Metropolitan Kallistos Ware: My Acquaintance with Elder Sophrony

Metropolitan Kallistos Ware: My Acquaintance with Elder Sophrony


Metropolitan Kallistos says that Elder Sophrony wanted his monastery to stay loyal to the tradition of Orthodoxy, but at the same time be open to the spirit of the world. He explains how monks in Essex Monastery practiced hospitality, and why Elder Sophrony wanted his monks be well-educated, so they could give proper guidance to those who asked for it. Metropolitan Kallistos also speaks about the life of prayer in the Monastery, and how monks and nuns live together.

He speaks about Elder Sophrony’s personal experience of “kenosis”, i.e. self-emptying, and his deep sensitivity, as well as his great sense of humour and joy. Metropolitan Kallisotos emphasizes the significance of this brotherhood in England, and of the importance of St Silouan the Athonite’s teachings on prayer.

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Pemptousia Partnership

Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership to bring Orthodoxy Worldwide. Greek philosophers from Ionia considered held that there were four elements or essences (ousies) in nature: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle added ether to this foursome, which would make it the fifth (pempto) essence, pemptousia, or quintessence. The incarnation of God the Word found fertile ground in man’s proclivity to beauty, to goodness, to truth and to the eternal. Orthodoxy has not functioned as some religion or sect. It was not the movement of the human spirit towards God but the revelation of the true God, Jesus Christ, to man. A basic precept of Orthodoxy is that of the person ­– the personhood of God and of man. Orthodoxy is not a religious philosophy or way of thinking but revelation and life standing on the foundations of divine experience; it is the transcendence of the created and the intimacy of the Uncreated. Orthodox theology is drawn to genuine beauty; it is the theology of the One “fairer than the sons of men”. So in "Pemptousia", we just want to declare this "fifth essence", the divine beaut in our life. Please note, not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.