July 7, 2015

Recommended Reading from Saint Porphyrios

In the following conversation, the Holy Elder Porphyrios offers some reading recommendations. He asked a certain visitor:

"Honestly, what books do you read?"

"I have no particular preference. I read all kinds."

"Do you read the lives of Saints?"

"I have read many. And I like them a lot!"

"Read all the lives of the Saints. I have read all of them, and many I have read two or three times. And if I receive one, I gladly reread it. As a young child I would read the lives of the Saints and they helped me very much to acquaint myself with God and come nearer to Him. You ought to do the same. It will greatly benefit your soul, because slowly-slowly you will begin to imitate them. Tell others to do the same. Do you read the New Testament?"

"I have not only read the New Testament, but I have studied it, and with great care! And I constantly repeat doing so."

"You do the right thing! Read it a lot. It is an inexhaustible source! And the more you read it, the more you approach the wisdom of God. Every night try to read at least one page."

"Another priest has instructed me to do the same."

"He has properly guided you. Have you read the Acts of the Apostles?"

"I have, and I like it a lot. Where I do not do well is with the Apocalypse of John."

"Why? The Apocalypse is full of wisdom! It is everything."

"Because of all the things it says about 'seals' and 'trumpets' and I don't much understand it. It is very tricky."

"If you read it many times with faith in God, you will see how the Grace of God will manifest everything to you, and after they will appear much easier. By yourself you will find this, and very quickly. The wisdom of God does not come on its own. We must seek it. Read therefore. Read Holy Scripture and the lives of the Saints as much as you can. This is what I recommend."

Source: From the book Father Porphyrios by Anargyros Kalliatsos. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.