Wednesday, January 13, 2016

St. Maximos of Kapsokalyvia and Fourteenth-Century Athonite Hesychasm

By Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia

"Here every stone breathes prayers", Fr. Nikon of Karoulia (1875-1963) used to say when walking along the steep and rocky paths of Athos. But while each part of Athos possesses its own distinctive sense of the divine presence, there is one region in particular where the spirit of the Holy Mountain can be felt with an especial intensity. This is the district extending eastwards from the Skete of Great Saint Anna, round the southern tip of the peninsula, as far as the Great Lavra. In scenery it is the wildest and most spectacular area of Athos, a land of ravines and precipices, with the slopes of the Mountain rising abruptly from the sea to the summit over six thousand five hundred feet above. Access here is only by boat or by rough footpaths; for the roads that disfigure the Athonite landscape elsewhere have not penetrated as far as this, and it may be hoped that they never will. There are no cenobitic houses in this section of Athos but only small hermitages, some grouped in monastic villages such as Great Saint Anna or Kerasia, others hidden and isolated. This is the living heart of Athos, its inner sanctuary.

It was in this part of Athos that St. Maximos of Kapsokalyvia lived as a hermit in the fourteenth century. The present-day Skete of Kapsokalyvia, named after him and dating from the early eighteenth century, stands close to the sea shore, more or less midway between Saint Anna and Lavra. When Maximos first came there, it must have been uninhabited and virtually inaccessible, a mass of scrub and thickets on a stony hillside. Maximos represents the Athonite ascetic life in its most uncompromising form. At an early age he felt drawn to the vocation of the fool in Christ, the salos or iurodivyi. He had no possessions except the single ragged garment that he wore, although at least he did have some clothing, instead of going about naked, as a few Athonite hermits continue to do up to the present day(1). But for much of his life he had no settled dwelling, however humble. His home was sometimes the open air, sometimes a cave or else a temporary hut of branches, which he regularly burnt before moving on elsewhere - hence his name "Kapsokalyvites", "of the burnt hut". But while in this way pursuing an extreme form of monastic kenosis and self-stripping, he was also in direct contact with one of the leading Hesychasts of his day, St. Gregory the Sinaite. Despite his seeming eccentricity, Maximos is an important witness to the way in which inner prayer, especially the Jesus Prayer, and the vision of divine light were understood in fourteenth-century Athos.

St. Maximos of Kapsokalyvia remains a neglected figure(2). He himself left no writings, but there survive four accounts of his life in Greek, and of these the two more ancient have been published(3). They were both written in the late fourteenth century by monks who had known him personally. St. Niphon the Hieromonk, author of the first vita, lived with Maximos for several years; the closeness of their relationship is indicated by the fact that Maximos, not long before the end of his life, handed over to Niphon the cell in which he had been living(4). Niphon was evidently a man of little education, and his work is unpolished in style, ungrammatical, and confused in its narrative. But it is also vivid and full of circumstantial detail, often referring by name to specific persons and places, and it seems to have at many points a sound historical basis. The author of the second life, Theophanes, higoumenos of Vatopedi monastery on Mount Athos and subsequently Metropolitan of Peritheorion in Thrace, is better educated, writing in a more literary style and with a more coherent narrative, although he too leaves a number of gaps in his account. It is clear that he had consulted Niphon's life, which he often follows closely, although he also supplies much independent information. These two biographies, despite their shortcomings, provide a relatively detailed "icon" of the Saint, indicating how his life and personality were remembered by his friends in the years immediately following his death.

St. Maximos' dates can be fixed with some precision. After he had already been a monk for several years, he visited Constantinople during one of the periods when Athanasios Ι was patriarch (1289-93, 1303-9)(5), and so his date of birth cannot be much later than 1280-5. He survived into the 1360s, since in 1362 or 1363 he received a visit from Patriarch Kallistos I who was en route to Serbia, where he died shortly afterwards(6). According to Theophanes, Maximos himself was ninety-five when he died; Theophanes gives the day of his death, January 13 -the date on which his feast is still observed- but he supplies no indication of the year(7). If his age at death is given accurately, then his dates may be reckoned as c.1270/80 - c.1365/75. But the elderly often exaggerate their age, and Maximos was perhaps less advanced in years than he himself and his disciples imagined. His friend St Gregory the Sinaite, for example, who died in 1346 and whose date of birth is usually given as 1255, may well have been born ten or even fifteen years later than this(8). But there is in fact no lack of well-attested cases of monastic longevity, such as St. Euthymius (377-473) and St. Sabas (439-532) in the Judean wilderness. Ι myself recall meeting in 1973 a Greek monk on Athos, Fr. Ananias, who was nearly 100 and still very lively; but characteristically he magnified his age, claiming to be 105 (he died eventually in 1977, aged 103). It is thus by no means impossible that Maximos did indeed survive into his nineties.

St. Maximos was born in Lampsacus, on the Asiatic side of the Hellespont(9). His baptismal name was Manuel; following the common practice he retained the same initial letter when his name was changed at monastic profession. Not much is known about the social status of his parents; Theophanes states merely that they were "of not ignoble birth"(10). There is no evidence that the young Maximos received any higher education, and it seems that he did not even study grammar properly(11). From an early age, so we are told, he started to display signs of unusual piety, and in particular he had a special devotion to the Mother of God: "He prayed continually in the Church of the All-Ηoly", states Theophanes, "and, always imploring her aid, he sang to her in a sweet voice with divine longing and love." This veneration of the Theotokos, imbued with a warmly affective spirit, was to remain a distinctive trait throughout Maximos' life. As a child he also showed a lively compassion towards all in need, secretly distributing bread to the poor and giving away his clothes, so that he himself was left shivering from the winter cold - an anticipation of his future life of asceticism. According to Theophanes, his childhood was marked by a further feature that was likewise to characterize him in later years, salia or feigned madness: "to his parents and to everyone he pretended to be an imbecile (έξηχος)"(12).

At the age of seventeen, when his parents were beginning to seek out a wife for him, he left home for Mount Ganos in Thrace, where he became a monk(13). From the start he adopted a life of severe austerity, fasting, keeping vigil, sleeping on the ground, and in general maltreating his body so violently that his spiritual father had to tell him to be more moderate(14). Both his biographers make special reference to this spiritual father, Mark by name, and they insist upon the way in which Maximos showed "obedience" (υποταγή) to a geron, an "old man" or "elder"(15). Here he exemplifies a crucial feature recurring throughout the history of Eastern Christian monasticism. The tradition has to be received from another; the neophyte cannot initiate himself, but on setting out upon the ascetic way he needs the guidance of what Celtic Christendom calls a "soul friend" (anmchara). "If you see a young monk climbing up to heaven by his own will," state the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, "grasp him by the foot and pull him down, for this is to his profit"(16). More important to the novice than the monastery to which he is attached is the elder who acts as his immediate teacher. Obedience is not so much institutional as personal; it is directed, not primarily to the office of the abbot or to the letter of the monastic rule, but rather to the living person of Christ and to the living person of the spiritual father who acts as Christ's representative. It is impossible to understand Byzantine monasticism, whether on Athos or elsewhere, without allowing for the role of the geron. Α classic instance is the relationship between St. Symeon the Studite and St Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022), of whom Professor Joan Hussey has written at length in her study Church and Learning in the Byzantine Empire 867-1185 (London, 1937). Expressing the principles by which he himself had lived as a young monk, the New Theologian writes: "you should entrust yourself entirely to your spiritual father... Abide by the decision of your spiritual father as if everything were in the hands of God." The disciple is to do nothing without his elder's decision; he will not even drink a cup of water unless the other tells him "Drink"(17). The same insistence on the immediate link between master and disciple characterizes Hasidic Judaism. Ιn the words of Martin Buber, "The way cannot be learned out of a book, or from hearsay, but can only be communicated from person to person"(18). Such also seems to have been the experience of the young Maximos.

After the death of his spiritual father, St. Maximos moved to Mount Papikion, sometimes incorrectly identified with Rila, but in reality situated on the border between Thrace and Macedonia(19). Here he met monks who lived outside the actual enclosure of the monastery, in the open air or in remote mountain caves, clothed in rags, totally without possessions (20). These solitaries foreshadowed the path that Maximos was himself to follow, since the greater part of his monastic life on Athos was spent outside the monastic walls in the "desert" (έρημος). The transfer from Ganos to Papikion is the first in a number of moves during the course of Maximos' monastic career. Such wanderings are by no means exceptional in Byzantine monasticism. St. Gregory the Sinaite, for instance, ranged far more widely than Maximos did: made a rasophore in Cyprus, he then received full profession on Sinai; from there he moved to Jerusalem, Crete, Athos, and then to Paroria on the Bulgarian border, returning for a time to Athos before his final period in Paroria. Monastic stability is differently understood in the two halves of Christendom. For a Western monk in the Benedictine tradition it means to remain from profession until death in one specific house, whereas in Orthodox monasticism the emphasis is primarily upon interior stability, upon continuing faithfulness to the ascetic life, and in particular upon sitting still within one's cell. As the Desert Fathers of Egypt used to say, "Go, sit in your cell, and your cell will teach you everything"(21). The outer locality of the cell may change, but its inner reality remains the same.

From Mount Papikion St. Maximos went on pilgrimage to Constantinople(22). Theophanes mentions in particular how the Saint venerated the Hodigitria icon of the Mother of God, receiving as he did so a vision of the Theotokos in heavenly glory(23). Fervent devotion to the Virgin, as we have seen, had already marked him in childhood, and recurs throughout his life; Theophanes appropriately calls the Mother of God his "sponsor" or "godmother" (ανάδoχoς)(24). One of the things that later attracted him to Athos was the special patronage that it enjoyed from the Virgin(25). While in the capital, according to his biographers, Maximos met Emperor Andronicus ΙΙ and also Patriarch Athanasios Ι, himself an ascetic and a lover of monks, and he was honoured as a holy man by both of them. At the court he also encountered Theodore Metochites, by whom he was not impressed. When Metochites made a sarcastic comment on Maximos' ungrammatical diction, the latter retorted by calling the Grand Logothete "empty-headed", and thereafter he ceased to frequent the palace(26).

While at Constantinople Maximos, reviving a trait displayed in his childhood, took to behaving as a salos or fool in Christ. Theophanes likens him to St. Andrew Salos(27), whose life Maximos may well have read. As in the case of St. Andrew Salos (ninth-tenth century) and of his more historical prototype, St. Symeon of Emesa (sixth century), Maximos' "folly" was not involuntary but deliberate, and Theophanes states explicitly that he only "pretended" to be deranged, practising "feigned" madness(28). His motive was to avoid receiving honour as a holy man. Ιn this way he conforms to the description given by St. Isaac the Syrian (seventh century), who treats the salos as an example of humility: "Others, lest they should be praised οn account of wonderful deeds performed in secret, have assumed the habits of lunatics, though they were in the full possession of their wits and their serenity"(29). Maximos adopted the typical outward marks of the salos, living in uncompromising poverty, becoming a homeless vagrant, going about "barefoot, with head uncovered, wearing only a single hair garment, all torn and ragged"(30). When the Patriarch invited him to stay in one of the Constantinopolitan monasteries, he refused, preferring to sleep in a church porch; with his characteristic devotion to the Virgin, he chose the church of the Theotokos at Blachernae(31). Ιn contrast, however, to Symeon of Emesa and many other saloi, he never behaved in an intentionally scandalous and provocative manner.

From Constantinople St. Maximos journeyed by way of Thessalonica to Mount Athos(32). The Ηοly Mountain was to be his residence for the remainder of his life. Both Niphon and Theophanes refer to the unsettled conditions on Athos at this time, exposed as it was to constant incursions from the Turks, or "Ishmaelites" as they call them(33). Hermits, dwelling outside the monastery walls, were particularly vulnerable to attack. Initially Maximos settled within the Great Lavra, where he performed the duty of "timekeeper" (ωρολόγος), responsible for ringing the bell or beating the simandron at the appropriate hours(34). Presumably he would not have been assigned a task of this kind had his salia, as in the case of other holy fools, taken the form of disruptive practical jokes! Then, because he had a good voice and was skilled in chanting, he was transferred to sing in the choir(35). Once more his biographers stress the strictness of his monastic obedience (υποταγή, υπακοή). He used to go round seeking the counsel of the older brethren, although he does not seem at this stage to have had a particular spiritual father apart from the abbot(36).

Although dwelling in a cenobitic house, Maximos continued with the manner of life that he had adopted at Constantinople. He had no cell of his own, and lacked even the simple utensils that each monk would normally have for his personal use. He lived in the monastery as if "fleshless" (άσαρκος), taking from the refectory only the basic minimum of food necessary to keep alive. Most of the night he kept vigil, and his brief moments of sleep were snatched crouching on a low stool in the narthex of the church(37). As before, he was regarded by others as a salos(38). How widespread the practice of salia was in fourteenth-century Athos it is difficult to assess, but certainly Maximos was not the only example. His future companion and biographer Niphon, some time before he had come to know Maximos, acted as a fool in Christ. As with Maximos, his motive was humility, for he sought to avoid being required to exercise his priesthood(39). Another contemporary Athonite, St. Sabas the Younger, also assumed feigned madness; but he and Maximos seem never to have met and probably knew nothing of each other. Sabas' period of "folly" occurred while he was absent from the Holy Mountain, and its most striking features - his nakedness, apart from a loin-cloth, and his vow of total silence - are not found in the life of Maximos(40).

After spending an unspecified length of time in the Great Lavra, Maximos left the monastery to take up the eremitic life, which he then followed until his death. This move into the "desert" (έρημος) was prompted by a dream, in which the Mother of God told him to go out from the Great Lavra and climb to the summit of Athos. Displaying a reserve that is regularly found in Byzantine sources, Maximos did not at once obey; for while dreams often mark a turning-point in saints' lives, as they do in the Bible, ascetic writers such as St. Diadochus of Photice (fifth century) and St. John Climacus (seventh century) insist that they are to be treated with reserve(41). It was only after the dream had been repeated several times, and Maximos had begun to wonder whether it was not in fact a waking vision, that he eventually set out for the mountain-top. It was by no means exceptional for monks to make the ascent to the summit; there was a chapel there, dedicated to the Transfiguration, and on this occasion Maximos was accompanied by others. His companions chose to remain on the top only for a brief time, and so Maximos stayed behind alone. He continued there for three days and nights, according to his biographers, despite the determined efforts of the demons to dislodge him. At night they produced storms of thunder and lightning, by day the noise of enemy troops climbing the slopes and about to attack. Perhaps the storms were real enough, and there is no question about the awe felt by Maximos during his solitary vigil on the precipitous peak. Then the Virgin appeared to him once more -this time, so he believed, while he was definitely awake- and fed him with heavenly bread, instructing him to settle on the mountain slopes below the summit(42).

Maximos now pursued a nomadic existence, moving from place to place, enduring conditions of extreme cold during the winter. For much of the time he seems to have been on the high ground several thousand feet above sea level. Very probably in the course of his wanderings he stayed on occasion near the present site of Kapsokalyvia, close to the sea, although the fourteenth-century biographers do not associate him specifically with this locality. But in the eighteenth-century vita of St. Akakios (d. 1730), founder of the existing skete, it is said that Maximos lived there, and the oral tradition used here by the vita may well have a basis in historical fact(43). His models, during this "desert" stage of his life, were the fourth century Egyptian hermit Onuphrius and the ninth-century solitary Peter the Athonite, the chief representative of the pre-cenobitic period of Athonite monasticism(44). Clothed as ever in a single garment and barefoot, he lived sometimes in the open air, without shelter or roof, keeping himself alive on plants, acorns and nuts, and calling occasionally on other hermits who supplied him with a little food; even so, he never ate more than bread and salt, with a little wine(45). At other times he settled in a cave or built himself a simple hut, not of stone, but of leaves, straw and branches. It was at this period of his life that he began the practice that particularly caught the imagination of his contemporaries and gave him his name, burning his hut and moving elsewhere as soon as his dwelling-place became known. For most of the time, however, he succeeded in remaining hidden. The region of his wanderings, extending approximately from Lavra to Kerasia, is a large and complex tract, thickly wooded, full of rocks and steep valleys, which up to the present still remains in many parts pathless and deserted, especially on the higher ground. Even today a hermit can live here for years on end, unobserved and meeting nobody.

It is not clear how far, if at all, Maximos shared in corporate liturgical worship during this period of his life. There are no surviving stories about him visiting the monasteries for the vigils at Easter and other Great Feasts, as the hermits often did, nor is there any indication where and how often he received Holy Communion. But vitae of hermits regularly say nothing on this point - the Life of St. Antony of Egypt (d. 356), for example, attributed (perhaps correctly) to St. Athanasius of Alexandria, makes no reference at all to Antony's eucharistic practice - and it would be rash to draw a negative conclusion from this silence. Some solitaries kept the reserved sacrament in their cells and communicated themselves from it(46); but it is doubtful whether this practice continued as late as the fourteenth century, and in any case the primitive conditions in which Maximos lived would have rendered
reservation impossible.

Maximos continued with this nomadic way of life for about ten years(47), after which, on the advice of St Gregory the Sinaite, he stopped burning his hut and settled down in a single spot, continuing in the same cell(48). To this meeting with Gregory we shall return shortly; most probably it took place before 1325, the year in which Gregory left the Holy Mountain for Paroria, but it may possibly have been in the 1330s, when he returned for a time to Athos(49). Ιn the place that Maximos selected there was a chapel dedicated to the Virgin; this was about three miles from a kathisma named after a certain "Kyr Isaias" (το Ησαΐου, τα Κυρ Ησαΐου), which in its turn was about one hour to the south of Lavra. Above the cell there was a cave that he often used(50). But, although now fixed in a single place, he continued otherwise with the same strict asceticism: "his cell was altogether bare of possessions; he did not possess even a needle or a spade or two garments; he had no bread, no wallet, not a single coin"(51). Here he remained for fourteen years. Finally, troubled by demons, he handed over his cell to his companion Niphon and moved closer to the Great Lavra, so as to be within earshot of the monastery bells. It was here that he died. At his own request he was buried in the grave that he had prepared for himself beside his cell(52).

Among his fellow-Athonites Maximos was variously viewed. Some monks considered that he was not so much a fool in Christ as simply a fool. But by others he was held in honour for his gifts of discernment, clairvoyance and prophecy (διάκρισις, διόρασις, πρoόρασις)(53). Gradually he acquired the reputation of a miracle-worker, and it was said that he could heal the possessed and cast out demons(54). His biographer Theophanes claimed to have seen him fly through the air(55). Cases of levitation, while less common in the Christian East than in the West, are by no means unknown; examples can be found in the lives of St. Luke of Steiris (tenth century)(56), of St. Symeon the New Theologians(57) and of the Russian St. Seraphim of Sarov (1759-1833)(58). As his fame spread, Maximos began to receive distinguished visitors, for St. Gregory the Sinaite was not the only person to seek him out. According to both Niphon and Theophanes, the Emperors John V Palaeologus and John VI Cantacuzene, while on a joint pilgrimage to Athos, came specially to see him. If historical, this must have occurred around the year 1350. He told them to show mercy to offenders and to assist the poor, and also predicted that Cantacuzene would become a monk, sending him after his departure a gift of dry bread, garlic and an onion, the normal monastic fare(59). Another visitor was the Ecumenical Patriarch Κallistos Ι, who called at Athos while on his way to Serbia in 1362-3. Maximos foretold the patriarch's coming death, starting to sing the funeral service as he left(60).

What have the two biographies of St. Maximos to say about his theological sympathies? Both lives are written from a standpoint that is not only Hesychast but also more specifically Palamite. Maximos is represented as a firm supporter of Gregory Palamas. He asked a visiting monk for information about the miracles of the Archbishop of Thessalonica, who had recently died(61). Akindynos he condemned as "the servant of Antichrist", and one of Akindynos' followers who came to see Maximos received a sharp reprimand: "Keep away," shouted the Kapsokalyvite, while the other was still a long way off, "Ι cannot endure the stink of your words"(62). He rebuked another monk for being a "Messalian", that is, presumably, a Bogomil(63). Attempts were made in the fourteenth century by critics of Palamas to identify his standpoint with that of the Bogomils; but Maximos, while in no sense a learned man, appears to have been well aware of the difference.

On a number of occasions Theophanes speaks about the divine light. He understands it in a Palamite way, although without connecting it specifically with Christ's Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, and without making any reference to the essence-energies distinction. But this last was a subtle and intricate point of theology which only a few Athonite monks can have clearly grasped, and so it is not surprising to find it left unmentioned. Ιn general, however, Palamite principles are assumed. When Maximos received his vision of the Mother of God on the peak of Athos, Theophanes says that she appeared surrounded by "unendurable and never-setting divine light"; here he surely has in mind, as Palamas did, a supranatural, uncreated radiance, not a natural, physical light(64). Α monk saw Maximos himself similarly transfigured, with "divine light shining like lightning around him"; when the Saint told him "Come closer", he could not do so "because of the radiance that he beheld"(65). Sometimes the lives use the language of fire rather than light. The monk Arsenios, for example, reported that he saw the Saint "as a flame of fire", and thought that his cell must be ablaze. When the fire disappeared, Arsenios inquired, "What's been going on?" But Maximos offered no explanation, merely replying, "I've no idea what you are talking about"(66). Arsenios described another visit in these terms:

Ι had heard a rumour about an attack of the Ishmaelites, and Ι went and warned the geron, telling him, "Say a prayer about this." And he answered me, "Go in peace." Then Ι acted deceitfully and pretended to go away. And remaining hidden nearby, Ι saw him stand up and hold out his arms aloft for a long time. And there came a cloud around him, and a flame of fire rose up above his head and reached as far as the branches of the trees, so that Ι thought the branches would be burnt. Ιn fear Ι fled to my cell, bewildered and full of amazement. Next morning Ι came and asked him, "What are you doing, father?" And he said in answer, "As you told me to do, Ι'm praying about the Ishmaelites. Last night Ι was greatly afraid"(67).

Niphon and Theophanes simply record these appearances of light and fire without offering any explanation, although Theophanes does describe the light as "non-material" (άϋλον) and divine (θείον), echoing the terminology of Palamas(68). Incidents of this kind, in which the saints appear transfigured by supranatural light, have a long history in the Christian East. There are some striking instances in the Apophthegmata Patrum, dating back to the fourth and fifth centuries, which have probably influenced the accounts by Maximos' biographers. When St. Arsenios the Great was praying in his cell, a disciple looked through the window and saw the old man "entirely as fire". The story ends much as does the incident in which Maximos was visited by the monk Arsenios: when the disciple knocked on the door, Abba Arsenios emerged and asked, "Have you been knocking long? You didn't see anything here, did you?" And in fear and bewilderment the disciple simply replied "No"(69). Α similar story is told of Abba Joseph of Panepho: "The old man stood up and stretched his hands towards heaven. His fingers became like ten torches of fire, and he said, 'If you wish, you can become entirely as fire'"(70). This could be understood metaphorically, but probably more is intended than that. Certainly what is said of Abba Pambo can hardly be meant as mere metaphor: "God so glorified him that no one could look at his face, because of the glory that his face had.... Just as Moses received the image of the glory of Adam, when his face was glorified, so the face of Abba Pambo shone like lightning, and he was as a king seated on his throne"(71). As Abba Sisoes lay dying, surrounded by his disciples, "his countenance shone like the sun"(72). The same thing is recorded of St. Niphon, the biographer of St. Maximos: before his death his face shone "more than the sun"(73). Possibly there is reminiscence here of St. John Chrysostom, who insists that at the Transfiguration Christ's face shone not just "like the sun", as the Gospel account states (Matt. 17:2), but "more than the sun"(74).

There is another interesting example of bodily transfiguration in the lives of two fourteenth-century Hesychasts who flourished in the generation following Maximos, Kallistos and Ignatios Xanthopoulos. According to St. Symeon of Thessalonica (d. 1429), "While still in this present life they received the pledge (αρραβών) of the divine light, being purified in contemplation and in works; and like the apostles they were granted the divine illumination on the mountain. And many were given clear evidence of this; for the two of them appeared with their faces shining as lightning, like Stephen, since grace filled not only their hearts but their faces. So, like the great Moses, they were seen - as eye-witnesses have testified - radiant as the sun in their appearance"(75). Similar cases of bodily glorification can be found in the Russian tradition, most notably in the life of St. Seraphim of Sarov(76). There are also Western instances, such as the Anglican Evelyn Underhill(77).

Niphon and Theophanes simply refer, then, to Maximos' bodily transfiguration as a fact, without discussing the nature of the light. But all that they say is consistent with the theological interpretation provided by Gregory Palamas, for whom this light -whether inwardly beheld during prayer οr outwardly manifested in the body- is nothing less than the uncreated energies of God, the divine glory that shone from Christ at his Transfiguration on Tabor, and that will clothe the bodies of the righteous in the age to come after the final resurrection. "Is it not evident", he writes, "that there is but one and the same divine light: that which the apostles saw on Tabor, which purified souls behold even now, and which is the reality of the eternal blessings to come?"(78) According to Palamas, while the fullness of our bodily transfiguration is reserved for the last day, it is anticipated in certain cases even in the present life. "If in the age to come", he writes, "the body will share with the soul in ineffable blessings, it must certainly share in them, so far as possible, even now"(79). Gazing upon the divine light, the Hesychast becomes that which he contemplates: "He who has received the divine energy ... is wholly as light"(80). Ιn developing these views, Palamas always claimed that he was not putting forward a personal opinion of his own but presenting the living, shared experience of the Hesychast monks of the Holy Mountain. The accounts of St. Maximos of Kapsokalyvia substantiate this claim, illustrating as they do the experiential background out of which Palamite theology grew.

What Hesychast prayer actually signified to Maximos is revealed most fully in the long conversation between him and Gregory the Sinaite, recounted by Theophanes but not mentioned by Niphon(81). Almost certainly this includes the interpretation of Theophanes as well as the original experiences of Maximos himself, who is unlikely to have expressed himself in such an elaborate and technical way. There is, however, no reason why Maximos and Gregory should not have met; and, since some of the statements attributed to Maximos are highly unusual, as we shall shortly note, may they not indeed reflect his strongly marked and distinctive character rather than the opinions of his biographer? Ιn any event, whether historical or not, the conversation indicates the type of mystical teaching circulating on Athos at the end of the fourteenth century, a generation after the death of Palamas. Gregory, so we are told, having learnt about Maximos' fame and wishing to meet him, sent his disciples to seek out the hermit. But Maximos was still in his nomadic phase; he had recently burnt his cell, and no one knew where he had gone. The disciples searched in vain for two days, suffering severely from the winter cold. Eventually Maximos came out from hiding of his own accord, and agreed to meet Gregory. The Sinaite pressed Maximos to tell him about his spiritual life. Initially he refused, claiming that his wits were deranged: πεπλανημένος ειμί. As ever, folly serves as a mask behind which to shelter, as a way of avoiding praise. Under pressure he then consented to give a full answer. He began by telling Gregory about his youthful experiences, about his "feigned madness and folly", his vision of the Mother of God, and the divine light that encircled him then and on other occasions. "Tell me", asked Gregory, "do you possess inner prayer (νοερά προσευχή)?" "Yes," Maximos answered with a smile, "Ι have possessed it from my youth." And, stressing once more his special love for the Mother of God, he went on to describe an experience that had happened to him before he became a hermit. One day he was praying to the Virgin with tears for the grace of inner prayer:

And when with longing Ι kissed her most pure icon, suddenly Ι felt within my chest (στήθος) and in my heart (καρδία) a great warmth (θέρμη), not burning me up but filling me with refreshment and sweetness and deep compunction (κατάνυξις). From that moment, father, my heart began to say the prayer inwardly; and at the same time my reason (λογιστικόν), together with my intellect (νους), holds fast to the memory of Jesus and of my Theotokos, and it has never left me(82).

This remarkable passage contains several features characteristic of St. Maximos, in particular his love for the Mother of God and the strongly affective note that distinguishes his spiritual personality. By the phrases "the prayer" and, still more clearly, "the memory of Jesus"(83), Maximos evidently means the Jesus Prayer, the repeated invocation of the name of Jesus, although there is no indication what precise form of words he employed. As a hermit Maximos would not have recited the Divine Office -the outward conditions of his life clearly rendered this impossible- but would have replaced it by the Jesus Prayer. In saying, "it has never left me", Maximos implies that this "memory" or "remembrance" (μνήμη) has become somehow continuous, not a periodic activity but an uninterrupted state conferred by divine grace. He has attained what the Russian writer Theophan the Recluse (1815-92) terms unceasing "self-impelled" or "self acting" prayer(84). Although the passage in Theophanes draws no clear distinction between the different levels of prayer, significantly it refers both to the intellect (νους) and to the heart (καρδία). Elsewhere in the vita by Theophanes, three levels are indicated, when it is said that "in his inner prayer (προσευχή νοερά) he always kept the Mother of God on his tongue, in his intellect (νους) and in his heart (καρδία)"(85). Here we have the standard threefold classification into oral prayer, mental prayer, and prayer of the heart, but perhaps this reflects Theophanes' interpretation rather than what Maximos himself said. Theophanes also states, "He had prayer always moving uninterruptedly and speaking in the mouth of his heart together with his intellect (νους)". This suggests that, to use the accepted Hesychast terminology, Maximos had made his intellect descend into his heart, thus uniting the two and turning his prayer into "prayer of the intellect in the heart"; but Theophanes' language is not very precise. He does, however, emphasize that the state attained by Maximos is "rare and hard to find"(86).

In the conversation with Gregory the Sinaite Maximos goes on to say that, as a result of his experience before the icon of the Virgin, he felt impelled to seek greater stillness (ησυχία), and so he left the monastery and moved into the desert. While saying the Jesus Prayer, so he recounts, he often passed into a state of "ecstasy" (έκστασις) and "ravishment" (αρπαγή νοός). Ιn a passage reminiscent of St. Isaac the Syrian(87), Maximos -or more probably Theophanes- maintains that at this point prayer in the strict sense comes to an end. The person praying no longer makes any effort of his own but is led by the Spirit; he is passive rather than active, as in the "infused" contemplation of Western mystical theology. Maximos refers in this connection to the vision of divine light:

When the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within the man of prayer, then prayer ceases, because the intellect (νους) is swallowed up by the presence of the Holy Spirit, and the man cannot exert any effort of his own but is wholly obedient, following wherever the Spirit wishes to carry him, whether it be into an immaterial region of inconceivable divine light (εις αέραν άϋλον αμηχάνου θείου φωτός) or into some other amazing contemplation that is equally hard to understand, or into transcendent divine converse…

So long as the intellect remains in its natural state, it thinks only the things that are in accordance with its own nature and power. But when the fire of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit itself, draws near to it, then it is carried away by the power of the Spirit and kindled into flame by the fire of the Godhead, and it is dissolved in its thoughts and swallowed up by the divine light, and becomes itself entirely divine light, of surpassing brilliance(88).

Here we observe once more the theme of bodily transfiguration. Gregory the Sinaite proceeds to warn Maximos of the dangers or error (πλάνη) and self-deception, and Maximos replies by carefully distinguishing between the signs of delusion and the signs of grace. One of the main signs of grace is a sense of wholeness, of total calm and peace(89). Gregory brings the conversation to a close by advising Maximos to cease moving from place to place and to stop burning his hut: "But, as the wise Isaac the Syrian says, gather yourself together in one place and sit there, so as to bear fruit". He also tells Maximos to abandon his "folly" in Christ: "Stop playing the fool and pretending to be an idiot (άφες τoυ μωραίνειν και σαλίαν από τoυ νυν υποκρίνεσθαι), for this causes scandal to those who do not know your true state"(90). Here, as often in the Byzantine sources, the vocation of salia or feigned madness is regarded with considerable reserve and even disapproval. Maximos agrees to settle in one spot, and so the meeting between the two concludes.

There are several points of particular interest in this conversation. At the outset, three omissions may be noted. First, no mention is made of the so-called "physical method" used by the Hesychasts, of the techniques of respiratory control and inner exploration described by Nicephorus the Hesychast, pseudo-Symeon, Gregory the Sinaite and the Xanthopouloi, and defended by Gregory Palamas in his dispute with Barlaam the Calabrian(91). This confirms the impression, gained from reading Palamas himself, that such techniques, while theologically justifiable, are not a central and essential element in Hesychasm. Palamas in fact considered them useful chiefly to beginners(92). Secondly, there is no reference to the κομβοσχοίνιον, the prayer rope or Byzantine rosary, widely used by Orthodox monks today. To the best of my knowledge, the other fourteenth-century Greek sources are also silent about the prayer-rope, and it would be interesting to establish, from literary texts or from icons, when it first made its appearance. Thirdly, nothing is explicitly said about the need for the mind during prayer to transcend the discursive reason and to be stripped of all thoughts (λογισμοί) and images. This is something to which Gregory the Sinaite attached great importance: no use is to be made of the imagination (φαντασία), he insists(93); "stillness (ησυχία) is the laying aside of thoughts"(94); "always keep your intellect free from colours, images and forms"(95). Ιn Theophanes' account, by contrast, there is no reference to "apophatic" or non-iconic prayer of this kind. Perhaps the picture presented of Maximos' own manner of praying -with his eyes open in front of an icon, in an evidently "affective" way, with "longing" and tears- represents here a more popular approach than that expounded by the Sinaite. How many of the simpler and less educated Athonite monks, one wonders, would have been able to pray in the imageless, non-discursive manner recommended by Gregory?

In other respects, however, the teaching ascribed to Maximos conforms with some closeness to the standpoint of Gregory the Sinaite, and also of Palamas. The section on the signs of error and the signs of grace, and in particular the appeal to a sense of assurance, calmness and peace, agrees with what the Sinaite says(96). Behind Theophanes and the Sinaite, there lies here a long tradition extending back to the fourth-century Life of Antony attributed to Athanasius(97). But there is one predictable point of difference: here, as elsewhere, Gregory insists on the need to strip the intellect of "thoughts" and to avoid any kind of shape or form in visions of light(98). Maximos says nothing of this, but merely remarks that when the light comes from evil spirits it is "fiery and not exceptionally bright", while the divine light is "exceptionally bright" (υπέρλαμπρον)(99).

Another point of close agreement between Theophanes and Gregory the Sinaite is the allusion to the feeling of warmth (θέρμη) that arose in Maximos' heart as he prayed before the icon of the Theotokos. Gregory regards this feeling as a decisive turning point in the life of prayer: "The true beginning of prayer is a feeling of warmth (θέρμη) in the heart"(100). It remains unclear in Theophanes' account whether the sense of warmth is merely physical or possesses a spiritual, non-physical character. Gregory the Sinaite distinguishes between a natural warmth, bodily in origin, due to a "surfeit of blood", and true spiritual warmth, the fruit of grace(101). But the less precise language put in Maximos' mouth leaves the question open. When Maximos speaks about experiences of "ecstasy" and "ravishment", precisely the same language can be found in Gregory(102). When Maximos says that the intellect is "swallowed up by the divine light, and becomes itself divine light", once again there are striking parallels in the Sinaite. Under the influence of the divine light, Gregory writes, "the intellect becomes non-material and light-like (φωτoειδής), being ineffably joined to God so as to become one spirit with him"(103); "immersing its thoughts in the light, it becomes itself light"(104). As already noted, similar language is used in Palamas(105).

But, if much that Maximos says to Gregory the Sinaite can be paralleled from the works of the Sinaite himself, there is one feature in the conversation not to be found, so far as Ι am aware, in any other fourteenth-century Hesychast text. Maximos' devotion to the Mother of God is in itself not at all exceptional. Symeon the New Theologian, for example, in his account of his first vision of the divine light, associates the Theotokos very closely with the vision(106); Palamas also showed a particular personal devotion to the Virgin(107). What is altogether less usual, however, if not unparalleled at this epoch, is the way in which Maximos refers to "the memory of Jesus and of my Theotokos" (την μνήμην τoυ Ιησoύ και της Θεoτόκoυ μoυ)(108). Ι can recall no occasion in the writings of Gregory the Sinaite, Gregory Palamas, or Kallistos and Ignatios Xanthopoulos, in which the Jesus Prayer is linked in this way with the Mother of God. It is true that, from the seventeenth century onwards, examples can be found in which an invocation of the Theotokos is incorporated into the formula of the Jesus Prayer; for example, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, through the Theotokos have mercy on me a sinner"(109). But I have come across no such formula in the Byzantine period. Whether Maximos actually used a formula of this type we cannot say, as Theophanes nowhere indicates the form of words that he employed when practising the "memory of Jesus". But, whatever its precise significance, the phrase "the memory of Jesus and of my Theotokos" is otherwise unknown.

St. Gregory Palamas in the Triads distinguishes three kinds of Christian: first, those who possess πείρα, direct personal experience of God; secondly, those who do not themselves enjoy such personal experience, but who believe and trust the saints who have it; and thirdly, those who lack personal experience of their own, and yet refuse to trust and learn from the ones who possess it(110). Only the third group is condemned by Palamas, while those within the second group are commended for their trustful humility. But it is the members of the first group, the saints taught by God, the ones who know - not at second hand but from their own direct experience - that constitute in his eyes the true and authentic theologians. One such theologian -not in the academic but in the experiential sense- is St. Maximos of Kapsokalyvia.

When describing the authorities on which his doctrine is based, Palamas speaks first
of writers from previous generations, "the ancients", as he terms them; but he then goes on to mention other spiritual fathers active in his own day, known to him personally, from whom he has received teaching by word of mouth(111). Tradition for him is not merely written records from the past but a continuing personal testimony. There is no evidence that Palamas had ever met Maximos or even knew of his existence, and yet with good reason he might have included the Kapsokalyvite among the contemporary authorities to whom he appealed. Much more than an eccentric or an extremist, Maximos of Kapsokalyvia is a true witness to tradition - to that continuing tradition of living, experiential theology which today, as in the fourteenth century, constitutes the inner reality of the Holy Mountain of Athos.


1. - For a contemporary example of a naked Athonite hermit, see J. Valentin, The Monks of Mount Athos (London, 1960), p.37. In the early sources such monks, wandering naked among the animals and living on grass and herbs, are termed βοσκοί, "grazers": see G.W.H.Lampe, A Patristic Greek Lexicon (Oxford, 1961), p. 301.

2. - A brief and incomplete account of Maximos can be found in Θρησκευτική και Ηθική Εγκυκλοπαιδεία, 8 (Athens, 1966), cols. 624-5. He is passed over by the Dictionnaire de Spiritualité, and is not mentioned in Irénée Hausherr's study of the Jesus Prayer, Noms du Christ et voies d'oraison, OCA, 157 (Rome, 1960), or in J. Meyendorff, Introduction a l'étude de Grégoire Palamas, Patristica Sorbonensia, 3 (Paris, 1959). But his significance is appreciated by 'Un Moine de 1'Eglise d'Orient' [Lev Gillet], La prière de Jésus, 3rd ed. (Chevetogne, 1959), pp. 47-49.

3. - Edited by F. Halkin from transcriptions made by E. Kourilas: 'Deux vies de S. Maxime le Kausokalybe Ermite au Mont Athos (XIVe s.)', AB, 54 (1936), 38-112; Niphon's life is on 42-65, Theophanes' on 65-109. Two further lives of Maximos, dating from the early fifteenth century, by Ioannikios Kochylas and Makarios the Hieromonk, remain still unpublished. Cf. BHG, §§1236z-1237f. E.Kourilas, Ιστoρία του Ασκητισμoύ. Αθωνίται, Ι (Thessalonica, 1929), pp. 88-132, gives a biographical account on the basis of these four lives; there is also a brief summary of his life in R.M. Dawkins, The Monks of Athos (London, 1936), pp. 131-5. There is an anonymous life of Maximos' biographer Niphon, possibly written by Ieremias Patetas, likewise edited by Halkin from transcriptions by Kourilas: 'La vie de S. Niphon Ermite au Mont Athos (XIVe s.)', AB, 58 (1940), 5-27; cf. BHG, §1371, and Kourilas, Αθωνίται, Ι, pp. 133-6.

4. - Νiphon, Life of Maximos, 3 (p. 46,9); [?Ieremias Patetas], Life of Niphon, 4 (p. 16,13-Ι4).

5. - Theophanes, 5 (p. 71,6-7).

6. - Νiphon, 7 (p. 48,6-10); Τheophanes, 22 (p. 94,14-29).

7. - Τheophanes, 34 (p. 106,5-7. For further discussion of dating, see Ηalkin's note ad loc.

8. - D. Βalfour, Saint Gregory the Sinaite: Discourse on the Transfiguration, reprinted from Theologia (Athens, 1983), pp. 9, 62, prefers a date c. 1265.

9. - Νiphon, 2 (p. 43,36; Τheophanes, 2 (p. 67,30). 10.- Theophanes, 2 (p. 68,2).

11. - Τheophanes, 5 (p. 71,12).

12. - Theophanes, 2 (p). 68,24-31).

13. - Τheophanes, 3 (p. 69,5-7).

14. - Τheophanes, 3 (p. 69,14-15).

15. - Νiphon, 2 (p. 43,27); Theophanes, 3 (p. 69,9,17): only the latter gives Mark's name.

16. - Apophthegmata Patrum, anonymous series, § 244, ed. F. Νau, ROchr, 14 (1909), 364. 17.- Theological, Gnostic and Practical Chapters, Ι. 24-26, ed. J. Darrouzes, SC, 51 (Paris, 1957), pp. 46-47; cf. Ι. 55-59, Darrouzes, p. 55. See Β. Krivocheine, Dans la lumière du Christ: Saint Siméon le Nouveau Théologien (Chevetogne, 1980), pp. 13-20, 94-106; Κ. Ware, 'The Spiritual Father in Orthodox Christianity', in K.G. Culligan (ed.), Spiritual Direction: Contemporary Readings (Locust Valley, Ν.Υ., 1983), pp. 20-40.

18. - The Tales of the Hasidim: The Early Masters (New York, 1968), p. 256.

19. - Τheophanes, 4 (p. 69,24). On the locality, see Ηalkin's note ad loc.

20. - Theophanes, 4 (p. 70,1-5).

21. - Apophthegmata Patrum, alphabetical collection, Moses, 6, PG 65, col. 284C. Cf. Κ. Ware, 'Silence in Prayer: The Meaning of Hesychia', in Μ.Β. Ρennington, One Yet Two: Monastic Tradition East and West, Cistercian Studies Series, 29 (Kalamazoo, 1976), pp. 23-26.

22. - Τheophanes, 4 (p.70,10). Νiphon, 2 (p. 44,2-4), puts this journey at a later point, after Maximos had already settled on Athos, but the account in Theophanes is more detailed and appears more reliable.

23. - Τheophanes, 4 (p. 70,12-17), 5 (p. 73,24).

24. - Τheophanes, 9 (p. 78,l0). Niphon, on the other hand, nowhere mentions the Virgin Mary in his vita.

25. - Τheophanes, 8 (p. 75,6-9). 26.- Τheophanes, 5 (p. 71,16-17).

27. - Τheophanes, 4 (pp. 70,21-71,2). Niphon says nothing about Maximos' assumed "folly". For bibliography on the salos, see the notes in J. Grosdidier de Matons, 'Les thèmes d'édification dans la Vie d'André Salos', 4 (1970), 277-328, and in Κ. Ware, 'The fool in Christ as prophet and apostle', Sobornost incorporating Eastern Churches Review, 6, 2 (1984), 6-28. As can be seen from examples in J. Saward, Perfect Fools. Folly for Christ's Sake in Catholic and Orthodox Spirituality (Oxford, 1980), the madness of the holy fools might sometimes be genuine, not merely feigned.

28. - Τheophanes, 4 (p. 70,22); 14 (p. 83,15).

29. - Homily 6, trans. A.J. Wensinck, Mystical Treatises by Isaac of Nineveh (Amsterdam, 1923), p. 58; trans. Ηοly Transfiguration Monastery, The Ascetical Homilies of Saint Isaac the Syrian (Boston, Mass., 1984), p. 55; in the Greek version, Homily 56, ed. Ι. Spetsieris, Τα Ευρεθέντα Ασκητικά (Athens, 1895), p. 224.

30. - Τheophanes, 4 (p. 70,19-20).

31. - Τheophanes, 5 (p. 72,3-7).

32. - Τheophanes, 6 (p. 72,Ι4-16.

33. - Νiphon, 8 (p. 48,24), 12 (p. 51,28); Τheophanes, 23 (p. 95,7).

34. - Νiphon, 2 (p. 44,2). Τheophanes, 7 (p. 73,26-27, is less precise, saying merely that he performed "the most menial duties".

35. - Theophanes, 7 (p. 73,27-28).

36. - Τheophanes, 6 (p. 73,7-11); 7 (p. 73,24).

37. - Τheophanes, 7 (p. 74,25-31).

38. - Τheophanes, 14 (p. 83,15).

39. - Life of Νiρhοn, 3 (p. 15,4-5).

40. - The vita of Sabas, composed by Patriarch Philotheos Kokkinos, has been edited by Α.Papadopoulos-Kerameus, Ανάλεκτα Ιεροσολυμιτικής Στaχυολογίας, V (St Petersburg, 1898), 190-359; summarized in A.J. Festugière, Vie de Siméon le Fou et Vie de Jean de Chypre (Paris, 1974), pp. 223-49. Sabas was on Athos c.1301-c.1308, in a skete close to Karyes, and c.1328-1342, in or near Vatopedi. But his period of feigned madness began only after he had left Athos c.1308, and by the time of his return twenty years later he had begun to abandon the more extreme expressions of his "folly". Philotheos never applies the term σαλός to him, but speaks only of his μωρία.

41. - Diadochus, Chapters, 38, ed. Ε. Des Ρlaces, SC, 5 bis (Paris, 1955), p. 107; Climacus, Ladder, 3, PG 88, col. 669Β-672Β.

42. - Τheophanes, 9 (pp. 77,8-12; 78,10,22,28-29). For later occasions when he is fed by heavenly bread, see Νiphon, 9 (p. 49,5-19).

43. - On Akakios, see Κourilas, Αθωνίται, Ι, pp. 66-82.

44. - Νiphon, 2 (p. 44,6; cf. Theophanes, 6 (p. 73,1-2).

45. - Νiphon, 2 (p. 44,5-10); Τheophanes, 11 (p. 80,19-22). Ιn his own cell, when he had one, he kept only a little water, but no bread or other food: Νiphon, 30 (p. 64,3-4).

46. - See Βasil, Letters, 93 (Egypt, fourth century); St Luke of Steiris, Vita, PG 111, col. 456D-457A (Greece, tenth century).

47. - Νiphon, 2 (p. 44,11).

48. - Τheophanes, 16 (p. 88,13-14).

49. - Βalfour, Saint Gregory the Sinaite: Discourse on the Transfiguration, pp. 73, 77.

50. - Νiphon, 2 (p. 44,12-13); Τheophanes, 16 (p. 89,6) 31 (p. 102,13-Ι4); cf. 28 (p. 99,22). Halkin (44, n. 6) thinks that the "Panagia" in question is the chapel situated some two hours below the summit of Athos, about 5,000 feet above sea level, at the point where the tree zone gives place to bare rock. This must indeed be the "Panagia" mentioned by Niphon, 18 (p.56, 7), and by Theophanes, 9 (p. 79,11), where Maximos remained for a short time after his vision of the Mother of God on the summit. But it seems doubtful whether the "Panagia" near the kathisma of Κyr Isaias is the same as this, for Maximos could hardly have settled permanently and survived the winter at so great a height. Κourilas, Αθωνίται, Ι, pp. 66-69, 107-8, 118-19, is inclined to identify the "Panagia" near Kyr Isaias with the site of the Metamorphosis, above the sea about half-an-hour's walk from the present Kapsokalyvia.

51. - Theophanes, 16 (p. 89,12-14).

52. - Νiphon, 3 (p. 46,4-9), 13 (p. 52,6-8); Τheophanes, 31 (p. 102,13-15, 27-30). Cf. Life of Niphon, 4 (p. 16, Ι3-14).

53. - Τheophanes, 1 (p. 66,20-21).

54. - Νiphon, 5 (p. 47,1-25; Τheοphanes, 20 (p. 91,23-30; p. 92,14-27).

55. - Τheophanes, 28 (pp. 99,16-100,6. Νiphon, 28 (p. 62,1-15 describes what appears to be the same incident, but does not claim to have witnessed it personally; perhaps he was told about it by Theophanes.

56. - Supplementum ad Acta S. Lucae Iunioris, 12, ed. Ε. Μartini, ΑΒ, 13 (1894), 86, 12-15.

57. - Nicetas Stephanos, Life of St Symeon the New Theologian, 117 and 126, ed. Ι. Hausherr, OC, ΧΙΙ [45] (Rome, 1928), pp. 166,19; 180,17-18.

58. - G.P. Fedotov, Α Treasury of Russian Spirituality (London, 1950), pp. 255, 263. Cf. C. Cavarnos and Μ.-Β. Ζeldin, St. Seraphim of Sarov, Modern Orthodox Saints, 5 (Belmont, Mass., 1980), pp. 25, 36.

59. - Νiphon, 4 (p. 46,10-29), 20 (p. 58,2-3); Τheophanes, 21 (pp. 93,6-94,13).

60. - Νiphon, 7 (p. 48,6-10); Τheophanes, 22 (p. 94,14-29).

61. - Νiphon, 26 (p. 60,25).

62. - Νiphon, 6 (p. 47,26-32); Τheophanes, 20 (p. 91,30-92,4).

63. - Νiphon, 10 (p. 50,11-Ι5); Τheophanes, 20 (p. 92,4-9).

64. - Theophanes, 9 (p. 78,14).

65. - Τheophanes, 23 (p. 95,Ι); Νiphon, 8 (p. 48,13-15). 66.- Νiphon, 8 (p. 48,18-22).

67. - Νiphon, 8 (pp. 48,23-49,4). Cf. Τheophanes, 23 (p. 95,3-12); see also 19 (p. 91,12-15). 68.- Theophanes, 15 (p. 86,9), 33 (p.105,23-24). For άϋλον as an epithet for the divine light in Palamas, see, e.g., Triads in Defence of the Ηoly Hesychasts, ΙII.1. 22, ed. J. Μeyendorff, Spicilegium Sacrum Lovaniense, 30-31 (Louvain, 1959), p. 599,4.

69. - Apophthegmata Patrum, alphabetical collection, Arsenios, 27, PG 65, col. 96C.

70. - Joseph of Panepho, 7, PG 65, col. 229C. Cf. Joseph of Panepho, 6.

71. - Pambo, 1 and 12, PG 65, cols. 368C, 372Α; compare Exod. 34:29-30. Cf. Silvanus, 12, PG 65, col. 412C.

72. - Sisoes, 14, PG 65, col. 396Β; cf. Sisoes, 9, col. 393C.

73. - Life of Niphon, 10 (p. 20,22).

74. - Ηοmily after the capture of Eutropius outside the church, 10, PG 52, cols. 404-5.

75. - On divine prayer § 295, PG 155, col. 544CD. Cf. Matt. 17:l-2; Acts 6:15; Exod. 34:29-30.

76. - See V. Lossky, The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church (London, 1957), pp. 227-30.

77. - See Κ. Ware, 'The Transfiguration of the Body', in Α.Μ. Αllchin (ed.), Sacrament and Image: Essays in the Christian Understanding of Μan (The Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius, London, 1967), pp. 17-32.

78. - Triads, Ι.3. 43, ed. Μeyendorff, p. 205,28-31.

79. - Hagioritic Tome, 6, PG 150, col. 1233C; ed. Ρ. Christou, ΙΙ (Thessalonica, 1966), p.575.

80. - Homilies, 53, ed. S. Οikonomos (Athens, 1861), p. 177.

81. - Τheophanes, 13-16. On Gregory of Sinai, in addition to Balfour's fundamental study (note 8), see Κ. Ware, 'The Jesus Prayer in St Gregory of Sinai', Eastern Churches Review, 4(1972), 3-22; H.-V. Βeyer, "Die Lichtlehre der Monche des Vierzehnten und des Vierten Jahrhunderts, erortert am Beispiel des Gregorios Sinaites, des Euagrios Pontikos und des Ps. Makarios/Symeon', XVI. Internationaler Byzantinistenkongress, Akten 1/2, JOB, 31/2 (Vienna, 1981), 473-512. Gregory's own works are in PG 150, cols. 1240-1345; his vita, by the Palamite Kallistos Ι, Patriarch of Constantinople, is edited by Ν. Ροmialοvskii, Zapiski Istoriko- Filologicheskago Fakul'teta Imperatorskago S.-Peterburgskago Universiteta, 35 (St Petersburg, 1894-6).

82. - Theophanes, 15 (p. 85,11-Ι7).

83. - Cf. Τheophanes, 33 (p. 103,17).

84. - See Igumen Chariton of Valamo, The Art of Prayer. An Orthodox Anthology, trans. Ε. Κadlοubovsκy and Ε.Μ. Palmer (London, 1966), pp. 22-23, 71.

85. - Τheophanes, 9 (p. 77,24-25).

86. - Τheophanes, 7 (p. 74,14-15).

87. - Homily 22, trans. Wensinck, pp. 111-13; Homily 23, trans. Ηoly Transfiguration Monastery, pp. 115-17; Homilies 32-33, ed. Spetsieris, pp. 134-6.

88. - Theophanes, 15 (pp. 86,4-10; 86,33-87,4).

89. - Τheophanes, 15 (pp. 87,5-88,6).

90. - Τheophanes, 16 (p. 88,12-15,27-28). Cf. Isaac, Homily 26, title, in the Greek version, ed. Spetsieris, p. 109; this title does not appear in the Syriac.

91. - See Μeyendorff, Introduction a l'étude de Grégoire Palamas, pp. 70-72, 195-222; Balfour, Gregory the Sinaite, pp. 139-46; Warer 'The Jesus Prayer in St Gregory of Sinai', pp. 14-16.

92. - Triads, Ι. 2.7, ed. Μeyendοrff, p. 87,Ι7-Ι8.

93. - Chapters, 118, PG 150, col. 1284Α.

94. - How the hesychast should sit at prayer, PG 150, col. 1333Β. Gregory is quoting John Climacus, Ladder, 27, PG 88, col. 1112Α, who in turn is adapting a phrase of Evagrius, "Prayer is the laying aside of thoughts", On Prayer, 70, PG 79, col. 118lC.

95. - How the hesychast should sit at prayer, PG 150, col. 1340D.

96. - On stillness and prayer, 6-10, PG 150, cols. 1309C-1312C; On stillness and the two ways of prayer, 10, col. 1324Α-C; How the hesychast should sit at prayer, cols. 1344D-1345Α. Cf. Balfour, Gregory the Sinaite, pp. 133-6; Ware, 'The Jesus Prayer in St Gregory of Sinai', p. 19.

97. - Life of Antony, 35-37, PG 26, cols. 893Β-897Β. Cf. Macarius/Symeon, Homily 7. 3, ed. Η. Dörries, Ε. Klostermann, Μ.Kroeger (Berlin, 1964), 72-73; Evagrius, Practicus, 80, ed. Α. and C. Guillaumont, SC, 171 (Paris, 1971), 668-9; Barsanuphius and John of Gaza, Correspondence, ed. Νicοdemus/Schοinas (Volos, 1960), §§ 21, 60, 415, 454-5 (cols. 43a, 61a, 214a, 225a, 226a); French trans. L. Regnault and Ρ. Lemaire (Solesmes, 1972), §§ 21, 124, 415, 454-5 (pp. 27, 109-10, 290, 306-8).

98. - Οn stillness and prayer, 9, PG 150, col. 1312Β; How the hesychast should sit at prayer, col. 1340D; and in particular On stillness and the two ways of prayer, 10, col. 1324Α, where Gregory is drawing on Diadochus of Photice, Chapters, 36 and 40, ed. Ε. des Places, pp. 105, 108.

99. - Τheophanes, 15 (p. 87,13-14,38).

100. - On stillness and the two ways of prayer, 10, PG 150, col. 1324Β.

101. - On stillness and prayer, 8, PG 150, col. 1312Α.

102. - Chapters, 118, PG 150, col. 128lD.

103. - Chapters, 116, PG 150, col. 128lΑ.

104. - Chapters, 23, PG 150, col. 1245D.

105. - See n. 59.

106. - Catechesia 22, ed. Β. Κrivochéine, SC, 104 (Paris, 1964), pp. 370,78; 376,152; cf. thanksgiving 2, ed. Κrivochéine, SC, 113 (Paris, 1965), p. 350,265-8.

107. - Μeyendorff, Ιntroduction a l'étude de Grégoire Palamas, pp. 3Ι7-18. 108.- Τheophanes, 15 (p. 85,16-17); cf. above, n. 79.

109. - See Κ. Ware, 'The Jesus Prayer and the Mother of God', Eastern Churches Review, 4(1972), 149-50.

110. - Triads, Ι. 3. question; Ι. 3. 10; ΙΙ. 1. 28; ΙII. 1. 32, ed. Μeyendorff, pp. 103,2-6; 129,2-13; 279,26-31; 619,21-27. On expérience in Palamas, see Ρ. Μiquel, 'Grégoire Palamas, Docteur de l'expérience', Ιrénikοn, 37 (1964), 227-37; Α.Μ. Αllchin, 'The Appeal to experience in the Triads of St. Gregory Palamas'; Studia Patristica, 8 [= TU, 93 (1966)], 323-8.

111. - Triads, Ι. 2. 12 (99,1-101, 2).

Source: Kallistos of Diokleia, “St Maximos of Kapsokalyvia and Fourteenth-Century Athonite Hesychasm”, from: Chrysostomides, Julian (Hrsg.), Kathegetria. Essays Presented to Joan Hussey for her 80th Birthday, Camberley 1988.

Please Visit Our Sponsors