The One Way of Holiness in Christ
“The Living Tradition” is a term used to designate the one way of holiness in Christ which the saints have lived in every century and in every country where the church has gone.
Founded on the Incarnation and Resurrection of Christ, it is built also on the sanctification of the Apostles and Martyrs who triumphed over all things by their faith in the Risen Christ.
This tradition is particularly clear in those places where all our ‘Fathers’ have lived particularly within the great Patriarchates of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, also in Cyprus and Sinai and also in those churches now commonly called ‘Oriental’ Orthodox, the Syrian, Armenian, Georgian, Coptic and Ethiopian churches. It includes also the churches in Russia, Romania, Serbia, and Bulgaria and other churches using Slavonic.
This entire tradition has continued to the present day indicating its essential ‘living’ quality.
This tradition is also clear in the West when the church was still demonstrably one. It exists also beyond that, though less clearly.
Each person, as he or she reads the Fathers, is drawn to those through whom the Holy Spirit speaks to them. For us, in addition to our local saints, this includes the following Saints and Fathers who are now found on the wall of the chapel ay Greta Villas in Keswick and as Icons on the wall of our church in Braithwaite, who we believe pray for us and encourage us and whom we believe are in some way our ‘friends’ . The research into and demonstration of this tradition is to be found in my book, The Living Tradition of the Saints and the Significance of their Teaching for us. It was written on request on the basis of 45 years of reading and practice.
Saint Anthony of the Great, 4C Egypt
Father of Fathers
Desert Father 4C Egypt
‘The Fathers have left us a royal way which is light’
St Macarius of Egypt 4C Egypt
‘The Divine Wind of the Spirit
recreates and refreshes the soul
with a divine and ineffable tranquillity’
St Barsanuphius 5/6C Gaza
St John Climacus (of the Ladder)
St Isaac the Syrian 7C
‘When the Spirit dwells in a person
that person does not stop praying
since the Spirit prays in him’
St Maximus the Confessor 7C Constantinople & Africa
St Hesychius 8/9C Sinai
the heart breathes and invokes without ceasing
Jesus Christ the Son of God’
St Simeon the New Theologian 10/11C Constantinople
‘After we have been entirely purified from the defilements & passions
his Holy Fire becomes in us food and drink, light and unceasing joy.
O condescension beyond words Your reveal yourself like a Sun.
St Gregory of Sinai 13/14 C Mount Athos
St Gregory Palamas
‘I want only one thing:
to pray for all men as myself’