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A little over a year before his death in 1833, Father Seraphim met in the forest with one of his spiritual children, Nicholas Motovilov. All his life this young man had wished to know the aim of the Christian life, but no one had been able to satisfy him with their answers. In this conversation, Father Seraphim tells him: The true aim of our Christian life is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit. Not understanding what this meant, the young man presses Fr Seraphim to explain. It is then that bodily transfiguration takes place, (about which you may read in this book), a milestone in Christian tradition; a witness that inspires the hearts of the Russian people and, increasingly inspires the hearts of those, both East and West, who encounter the living reality of Saint Seraphim. This new edition is based on the longest and most comprehensive Russian version of the text, highly regarded by scholars, theologians and historians and is illustrated with original drawings by the Belorussian fine artist, Irina Kotova.
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This new book is beautifully printed with iconographic illustrations and is preceded by an introduction and foreword by two eminent churchmen, Archbishop Rowan Williams and His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. I am certain that this new edition of St Seraphim s conversation with Motovilov will reach and inspire the hearts of many seekers of truth and salvation in the world today.
Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia --Metropolitan Hilarion
My Joy! Acquire the Spirit of Peace and thousands around you shall be saved. These words of St. Seraphim have become the spiritual testament not merely for the elder s native land but far beyond, for all peoples seeking salvation. In our present turbulent and confused world, the relevance of the elder s call is very obvious. The elder of Sarov was compassionate, full of charity, simple and accessible to all. It is for these reasons that the fiery Seraphim is dear to Orthodox, Roman Catholics and Protestants. May we all be inspired and helped in our lives and in our further creative labours by the prayerful intercession of the great ascetic, the blessed and godly Father Seraphim, the Wonder Worker of Sarov.
His Holiness Kirill
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia --His Holiness Kirill
In this unique and wonderful text, we see the traditional teaching of the Orthodox Church about the Spirit s life in the heart and the bodily effect of God s uncreated energies made specific and local. This teaching, we realize, is not a matter of abstract ideals, abut words and thoughts alone; it is about actual and tangible changes in the flesh and blood of human beings. It is, in that sense, inseparable from what we believe about the actual and tangible transfiguration and resurrection of the Lord. The Word of God becomes flesh so that flesh may be glorified.
His Grace Dr Rowan Williams
Archbishop of Canterbury --His Grace Dr Rowan Williams
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