The Arena: An Offering to Contemporary Monasticism

Feast of Sts Carpos and Alphaeus, Apostles of the 70
The Arena: An Offering to Contemporary Monasticism by St. Ignatius Brianchaninov; translated by Archimandrite Lazarus

Brianchaninov__The_Arena_book_Square.jpegBISHOP IGNATIUS Brianchaninov (1807-1867, glorified 1988) composed this manual in two parts, the first on the inner life, the second on outer conduct, of a monk. It is rooted firmly in Scripture, the Fathers (especially John Climacus and Isaac the Syrian) and the author’s own long experience as military student, monk, abbot, Bishop, and recluse. From its initial restatement of Christ’s two-fold commandment of love of God and neighbor, it flows outward to include every aspect of monastic (only a more intensive form of essential Christian) spiritual life. It is, as the introduction rightly observes, an austere and rigorous instruction, especially concerned to warn against spiritual delusion, against prideful or careless reading of the most exalted sources or praying in the most outwardly orthodox fashion. But it is replete with teachings and illustrative examples from the core of Orthodox tradition. Come to this book not for comfort, but for severe training – appropriate for the “arena” of spiritual combat.

276 pp. paper $21.95

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