A Personal Recommendation from our directorPosted: Thursday, March 25, 2021
Recently I have been reading extracts from Conversations with My Heart as part of our weekday Jordanville readings podcast. The author, Metropolitan Anastasy (Gribanovsky), was elected in 1936 as First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, succeeding the more widely known Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky). He wrote this book prior to that date whilst serving as the Head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in the Holy Land from 1924. This was a challenging time in the history of the Western world, not so unlike our own, and the backdrop of both communist and fascist extremism is clear as he writes.
He concludes his short preface by stating that “This book has no other purpose than to confirm eternal Truth, Good, and Beauty and to magnify the one who said of Himself: 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.' " I think he succeeds admirably in this goal. It is uniquely refreshing in the way he recognizes all that is good and shows how a diversity of words and works can lead us to Christ. The extent of His Beatitutude’s erudition in doing this is remarkable, drawing on sources as diverse as the nineteenth century English parliamentarian and philosopher John Stuart Mill, the sixteenth century Protestant reformer Martin Luther, and the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. He writes that “we live in an age of counterfeits” but also favourably quotes St Gregory the Theologian, who wrote that “the most divine attribute of man is that he can do good.”
There is much to ponder in every sentence and paragraph here and altogether it is a valuable aid in bringing balance and perspective to our own very challenging times of political division and pandemic, helping to equip us to manifest Christ to our neighbors.
I commend it to you.
Director, Holy Trinity Publications