Are we willing to respond to the challenge of a life lived in accordance with the Christian Gospel? St Ignatius' writing is the Christian tradition at its deepest, intensely practical but also transcendent and mystical. For further details click here.
Posted by Reader Isaac on 31st Aug 2020
It is appropriate that this first volume of St Ignatius' collected works, The Field, is graced by a picture on the cover of part of Mikhail Nesterov's painting, "Vision to the Youth Bartholomew". And the subtitle 'cultivating salvation' is exactly what the book is prescribing – how to cultivate the salvation of one's soul. Whereas Nesterov's original painting shows the vision of the future St Sergius of Radonezh receiving holy prosphora from a schemamonk and by his consuming the offering in faith he is blessed with the ability to read and understand Holy Scripture, so too the saintly monk on the book's cover suggests that St Ignatius himself is offering the reader the holy gift of his writings whereby we might cultivate our own salvation.
It is not without coincidence that the foremost modern exponent of St Ignatiy's teachings, Fr Seraphim Rose, himself quoted the good bishop's works in his own writings and by his own life illustrated that having ploughed the field of his soul with the cross, sowed the seed of divine salvation, harrowed the soil with sorrows, fertilized the crop with ascetic practices and watered it with humility, he presented to the Lord a harvest of righteousness.
Even though it took over a century for the Russian church to canonise St Ignatius his writings are as pithy, penetrating, challenging, authentic and spiritually inspired as any of the classic monastic authors he quotes. Replete with scriptural references the short chapters offer real sustenance for the soul and the accessible and authentic style invites the reader to reflect and ponder the saint's insights and almost demands him to put them into practice in his own life.
Nicholas Kotar should be congratulated for his excellent translation of this work and the publishers for the superb presentation of the book. A sparkling jewel indeed.
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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