Each person beholds in the Fathers, as in a clear mirror, his or her self; each discerns their own weakness, is judged and saved with their revelation of the real image of humanity and divinity. This is because the Fathers of the Church, through their strict discipline and intense struggle, shedding their dispassion, were transferred by divine grace and transformed by divine energy to the supernatural freedom of the future age. Undergoing divinization in experience and not just in concept, they are borne by the Holy Spirit where it wills and not where they so wish. They no longer belong to themselves, but to him who died and was raised for us all, as well as to their brothers and sisters, for whom their merciful heart constantly burns.
They are not simply Greek Fathers, but universal teachers. They bring comfort to people of every race, language and culture, offering them the possibility of passing through death to life, the opportunity of growth in love, of enrichment through strength that is perfected in weakness, of quenching through the inexhaustible living water, and of fulfilment through the bread that is broken yet never divided, communed yet never consumed.
Archimandrite Vasileos, Abbot of Iviron Monastery on Mt Athos, in the Foreword to Father John Chryssavgis’ The Way of the Fathers : Exploring the Patristic Mind. v-vi.
This blog is still officially hibernating, but I read this this morning and wanted to share it. I think that I’ve read it online before, but I forget where. I only discovered this book this past weekend; I had certainly heard of it before, but had got it confused with Father Chryssavgis’ book on the Desert Fathers which I hadn’t found that helpful. But starting to read this book, I am inclined to think that it is going to be quite important and very quotable.