Archdeacon John Chryssavgis on Philokalia. “Rightly dividing the Word of Truth”. A Symposium in Honor of Metropolitan Kallistos. Malignly Hall, Cambridge. 6-8 February 2015
“Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me” or, more briefly, “Lord have mercy” was given to Christians at the time of the apostles and was appointed for them to say without ceasing, as, indeed, they do. But what this “Lord have mercy” means is something that very few people know today and so they say it in everyday speech, pointlessly, alas, and in vain. They don’t receive the Lord’s mercy, because they don’t know what they’re asking.
The Philokalia, that wonderful collection of writings by the fathers on prayer of the heart, has as its full title, The Philokalia of the Neptic Saints gathered from our Holy Theophoric Fathers, through which, by means of the philosophy of ascetic practice and contemplation, the intellect is purified, illumined, and made perfect. Little wonder it is known popularly as the Philokalia.