Elder Anthony of Optina. And now I need new daily spiritual reading. I’m filling in with Father Arseny until I start a new book because really, you can never read it too many times.
So, dear readers (reader? I know there’s at least one of you), I’m looking for suggestions. I would love to start another Optina Elder, but don’t have any on hand. I could go with one of my Elder Paisios books that I have yet to finish. Elder Paisios has the advantage of making me want to run out and change everything about my life, immediately, and the disadvantage of being met with utter failure when I attempt to do so. The books are also really big, which is intimidating if I want to stick to my page-a-night policy. Of course, isn’t that what being Orthodox is all about? Being met with utter failure and then turning to God? Sticking to things even when they are scary because they’ll be good for you?
On the other hand, I don’t want to get discouraged and give up. Economia, anyone?
Trade off: I’ll leave you with a quote. You leave me with an idea. Comments welcome!
Life is given to us to learn to believe. Everything that happens, however upsetting, should lead us further in our faith. Whatever our difficulties and our fears of going astray, we can be sure that we are on the right road if we understand more and more clearly what faith means. . . Our trust in God’s love must also be trust in His mercy. We must accept His plan which is His mercy. We must see our poverty in the sight of His mercy. and we must also judge others in this mercy’s sight. Then nothing can prevent us loving. This is the true Christian attitude. This is the only way we can look to God with confidence and live simply and freely in that confidence.
– Courage to Pray, p. 83