Friday Philokalia Discussion Group


At Holy Trinity Utrecht we have a study group looking through some writings from the Philokalia. The Philokalia is a collection of texts from Eastern Orthodox Church spiritual masters from the 4th to the 15th centuries.  These sayings were originally given as guidance and instruction for monks about the soul and spiritual growth and leading to the practice of contemplation.  The Philokalia is the collection of these sayings into five volumes. The collection was brought together in the 18th century and has now been translated into many modern languages.

Bishop Kallistos Ware describes these writings as the “principal spiritual text” of Eastern Orthodox Churches and, according to the English publishers, “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.”

On Friday mornings at 8:45am (except in July and August), following Morning Prayer at Holy Trinity Church at 8:00am, all are welcome to the Parsonage (next door to the church) as we make our way through Writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart.  This is a book of selections from the five volumes of the Philokalia, specifically on the Jesus Prayer (“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner” or some use a shorter version).  We read a few paragraphs and discuss it with our morning tea or coffee.  You don’t need to have read anything, but you could get the book by clicking here.  It is bringing to our spiritual journey the insights of the Eastern Christian tradition and learning about prayer and to pray.  You don’t need to be at every session, you can come in and out as you like.

All are welcome!  If you’re not able to make Morning Prayer, come to the Parsonage at 8:45am.  We meet for about an hour.


Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said to him, “Abba as far as I can I say my little office, I fast a little, I pray and meditate, I live in peace and as far as I can, I purify my thoughts. What else can I do?” then the old man stood up and stretched his hands towards heaven. His fingers became like ten lamps of fire and he said to him, “If you will, you can become all flame.”

– From the Desert Fathers