Reading list for the Orthodox from Orthodox Christianity

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Dec 30 2019 6:27 PM

Any readings you would like to add to this list by Fr. John Whiteford?

Here are some of the most traditional options:

  1. The Scriptures, especially the books of Genesis, Proverbs, Isaiah (which are read in the Lectionary Readings of Lent), the Psalter, and the Gospels: In the services of Lent and Holy Week the reading of these books are appointed to be read (almost all of Genesis, Proverbs, and Isaiah; the Psalter is read twice each week during Lent; and all four Gospels (read in their entirety during Holy Week). Most people probably would have a hard time reading them all, in a given Lent, but you could at least aim to read some of them.
  2. The Ladder of Divine Ascent, by St. John Climacus, which is appointed to be read during the Lenten services by the Typikon.
  3. The Lausiac History of St. Palladius (the lives of the Desert Fathers), which is also appointed to be read during the Lenten Services.

There are also many other spiritual classic which make for good Lenten reading:

  1. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers.
  2. The Conferences, by St. John Cassian.
  3. The Arena, by St. Ignatii (Brianchaninov). This is one of the best all around books on the spiritual life available in English, and is a text that is worth reading, and re-reading.
  4. My Life in Christ, by St. John of Kronstadt.
  5. The Life of St. Anthony the Great, by St. Athanasius the Great.

Then there are more options that are well worth reading:

  1. Great Lent: Journey to Pascha, by Fr. Alexander Schmemann. A great guide to the meaning of the services of Great Lent.
  2. Psalm 118: A Commentary, by St. Theophan the Recluse. This Psalm is one of the most important of the Psalms, and it will be chanted at all of our funerals. We should try to learn the lessons of this Psalm while we still have time to apply them.
  3. Season of Repentance: Lenten Homilies of St. John of Kronstadt.
  4. The Four Gospel, by Archbishop Averky.
  5. The Field: Cultivating Salvation, by St. Ignatii (Brianchaninov).

Perhaps, some pressure to get more of these titles in Logos is needed.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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