Such are the souls of the saints: they love their enemies more than themselves, and in this age and in the age to come they put their neighbor first in all things, even though because of his ill-will he may be their enemy. They do not seek recompense from those whom they love, but because they have themselves received they rejoice in giving to others all that they have, so that they may conform to their Benefactor and imitate His compassion to the best of their ability; ‘for He is bountiful to the thankless and to sinners’ (cf. Luke 6:35).
(St. Peter of Damascus)
'The Philokalia: The Complete Text, Vol. 3'
By G. E. H. Palmer (Editor), Philip Sherrard (Editor), Kallistos Ware (Editor), St. Nikodimos of the Holy Mountain (Author), St. Makarios of Corinth (Author)
The Philokalia is a collection of texts written between the fourth and the fifteenth centuries by spiritual masters of the Orthodox Christian tradition. First published in Greek in 1782, then translated into Slavonic and later into Russian, The Philokalia has exercised an influence in the recent history of the Orthodox Church far greater than that of any book apart from the Bible. It is concerned with themes of universal importance: how man may develop his inner powers and awake from illusion; how he may overcome fragmentation and achieve spiritual wholeness; how he may attain the life of contemplative stillness and union with God.
"This excellent English translation, which takes into account the latest scholarly research into the original works, represents a major 'gift' from the wise men of the East. The fluency of the literary style of this translation and the practical understanding which these writings reveal for the spiritual predicaments facing each Christian in every generation brings the book well within the range of the ordinary reader who seeks spiritual counsel. The complete Philokalia covers the period from the fourth to the fifteenth century. Volume One . . . takes us up to the eighth century and is thus the common heritage of Orthodox and Catholics."