Way of the Ascetics
Written by Tito Colliander
1- This book (110 pages) may be read several times, and each time you will get new spiritual meanings from it. It is never boring to read it again and again, feeling always spiritually renewed by its contents.
2- This book is considered a classic in orthodox spirituality. It is written neither by a clergyman nor by a monk, but by a layman that has brought up a family of three children. Therefore, he addresses Christians living in the society, working and having family responsibilities.
3- The author does not speak in theological terms, but in simple language familiar to the common person, and dealing with how to live a Christian life in the world.
4- The book is divided into 26 chapters, 3 - 5 pages each. Each chapter deals with a theme related to the inner life of the Christian person. Examples of such themes are the following titles: "On a resolute and sustained purpose", "On the insufficiency of human strength", "On the garden of the heart", "On the silent and invisible warfare", "On the denial of self and the cleansing of the heart", etc.
5- As mentioned in the introduction, this book is "intended to be read slowly, meditated upon, used and re-used and even learnt by heart." It contains beautiful sayings that are worth to be memorized by heart, such as:
"Christ is both God and our neighbor",
"A truly unselfish act is not mine, but God's",
"Prayer is action",
"To live in Christ is to live in eternal life".
6- As we all are at different levels in our spiritual life, this book only serves as a general guide in our spiritual growth and is not meant to be followed literally and indiscriminately by every person. The guidance of the spiritual father, or father in confession, should be of great help in this respect.
7- This book should be read by all serious Christians who are looking for a path to follow in their struggle in this world, to grow in their spiritual life, and to live in Christ from now and forever, hence the title of the book "WAY of the Ascetics".
8- This book is published in English by St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, NY 10707, and in Arabic by Bet El-Takris for Service of Preaching (Lekhedmat Al-Kirasa), 12 El-Khandak St., Kubba Gardens, Egypt.