Everyday life of saints
The image of a Christian for most of us is everyday, iconic. We imagine a martyr in the Coliseum or a monk contemplating the Uncreated Light, etc. Beautiful images, but it is difficult to guide them in everyday life. Therefore, today we offer you five books about the daily life of saints: people of the Bible, first Christians, early wildernesses, Russian and Western monks.
“The daily life of the people of the Bible” Shuraki is a rare book: the ordinary life of ordinary people of the era and people, with whom we are not used to associate any kind of “ordinary” at all. A story about the daily life of Jews from the time of the first three kings of Israel: Samuel, David, Solomon.
“A peasant rises at the dawn, prepares his simple tool for work, goes into the field, and his wife in a modest little house looks after the children, hosts, and feeds the animals. The artist creates an ivory figurine for the sanctuary. The village is plundered by looters who came from the country of Moab. A child has just been born: parental hearts are full of fun, they are preparing for the festival of circumcision. The priest plunges a knife into the lamb's throat: sacrificial blood flows, he brings retribution to the Lord for this life and for the life of all Israel.
They say that they have a bad temper: it is true, because they are called upon to admonish their people for free. Overcoming the bustle of peaceful everyday life and the fire of wars, permeating time and the boundaries of space, the voice of prophets, seers, these divine heralds rises through eternity. They dared to challenge the paganism of antiquity, even to their own brothers, to shout out an unprecedented call for justice, unity, love, peace.
The goodness of the Lord is infinite – it is immeasurable, as the Apostle Paul said, it concludes a “wonderful secret”, the roots of which feed us. It simply exists, it cannot be explained. This book is an attempt to help the reader penetrate beyond the three thresholds of the existence of the sons of Israel: the gates of the Earth, Time and Heaven. "
Aman’s “Everyday Life of Christians” is a beautiful, popular exposition of a stated theme. But the book is interesting not only historically: the first century of Christianity will always remain an eternal model for Christians. It is especially beautiful that the life of “ordinary Christians” is described here, namely their everyday life; Christian school of "ordinary life".
“The daily duties performed by the Christian in the family circle, at work, in relation to the state, were not exclusively his personal affair, but represented the inclusion of his freedom in the great economy controlled by God. What constitutes the essence of the Christian and his mission constantly goes beyond the limits of human practice, even the activities of the apostles. Christianity acts as the Church, giving hope, and in any other quality loses the meaning of its existence. "
“Those who get acquainted with the life of the first generations of Christians, and above all with the martyrs for their faith, with their daily dangers and insecurity of tomorrow, are most struck by their joy of life and, at the same time, fearless readiness to die. If philosophy could only console, calm fear, the Gospel “lit the dawn” at the end of the night. However, neither the pagans of Lyon, nor the Emperor Marcus Aurelius could or did not want to know this evidence. "
The Daily Life of the 4th Century Desert Fathers Rainier is another great, popularly written book. The early hermits are no less significant figures for us than the first Christians.
“The light that emanated from the Fathers of the desert, beginning from the 4th century, gradually spread everywhere, without ceasing its effect in the Churches of all faiths, including those that did not share the Monophysite beliefs of the Copts. Its influence is especially noticeable in Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, Greece and Russia due to the wide distribution of lives and apoftags translated into many languages. To a large extent, thanks to the mediation of John Cassian, who adapted the teachings of the Egyptian hermits to the needs of the Western Cinovites, Saint Benedict accepted this heritage and passed it on to his countless spiritual descendants. But Benedictine and Cistercian monks are not the only children of the Desert Fathers. We can say that all Christians who try to follow Christ along the path of the gospel commandments follow the first hermits. ”
“The interest in the wilderness of the past by the modern man cannot but surprise, especially if we understand how far our time is from the morals and spirit of the first hermits. But, perhaps, new generations to a greater extent than the previous ones will be able to appreciate the Desert Fathers, envy them or even find in them those human and Christian values that are now not held in high esteem: solitude and silence, austerity and contemplation, immersion in oneself and spiritual generosity, simplicity and sincerity, spiritual guidance and obedience, covetousness and humility. To all those who feel the bitter emptiness of existence, completely filled with a search for material wealth and ghostly pleasures, desert elders strongly remind of the conditions of genuine happiness. ”
“Everyday Life of a Russian Medieval Monastery” Romanenko is a book that tells about the life, meal, divine services and other aspects of the life of Russian monasticism, about the life that gave rise to so many saints.
“The beauty of our mansions recalls the long-lost harmony. The world of the medieval Russian monastery was destroyed in the XVIII century. successive reforms. The decrees of Peter I forbade shearing everyone except the disabled and the elderly as monks. Those who violated this ban were forcibly cut off and sent to the soldiers. The monasteries were depopulated, a living tradition of spiritual continuity of different generations was interrupted. The decree on the states of 1764 of Empress Catherine II divided all the cloisters into three categories (states), according to which they received state salaries. The monastic lands were confiscated. Some of the monasteries were taken out of state; they had to find livelihoods themselves, without land. The remaining cloisters (more than half of the previous number) were completely liquidated. Historians have yet to evaluate the spiritual and moral consequences of these reforms. Then Russia lost one of its pillars, and probably the most important, for monasteries have always been, according to St. Philaret (Drozdov), the pillar of the Orthodox faith. XX century completed the "reform" with the reproach of the shrine. Until now, and in some places, only the walls of the former cloisters have been preserved. But what kind of life took place several centuries ago inside these walls, which made up the soul and content of this visible image, we hardly know. ”
“Everyday Life of the Medieval Monks of Western Europe (X-XV Centuries)” is a book by the Belgian medievalist Leo Moulin, from which you will learn the life of Western monasticism both in its inner essence and in everyday details: daily routine, sleep, singing, chastity , prayer, food, fasting, clothing, hygiene, monastery architecture, social ministry, moral influence on the world, etc. Here are two quotes that show the spiritual center of monasticism on the one hand, and on the other, how it manifests itself in empirical life:
“Poverty did not mean perfect need, which puts a person in complete physical and moral dependence on others. Poverty was more opposed to power than wealth.
In fact, the ideal of poverty is the ideal of freedom, independence, the rejection of the desire to appropriate another's property, which was expressed in peacemaking, voluntary pacifism for those who did not want to enter into a vicious cycle of violence (pilgrims, monks, clergy, repentant sinners). ”
“These people of fire and iron, such as the monks of the Middle Ages, daily showed their faith in prayer, in those“ standard patterns of prayer ”, which were served by the liturgy, as well as in choral singing, and in gestures: bows, earth bows, handwork , knocking down, kneeling … All this is that special monk language with which he expresses his condition “with all his might”, that is, with his whole being.
Such an era as ours, with so many desacralizing factors, can hardly understand the state of spirit of monasticism of those bright and bright centuries, which in many respects were the Middle Ages. ”
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