His Life is Mine by Archimandriie Sophrony, translated from the Russian by Rosemary Edmonds (Mowbrays £2.95) Archimandrite Sophrony, in terms of present-day secular and religious life, would seem to be an anachronism. Now in his eighties, he has spent 22 years as a monk on Mount Athos, and seven years as a hermit.
As a young man he was an artist, but in pursuit of God, and so he has been ever since. His fortune was to meet the Starctz Silouan and to sit at his feet for eight years. Drawing on the counselling of the Stara', he in turn became a counsellor both on Mount Athos and elsewhere.
The writings are quite extraordinary — maybe beyond the under standing of many, difficult fot others, and only clear to those who have a mind adjusted to Eastern devotion and living the Liturgy. This requires detachment from Western thought, feelings and approaches to prayer and the Liturgy.
The book is singularly Christological. almost to the point of being anti-ludaic. but this is how the author secs Christianity. He is both direct and firm in his appeal to all to develop the divine spark and to strengthen the inner life whatever sacrifice is entailed.
In the world, civilisation is declining due to the absence of belief, faith and religion, and the Archimandrite sets out to demonstrate the means and ways open to all who "seek first the Kingdom of God".