Reading it really is a spiritual exercise. The book is more a compilation of written memories, either by Father Arseny, his spiritual children, or those who knew or encountered him while he was imprisoned in a Soviet spacial camp. What seems to have stood out to all his spiritual children was his wisdom, gentleness, and keen insight from the Holy Spirit. In spite of the fact that Father Arseny was among us and gave many of us a new life, we had changed. We were no longer young, life had worn us out and broken us down.
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Reading it really is a spiritual exercise. The book is more a compilation of written memories, either by Father Arseny, his spiritual children, or those who knew or encountered him while he was imprisoned in a Soviet spacial camp.
What seems to have stood out to all his spiritual children was his wisdom, gentleness, and keen insight from the Holy Spirit. In spite of the fact that Father Arseny was among us and gave many of us a new life, we had changed. We were no longer young, life had worn us out and broken us down.
I felt that in our prayers we now asked for help more, and glorified God less. I asked Father Arseny once, why is this so? He answered me somewhat sadly, "In a way this is natural. Everything was done to eradicate faith from the souls of the people. Conditions were such that it became necessary to think only about how to survive, to overcome the obstacles which had been created. Just look at the life which has now been created: radio, magazines, television, newspapers, cinemas and theater create a standardized way of thinking, the same for everyone.
This leads to a person being unable to be alone with his own thoughts, to feel the presence of God. A prescribed way of thinking makes it difficult for a person to become a believer and makes it difficult for the believer to preserve his faith. Preserve your faith, fight for individuality of thought, pray more, read the Scriptures, and God will preserve you, He will not let you lose the clarify of your thoughts, He will not let you think like the faceless mass of indifferent and cold people.
A very powerful book. His biography is endearing, heartwarming, and life-changing. I absolutely adore this book and everything about it.
One of its remarkable features is In learning about the Holy and Spiritual life of Father Arseny, I realize how far away I am from complete union with Christ. One of its remarkable features is its format. It starts explaining his life in the first part. In the second part, his impact on others is told in first-hand accounts! I love Father Arseny and I loved those who loved him.
I am doing my best to put my feelings about this book into words, but it is truly impossible. I have no capability to put the extraordinary life of Father Arseny and his impact on me into words that are truly worthy of his story. Read this book no matter who you are! It will make an impact on you in ways that are incomprehensible.
Father Arseny: A Cloud of Witnesses
Father Arseny : The testimony of a Russian Confessor 22 June The political prisoners were all too well aware that each day that passed brought them closer to the inevitable end of their earthly lives. As if by some spontaneous reaction, they struggled desperately to keep their spirits alive, to combat the melancholy and depression, to avoid going mad… Piotr Andreyevich, later Father Arseny, was born in Moscow in and graduated from a practical high school in and the Moscow Imperial University in It was then that he wrote the first art critical studies on early Russian architecture. From until he lived as a monk in the Optina Desert and was ordained as a priest. From onwards he served as a priest in various churches in Moscow.