Author: Saint Ignatius (Brianchaninov), Nicholas Kotar (trans.)
The spiritual harvest requires a heart that is harrowed by repentance, softened by compunction, and irrigated by tears.
The field is a place of cultivation and of battle. In this volume the nineteenth century Christian saint and teacher Ignatius (Brianchaninov) instructs his reader in the cultivation of the field of their hearts, with the aim of producing a harvest of virtues both pleasing to God and of benefit to all humankind. Drawing on his own military background St Ignatius recognizes that this cultivation requires discipline and awareness of the enemies that thwart our efforts to live a holy life. His words combine spiritual wisdom with reflections on nature that hint at the joy awaiting those who embrace the saint’s call.
The Field draws deeply on the teachings of the ascetic fathers of the Church, from the desert dwellers of Scetis in Egypt to his Russian contemporaries the Optina Elders. He demonstrates how their voice is one in guiding us on the Christian path. It will be impossible for either lay people or monastics to read these words without being challenged and inspired to follow Christ more fully in cultivating the field of their own life.
Posted by Leo on 18th Jan 2017
Having read hundreds of books on Orthodox Spirituality in the last 15 years, I thought I had come to the point where I had read it all, and there was no further need to purchase any more books. So it was with a little hesitation that I purchased The Field several weeks back. All I can say is that I was more than pleasantly surprised. Page after page, chapter after chapter, I feasted on the collected wisdom of the fathers that St. Ignatius had assembled. I haven't finished the book yet. I am on chapter 29 of 39 as I'm in no hurry to end it. You've heard the saying that "this is a book to savor and not to rush through", well it applies here. Read a chapter a day and let it sink in. Don't rush through it. And if you're like me and like to underline certain passages, quite a bit of it will be underlined by the end. Whether you are a beginner or veteran to the spiritual life, I highly recommend The Field.
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