The Akathistos Hymn

The Akathistos is the most famous of all surviving Byzantine kontakia. This work, which celebrates the annunciation of the Virgin and the nativity of Christ, consists of two prooemia (introductory hymns) and 24 strophes bound by an alphabetic acrostic.

Passionately Drunk

The Philokalia, that wonderful collection of writings by the fathers on prayer of the heart, has as its full title, The Philokalia of the Neptic Saints gathered from our Holy Theophoric Fathers, through which, by means of the philosophy of ascetic practice and contemplation, the intellect is purified, illumined, and made perfect. Little wonder it is known popularly as the Philokalia.

When Requests are Made to God and are Not Immediately Answered

We must not become upset if for a while the Lord seems to allow our requests to go unheard. Naturally the Lord would be delighted if in one moment all men became dispassionate. But He knows, in His providence, that this would not be to their advantage.

Saint John of the Ladder and the Frog

When we draw water from a well, it can happen that we inadvertently also bring up a frog. When we acquire virtues we can sometimes find ourselves involved with the vices which are imperceptibly interwoven with them.