Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Jesus Crucified (St. Vladimir's Seminary Press)

One of my favorite Church Fathers is St. John Chrysostom. He was such a brilliant man and excellent speaker, which is why he earned the title "golden-mouthed." Anytime you read something he wrote, you know you are in for a challenge and also a treat! Recently, there was a book released called Jesus Crucified: The Baroque Spirituality of St. Dimitri of Rostov. On the back cover of this book, it described St. Dimitri of Rostov as the "Russian Chrysostom," so I knew this book was going to be a must read for me!

The book is 170 pages long and is the first volume of the Treasures of Orthodox Spirituality series. The introduction begins by telling us about his life. He born in December 1651 near Kiev. His sisters entered the monastery and at age 17 he was tonsured at Kirillov Monastery. After a year, he was ordained a deacon and five years after that he was made a priest. From that time until 1701-2, he was made an abbot at five different monasteries and retired from the abbacy three times. It was at this time that he was finally made a bishop at Rostov where he would spend the rest of his life. His most important work was his Lives of the Saints. However, the works covered in this book are devotional in nature, including prayers and meditations for private use.

There are individual chapters in the book, but the contents are divided thematically too. The first two chapters focus on the Wounds of Christ. The next two chapters focus on communion with the following three on worship. There are also two chapters which focus on defeating blasphemous thoughts, something I know I struggle with. We finally get to the meat of this book with three longer devotions on the Passion, followed by three poems which also focus on the Passion. The book closes with prayers focusing on daily confession of sins. Overall, this was a very enriching book to read. It was hard at times and challenging, but it was a journey that was well worth the read. I highly recommend you check out this book and read it during Holy Week or anytime!

This book was provided to me for free by St. Vladimir's Seminary Press in exchange for an honest review.

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