Dear beloved,

Welcome to this online version of the pocketbook, on some humble and personal reflections on “The Way of a Pilgrim”. The book touched me personally and spiritually. Browse the book chapters here:

  1. Pilgrim’s heart
  2. Quiet places
  3. Prayer & distraction
  4. Consolations in adversity
  5. Body, mind & heart
  6. Prayers & redemption
  7. Lessons from St Nicephorus
  8. Lessons from St Gregory
  9. Lessons from St Symeon
  10. Efforts in prayer
  11. Steadfast faith
  12. Divine mercy
  13. Divine signposts
  14. Man proposes, God disposes
  15. Washing feet of others
  16. True humility
  17. Fruits of prayer
  18. Responsibilities, fears & time
  19. Mysteries of Divine Will
  20. Humble confessions
  21. Penitent prayers
  22. Inner prayer
  23. Spiritual meetings
  24. God’s love transcends
  25. Solitude & silence
  26. Praying for others
  27. Story of St Seraphim of Sarov
  28. Mercy & forgiveness
  29. Penitent & humble
  30. Pilgrim in action
  31. Little Rule of St Seraphim
  32. Didache – part 1
  33. Didache – part 2
  34. Didache – part 3
  35. Didache – part 4
  36. Appendix: St Seraphim & Motovilov

 

About “The Way of a Pilgrim”

A 19th century Russian Orthodox pilgrim travels around Russia in search of unceasing and interior prayer, basing on insights from clergy, the Holy Bible, and the Philokalia (Greek for “love of the beautiful”). There are 2 books, “The Way of a Pilgrim”, and “The Pilgrim Continues his Way”. The pilgrim finds tremendous solace and insight into the prayer of the heart, or the Jesus Prayer.

The Philokalia in brief 

The Philokalia embodies a collection of wisdom texts from contemplative, ascetic and hesychast saints from Eastern/Oriental Orthodox and Latin traditions, ranging from 4th to 15th centuries. Saint Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain Athos and Saint Makarios of Corinth compiled the collection in the 18th century. Some of the writers include great saints before us, including: Saint John Cassian the Roman, Saint Mark the Ascetic, Saint John of Karpathos, Saint Maximos the Confessor, Saint John of Damascus, Saint Symeon the New Theologian, Saint Gregory Palamas, etc.

There are 5 volumes in total, of which only the first 4 volumes have been translated into English. The 5th volume is only available in Greek, including writers such as Kallistos, Ignatios the Xanthopouloses, Kallistos Angelikoudis, Saint Simeon of Thessaloniki, Saint Mark the Gentle, Saint Symeon the New Theologian, Saint Gregory of Sinai, etc.

Why a study of “The Way of a Pilgrim”? 

It all started in 2004, when I was in the darkest of hours, with few people to turn to. It was then, God lent His mercy by alleviating my selfish suffering, and turned me to laboring alongside some godly clergy, for humanitarian causes. Through them, I found my way back to Christ, and God called me to vocation. The book “The Way of a Pilgrim”, very much resonated with me as I embraced the same journey. I hope you will also find the exquisite beauty of the many saints in the Philokalia, which is an illuminating book mentioned in “The Way of a Pilgrim”.

Someone said, “The Way of a Pilgrim” and “The Pilgrim continues his way”, are esoteric and complex. I would suggest that both books, though complex, are like onions. You peel away layer by layer, the deeper and deeper you approach them. I have approached both books simply, as the wisdom along in the outer layers of the books, are sufficient for me to find much solace and wisdom from. Sometimes, it may be tempting to dwell deep into theology, and forget that the most important theology is simple, honest prayer. Let us remember Evagrius Ponticus who said, “If you are a theologian, you will pray truly. And if you pray truly, you are a theologian.”

We based our journey with the book using Olga Savin’s English translation. We went through both “The Way of a Pilgrim” and “The Pilgrim Continues His Way”. We also discussed parts of the “Philokalia”, some writings of Saint Seraphim of Sarov, and the Didache, teachings of the 12 Holy Apostles of Christ. You can read this book as a story for contemplation, or a daily workbook of prayer. May your spiritual journey be fruitful, and bring you ever closer to God!

An unworthy servant,
Father Raphael

PS – Do note that this book is purely for a prayerful life towards God. Any external resources provided or presented here, are to help the faithful in their Christian life.