Book Notes: The Ways to the Heart. Chapter 1

Les Chemins du cœurLes Chemins du cœur :
l’enseignement spirituel des Pères de l’Église
= The Ways to the Heart:
The Spiritual Teaching of the Church Fathers
by Archimandrite Placide Deseille
Monastère Saint-Antoine-Le-Grand, 2012
188 pages
Goodreads
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Several books by Archimandrite Placide Deseille have been translated into English, but not this one, to my knowledge. So I’ll do my best to translate the following notes. My translation will follow each excerpt.
The book is a collection of 15 articles on various topics.

Chapitre 1 : La spiritualité de l’ancien monachisme
1) La vie en Christ
L’image de Dieu dans l’homme

À mesure que cette charité divine se développera en lui [l’homme], celui-ci en viendra à ne plus vouloir aucun bien particulier qu’en tant qu’il constitue une réalisation partielle de cette communion avec Dieu et avec ses frères vers laquelle l’oriente la tendance profonde de son être divinisé en ses profondeurs.
p.9
The deep tendency of man’s being, deified in its depths, directs him towards communion with God and with his brothers. As divine charity develops in him, he will come to want no particular good, except in so far as it constitutes a partial achievement of this communion.

Le baptême, fondement de l’ascèse chrétienne

Toutefois, cette vie nouvelle ne nous est pas donnée au baptême en son état achevé ; elle est comparable à une semence qui doit germer et fructifier. La grâce baptismale ne remplace pas l’effort de l’homme : elle l’exige, en le suscitant et en le soutenant.
p.10
However, this new life is not given to us at baptism in its completed state. It is comparable to a seed which must germinate and bear fruit. Baptismal grace does not replace man’s effort: it demands it, by inspiring and sustaining it.

Éprouver l’attirance intérieure vers les vertus évangéliques suscitée en notre cœur par l’Esprit Saint, en percevoir la douceur et la beauté, c’est découvrir et goûter la présence intime et personnelle du Christ, qui a commencé de nous transfigurer dans sa lumière.
p.11
To experience the interior attraction towards the evangelical virtues planted in our heart by the Holy Spirit, and to perceive their sweetness and beauty, is to discover and to taste the intimate and personal presence of Christ, who has begun to transfigure us in His light. 

La vraie connaissance de Dieu
Liturgie cosmique

Au regard de celui qui a purifié son cœur grâce à la force du Christ ressuscité, le monde devient comme un immense ” buisson ardent” où transparait la gloire de Dieu.
p.13
In the eyes of the one who has purified his heart thanks to the strength of the Risen Christ, the world becomes like an immense “burning bush” in which the glory of God shines through.

Prière pure
“Contemplation de Dieu seul” et prière continuelle

2) La voie du royaume intérieur
Le repentir et la componction du cœur
L’école du Christ
Les observances
La garde du cœur

orthodox-cross

PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THESE NOTES
Any reflection on these quotes?

2 comments

  1. Some beautiful thoughts – a more selfless communion with God and neighbor; baptismal grace as a seed planted, demanding our effort to grow; the sweetness and intimacy of the personal presence of Christ, His work of transfiguring us in light; the world seen as a Burning Bush, the glory of God shining through, when the heart is purified. Thank you so much, Emma, for these lovely translations!

    Like

    • Thanks Lucy. Yes, he is a great author. He passed away a few years ago. Besides being the head of an Orthodox monastery in the South of France, he taught many years at the Saint Sergius Orthodox Institute in Paris

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