Orthodox theology recognizes the use of words as the unique therapeutic tool for the recalling of the human nature ‘to its ancient beauty’, irrespective of whether it is written, oral or silent, as long as it is an expression and the language of such a mind as the one which is united with the incarnate Word God and communicates empirically with Him.
Blessed Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi 91921-2009) lived 72 of his 88 years as a monk. Twelve of those he spent under the spiritual guidance of the holy Elder Joseph the Hesychast (1897-1959). The publications department of the Holy Great Monastery of Vatopaidi, utilizing Elder Joseph’s long monastic experience, has published in the series ‘Publications beneficial to the soul’ the written testimony of the Elder for the benefit of those who wish to hear ‘words of eternal life’, which are able to heal and regenerate the ‘labouring and heavy laden soul’ of modern man.
Man, no matter how degenerate he becomes, does not lose his likeness to God and is not recalled from his mighty destination: namely that of deification which is accomplished by the attainment of the Holy Spirit. According to the Elder: ‘He who does not permanently and empirically acquire the grace of the Holy Spirit,- this heavenly trophy- and does not experience the divine promises in this life, is risking his salvation.
‘Elder Joseph the Hesychast’
The book describes the life of a genuine expresser of the hesychastic tradition and of Palamite theology; one of the revivers of modern Athonite hesychasm. Elder Joseph the Hesychast (1897-1959) went through all the stages of spiritual perfection: the cleansing from passions, the enlightenment of the mind and the deification which is the sanctification of the human existence. The book contains whole passages from his teachings and counsels, which are commented upon by his disciple of the same name.