May 03, 2011

Groeschel's Latest

Been reading Fr. Benedict Groeschel's I Am With You Always*, a frank study of devotion to Christ in Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox circles that turns out to be devotional in its own right. In the chapter on the particulars of Russian spirituality there is St. Tikhon:
St. Tikhon spent endless hours with the poor...but he was not unrealistic. He counseled against giving money to drunks. He spoke in defense of women, who were much abused in Russia at that time, and he did the same for the serfs. He confronted the rich in the name of Christ.

St. Tikhon often focused on the Passion of Christ, and Bouyer says that he had representations of Christ's sufferings in his cell, something almost unique in the history of Orthodoxy. He advises others to do the same. 'Keep in your house a picture of the passion of Christ, look at it ofen and with reverence: it will be to your a substitute for continual reading and visible history.'

No adequate Christian spirituality ends with the Passion, and for St. Tikhon, Christ's Passion always points to the Resurrection. Tikhon urged the Christian to look forward with great hope to what awaiits him...St. Tikhon, so human and so profoundly spiritual, so genuinely Orthhodox and yet open to the spirituality of Western Christianity, offers us a marvelous bridge.
* - Disclosure: Did not receive this as a review copy. I've only gotten two review copies in all my bloggin' days. (Sent whine off.)

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