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John the Solitary: For God is silence

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John the Solitary: For God is silence
Photo: Father Andrawis the Samuelite; A 20th century Coptic saint, who lost his sight when he was three years old. When he was thirteen, he headed to the village "El Zawarah" where the residence of the monastery of St. Samuel is located. There he was well received by the church instructor, and he acquired and learned church rituals, chants and hymns at the hands one of the monks and mastered his education in 10 years. He was in charge of the hardest tasks to be done at the monastery where he had to raise water from the well to fill a very large basin everyday manually. He stayed alone in the monastery for four months living on dry bread, and salty water. He used to bless people by saying: "May God be with you, not against you". He lived about 75 years as a monk, but still performs miracles even after his departure.


​For God is silence, and in silence is he sung by means of that psalmody which is worthy of Him. I am not speaking of the silence of the tongue, for if someone merely keeps his tongue silent, without knowing how to sing in mind and spirit, then he is simply unoccupied and becomes filled with evil thoughts: ... There is a silence of the tongue, there is a silence of the whole body, there is a silence of the soul, there is the silence of the mind, and there is the silence of the spirit.

(John the Solitary, 'On Prayer'; Philokalia)



Recommended Reading:

'The Philokalia: The Complete Text (Vol. 1); Compiled by St. Nikodimos of the Holy Mountain and St. Markarios of Corinth'
By G. E.H. Palmer (Translator), Philip Sherrard (Translator), Kallistos Ware (Translator)

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The Philokalia is a collection of texts written between the fourth and fifteenth centuries by spiritual masters of the Orthodox Christian tradition. First published in Greek in 1782, translated into Slavonic and later into Russian, The Philokalia has exercised an influence far greater than that of any book other than the Bible in the recent history of the Orthodox Church.
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