Archive for November 9th, 2005

As my readers know, I have two patron saints–due primarily to God’s grace, but secondarily to my own spiritual incompetence and utter need for extra help!–St. Benedict of Nursia, father of western monasticism and Bl. Hieromonk Seraphim (who has not been formally glorified yet). The life of St. Benedict is found in St. Gregory’s Dialogues, Bk. II. Other information on St. Benedict can be found here. On his becoming my patron: here.

My other patron saint’s life is quintessentially found in Hieromonk Damascene’s biography of Blessed Hieromonk Seraphim Rose, Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works. It is the definitive life of Fr. Seraphim. On his becoming my patron: here and here.

The Orthodox Christian Information Center has a handful of excerpts from the biography.

Super-Correctness – Chapter 63
Pastoral Guidance – Chapter 84
Orthodoxy of the Heart – Chapter 86
Simplicity – Chapter 87
Converts – Chapter 88
Hope – Chapter 99

Transcribed talks of Father Seraphim online

Signs of the End Times (This talk is part of Father Seraphim’s lectures on CD)
The Search for Orthodoxy
In Step With Sts. Patrick and Gregory of Tours
Raising the Mind, Warming the Heart
The Orthodox World-View
The Royal Path: True Orthodoxy in an Age of Apostasy
The Holy Fathers of Orthodox Spirituality: The Inspiration and Sure Guide to True Christianity Today Part I, Part II, Part III
How to Read the Holy Scriptures Part I, Part II, Part III


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Outside the Church services, Fr. Seraphim would strive to remember God by saying the Jesus Prayer throughout the day, whether while working, resting, or taking a walk. The brothers were reminded to do likewise. From the very beginning of the skete’s existence, Fathers Seraphim and Herman had instituted the traditional monastic practice of saying the Jesus Prayer aloud whenever entering a room. This practice had been followed by the monks of ancient times in order to foil the tricks of demons, who were known to enter the cells of desert-dwellers without warning.

We have already mentioned that Fathers Seraphim and Herman, in the tradition of Bishop Nektary, carried out the private “Optina Five-hundred” cell rule of prayer in addition to the regular Church services. Fr. Seraphim performed this rule primarily at night, before the icon corner in his cell, with its blue oil lamp burning softly before the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God. He kept a stump in his cell, which, as he noted in his Chronicle, was “in remembrance of St. Seraphim’s stump, for Jesus Prayer.” During his times of private devotions, he would pour out his heart before our Lord Jesus Christ, and also before His Most Pure Mother, for whom, as we have seen, he had an especially great love. Only the dwellers of heaven know how often he sighed, wept, and prostrated himself before the holy images in the silent solitude of his forest cell.

Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works, 605

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