the nature of repentance, and the acquisition of passionlessness. In this treatise the authors make a cogent argument for the frequent reception of Holy Communion.

10 Tracks + Introduction:  $15.00
St. Gregory of Sinai: On the Signs of Grace and Delusion
St. Gregory of Sinai

St. Gregory of Sinai, together with St. Gregory Palamas, are the two glorious Gregories of the 14th century raised up by Almighty God to defend and articulate the Orthodox Christian teaching on the prayer of the heart and human deification. In this magnificent treatise St. Gregory teaches about pure prayer of the heart, and how to distinguish it from demonic and fleshly experiences.

1 Track + Introduction:  $8.00
St. Gregory Palamas: In Defense of Those Who Devoutly Practice a Life of Stillness
St. Gregory Palamas

St. Gregory Palamas (1296-1359), Athonite monk, Archbishop of Thessaloniki, and one of the Pillars of Holy Orthodoxy, wrote much in defense of the practice of the Jesus Prayer and the vision of the uncreated light. This treatise is a excerpt of a longer treatise written to defend hesychasm. In this treatise the Saint defends the psychosomatic methods employed by the monks as well as the authentic and genuine spiritual experience of seeing the uncreated light of Mt. Tabor.

1 Track + Introduction:  $4.00
St. Symeon the New Theologian: On Faith
St. Symeon the New Theologian

This treatise by the great “New Theologian” Symeon (949-1022), called by the contemporary English editors of the Philokalia a “missionary of the mystical life,” was originally a catechesis delivered by the Saint Abbot to his monks at the Monastery of St. Mamas in Constantinople. It is one of two of the Saint’s teachings that were selected by the original editors of the Philokalia for inclusion. In this treatise it is argued that the vision of God is accessible to both monk and layman by faith. The text recounts the experience of a layman named “George” and his coming to see the uncreated light. It is generally thought that under the guise of “George” St. Symeon describes his own experience.

1 Track + Introduction:  $3.00
St. Symeon the New Theologian: The Three Methods of Prayer
St. Symeon the New Theologian

This brief treatise by the great “New Theologian” Symeon (949-1022), called by the contemporary English editors of the Philokalia a “missionary of the mystical life, is dedicated to the elucidation of three forms of prayer- two of which are insufficient and harmful, and one of which is the will of God for men. It is one of two of the Saint’s teachings that were selected by the original editors of the Philokalia for inclusion. Here we find the contours of a true and God-pleasing approach to prayer.

1 Track + Introduction:  $4.00
St. Nikephoros the Monk, On Watchfulness and the Guarding of the Heart
St. Nikephoros the Monk

St Nikephoros the Hesychast is known to us from the life of St Gregory Palamas. The saint was a convert from Roman Catholicism, and opposed the false-union policies of Emperor Michael VIII Palaeologos in the 13th century. St. Nikephoros settled on Mt. Athos, and became renowned for writing On Watchfulness and the Guarding of the Heart. This beautiful text is usually the first text recommended to beginners when setting off to read the Philokalia. It is an anthology of quotations from earlier holy fathers, such as Sts Anthony and Macarius the Great, St John of Sinai, and St Symeon the New Theologian. St. Nikephoros calls upon the aspirant to take custody of his mind, and seek to unite the mind with the heart by the use of the Jesus Prayer. By this, St. Nikephoros affirms, all the other virtues will arise.

All 3 Tracks:  $7.00
Evagrios the Solitary, Texts on Discrimination
Evagrios the Solitary

Evagrios the Solitary's Texts on Discrimination is a masterful examination of the interior workings of the human heart in its battle for virtue and war against the demonic powers. Evagrios writes from long experience in this war, and provides concrete guidance to the spiritually thirsting who yearn to conquer their vices and turn their hearts more fully to the Lord. This work is composed of 23 distinct texts, begins with a description of the three demons which constitute the "front line" of spiritual assault, and pushes through them to a fuller demonology that unveils the wiles of the Evil One.

All 3 Tracks:  $7.00
St. Hesychios the Priest: On Watchfulness and Holiness
St. Hesychios the Priest

This magnificent treatise has been cherished by readers of the Philokalia for its penetrating insight into the working of the human intellect and heart, and for its strategic guidance toward victory in the unseen warfare with the demons. St. Hesychios is a master of the Jesus Prayer, and guides the ascetic practitioner in the process of quieting the heart. This Holy Father holds up the spider as an example for all Christians as it successfully captures and feeds on its prey by practicing stillness. In the same way the Christian struggling to acquire watchfulness can discern the existence of demonic thoughts, apprehend them, and destroy them and the evil spirits behind them by calling upon the Name of Jesus Christ our God.

more information >
All 8 Tracks:  $8.00
St. John of Damascus: On the Virtues and the Vices
St. John of Damascus

"Virtue can only be attained by unremitting effort." So writes the Damascene in this magnificent homily on the virtues and vices. This text provides a succinct summary of the spiritual and bodily senses, as well as the virtues of the soul and body, and the corresponding vices. St. John posits a schema to understand the working of the powers of soul and body, and how to conquer each vice with its corresponding virtue. The "golden seal" of this work is the promise that by excising vice and acquiring virtue the human person, fashioned in the image of God, will attain to the likeness of God for which he was originally created. This text builds on the foundational works of Evagrios, St. Mark the Ascetic, St. Maximos and probably also St. John of Sinai.

Online Download:  $5.00
St. Mark the Ascetic: No Righteousness by Works
St. Mark the Ascetic

"Sell everything and buy Mark!" (From a 14th century manuscript of St. Mark's works).  Such is what believers have thought about the value of St. Mark's works for the development of Christian piety over the centuries. This classic, On Those Who Think That They are Made Righteous by Works: 226 Texts, is the 2nd part of the Saint's most famous work- and is traditionally produced with On the Spiritual Law (offered last month by PNP). This collection of 226 potent texts provide practical spiritual guidance on how to cultivate true Christian virtue.

All 5 tracks:  $8.00
St. Mark the Ascetic: On the Spiritual Law - 200 Texts
St. Mark the Ascetic

"Sell everything and buy Mark!" This phrase found on a 14th century manuscript of St. Mark's works represents how precious his writings have been considered by believers for over a millennium. On the Spiritual Law: 200 Texts by St. Mark the Ascetic is the 6th offering in the Philokalia series. St. Mark the Ascetic, also known as Mark the Monk or Mark the Hermit, is a remarkable theologian and spiritual counselor. Eleven of his works are extant in the patristic tradition, and three of them were placed in the Philokalia. This work, On the Spiritual Law, was considered a gateway to the spiritual life by St. Symeon the New Theologian. Following the genre of "chapters" established by Evagrius the Solitary, St. Mark writes On the Spiritual Law in 200 brief chapters, designed for memorization. This work, together with its companion piece - On Those Who Think that They are Made Righteous by Works: 226 Texts - are St. Mark's most famous works.

Online Download:  $8.00
A Discourse on Abba Philimon

The Discourse on Abba Philimon is fifth offering in the Philokalia Series. The Discourse is a precious narrative included within the Philokalia because of its priceless passages on practicing inner prayer and watchfulness. This text, coming from the otherwise unknown Egyptian priest-ascetic Philimon no later than the early seventh century, contains the earliest citation of the Jesus Prayer in what has come to be considered its standard form: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me." This sacred word from the Abba has been cherished by Christians for centuries for is practical guidance on how to raise the heart and mind above the powerful allurements of the fallen world, or in the Abba's words: 'For through unceasing prayer and the study of the divine Scriptures the soul's noetic eyes are opened, and they see the King of the celestial powers, and great joy and fierce longing burn intensely in the soul; and as the flesh, too, is taken up by the Spirit, man becomes wholly spiritual.'

more information >
Online Download:  $3.00
On Guarding the Intellect: Twenty-Seven Texts
St. Isaiah the Solitary

The great battles of the spiritual war are noetic, that is, battles of the mind and heart. In this brief but penetrating text, which opens the majestic patristic literary collection the Church known as the Philokalia, St. Isaiah the Solitary guides the believer in the effort to purify the mind and heart, sanctify and adhere to the conscience, and learn to pray with watchfulness and without distraction born of passions.

more information >
Online Download:  $5.00
Evagrios the Solitary, On Prayer: 153 Texts
Evagrius Ponticus
Evagrius the Solitary, sometimes known as Evagrius Ponticus, was a disciple of the Cappadocian Fathers, ordained reader by St. Basil the Great and deacon by St. Gregory the Theologian. He became a monk of the Egyptian desert, and is the most prolific author of the Desert Fathers. He exercised a tremendous influence on both Eastern and Western monasticism, and four of his writings were included by the Holy Fathers in the 1st Volume of the Philokalia. PNP offers for download Evagrius' seminal work On Prayer: 153 Texts as its first installment in the Philokalia Project- an effort to make the entire English Philokalia available in audio format - with permission. more information >
All 4 Tracks:  $8.00
On the Eight Vices
St. John Cassian

This offering, On the Eight Vices, is the third installment in the Philokalia Project, and is a classic spiritual text on the nature of sin and how to overcome it. In this text St. Cassian begins with the most carnal of sins, gluttony, and proceeds to the most spiritual and hideous of all sins, pride. Along the way he unmasks the spirit of fornication, avarice, anger, sadness, acedia, and vainglory. He not only exposes these sins, but provides the believer inspired guidance on how to beat these sins and overcome them in this life. This text in the Philokalia has been cherished by believers for over a millennium, and is narrated for Patristic Nectar Publications by Mr. Jason Covarrubias.

more information >
Online download:  $10.00
Four Hundred Texts on Love
St. Maximos the Confessor
This offering, Four Hundred Texts on Love, is the second installment in the Philokalia Project, and is the most famous of the works of St. Maximos the Confessor. Here St. Maximos expounds the very essence of the Christian life - the way of love. He provides soul nourishment and direction in the imitation of Jesus Christ for both novices and the most experienced believers. This text in the Philokalia has been cherished by believers for over a millennium, and is offered with a special introduction by His Grace, Bishop Maxim, Hierarch of the Western American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church and an internationally renowned patristics scholar and Maximologist.  more information >
All 5 Tracks:  $10.00