Author: (Taushev), Archbishop Averky
Archbishop Averky addresses head on the question, “What is asceticism?” He counters the many false understandings that exist and shows that the practice of authentic asceticism is integral to the spiritual life and the path to blessed communion with God.
Archbishop Averky (Taushev) (1906–1976) was the fourth abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York. He was born in Imperial Russia and lived in Bulgaria after the Russian Revolution. He taught and served in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Germany before being assigned in 1951 to teach at the Holy Trinity Seminary. He was consecrated a bishop and, after the death of Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko), in 1960 became the abbotof Holy Trinity Monastery. As abbot and rector, he was heavily involved in the formation of the seminary curriculum and the daily life of the seminarians and monks.
Preface The Essence and Meaning of Asceticism
1. Self-asserting Pride and Christian Humility.
2. The Importance of Spiritual Discernment
3. Gospel Love and Humanistic Altruism
4. Acquiring Gospel Love.
5. Reawakening our Conscience
6. The Christian Understanding of Freedom
7. Guarding the Heart Amidst the Distractions of Life
8. Resisting Evil
9. Waging Unseen Warfare
10. Christian Struggle
11. The Holy Fathers on Combating the Passions
12. Pastoral Asceticism
Posted by Kathleen E Bell on 29th Apr 2019
Archbishop Averky does an excellent job explaining asceticism. He writes in a clear, easy-to-read style. This book changed my life. I used to believe asceticism was strange. I could not see why anyone in his right mind would do such a thing. But all asceticism is is a "struggle for virtue".
Posted by John Platte on 20th Nov 2017
Archbishop Averky narrates human history, tying the chain of many falls and developments to the same self-asserting human pride to which we fell in the Garden of Eden. He then develops this into a cogent framework for understanding how to behave in this modern world and why. I feel like I have a map as I read this detailed strategic and tactical information—the author builds his case in a very orderly fashion. He covers topics so thoroughly that I almost feel like I am receiving personal advice. This book has already found a central place in our family's understanding of how to live our Orthodox faith while the world runs the other way.
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