Rivers of Grace

In these post-modern times we have an exceedingly great debt of gratitude for the mercy of our Lord in raising up men of great spiritual calibre, especially on the Holy Mountain of Athos. This is seen especially in the lives of St. Silouan the Athonite and Elder Joseph the Hesychast. Through the lives of these two persons, two distinct rivers of grace have flowed into the Church. Their example, their teachings, and their inheritance bestowed upon their disciples, have enriched a multitude over the whole Orthodox world.

St Silouan the Athonite
+ 11/24 September, 1928
Elder Sophrony
+ 28 June / 11 July 1993

Regarding the latter, Elder Joseph the Hesychast, Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia writes: “Elder Joseph anticipated the main direction that the contemporary renewal on Mount Athos has adopted. This renewal can best be characterized as Philokalic and Palamite. It has been deeply influenced by the collection of Orthodox ascetical and mystical texts known as the Philokalia, in which a central place is assigned to prayer of the heart and to the invocation of the name of Jesus; and it has taken as its special mentor the fourteenth-century Byzantine theologian St. Gregory Palamas, himself an Athonite monk, who taught that the true fulfillment of inner prayer is the experience of the divine and uncreated light of Tabor, the light which shone from Christ at His Transfiguration. This Philokalic and Palamite orientation is a direct development from the teaching, simple yet profound, which Joseph the Hesychast gave to his small circle of immediate disciples.”

Foreword, Elder Joseph the Hesychast by his disciple Elder Joseph (Great and Holy Monastery of Vatopaidi, 1999)

Elder Joseph the Hesychast
+ 15/28 August, 1959
Elder Joseph the Hesychast with two
of his disciples: Elder Haralambos (left)
and Elder Ephraim (right)