The Philokalia (Gk. φιλοκαλία, "love of the beautiful") is a collection of texts written between thefourth and fifteenth centuries by spiritual masters of the Eastern Orthodox hesychast tradition. They were originally written for the guidance and instruction of monks in 'the practise of the contemplative life'. The collection was compiled in the eighteenth-century by St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountainand St. Makarios of Corinth.
Although these works were individually known in the monastic culture of Greek Orthodox Christianity before their inclusion in The Philokalia, their presence in this collection has resulted in a much wider readership due to its translation into several languages, including a seven-volume translation into Russian (Dobrotolyubie) by St. Theophan the Recluse in the nineteenth-century; Romanian, English, Finnish, modern Greek and French translations.
In the words of the publishers of the current English translation, 'The Philokalia has exercised an influence far greater than that of any book other than the Bible in the recent history of the Orthodox Church'
The Philokalia was first published in Venice in 1782.
Philokalia is defined as the "love of the beautiful, the exalted, the excellent, understood as the transcendent source of life and the revelation of Truth." In contemplative prayer the mind is trained to become aware of God as a living presence as the source of being of all creatures and sensible forms. The writings of The Philokalia have been chosen above others because they "...show the way to awaken and develop attention and consciousness, to attain that state of watchfulness which is the hallmark of sanctity. They describe the conditions most effective for learning what their authors call the art of arts and the science of sciences, a learning which is not a matter of information or agility of mind but of a radical change of will and heart leading man towards the highest possibilities open to him, shaping and nourishing the unseen part of his being, and helping him to spiritual fulfilment and union with God."
This listing of texts is based on the English translation, started by Bishop Kallistos Ware, G.E.H. Palmer and Philip Sherrard and published by Faber and Faber Ltd. The fifth volume has yet to be published. While there is no definite date set, it is predicted by the publisher to be made available sometime late in 2006. This translation uses the third edition published by the Astir Publishing Company.
Por favor, difundam o mais possível.