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Wounded by Love: The Life and Wisdom of the Elder Porphyrius [Paperback]

Porphyrius
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 253 pages
  • Publisher: Imprint unknown (1 Mar 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9607201191
  • ISBN-13: 978-9607201195
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.2 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,881,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
When you meet this man on the pages of what reads like a memoir put together by friends after his death in 1991, you'll want to hand in all your college degrees and hang instead with sheep herders, grade school dropouts and poets. If shopping for spiritual advisers, after reading this book you may prefer the company of simple and quiet folk who embrace short prayers which arise from a basic divine madness--a divine eros he called it. Love for God. Yes, as to church, you'll lean more toward the company of men and women of the Jesus Prayer or who have no formal spiritual training but have taken in the lessons of life's hard knocks collected by such things as rubbing up against difficult people, poor health and austere surroundings.

I spent dozens of hours with this book, number 2 pencil in hand. The brother who suggested I read it must have liked it as well: he read it seven times. Yes, in my copy, no margin of white space has been safe, as now, notes abound. Wounded By Love first appeared in Greek in 2003, two years after this monk and priest died at the seasoned age of 85. The book was arranged by his students in two parts: his life and his sayings. His early father working out of country to support the family, Elder Porphyrios ran away from home to become a monk, trading work at a relative's corner store at age 12 for a life of prayer. He was raised on the holy mountain by two brother monks who, by providence, met him on the boat docks of Mt Athos. Telling a small lie, they broke the rules and were able to successfully sneak the young lad into that monastery in Kavsokalyvia. Dwelling in that small skete his two mentors were strict with this young boy, teaching him obedience and prayer.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars by example, not by words alone 3 Jan 2010
Father John Raffan's outstanding translation of this biography of Elder Porphyrios has made accessible to English speaking readers an introduction to the life of one of the great spiritual figures of the 20th century, free from the hagiographical legends frequently encountered in Greek religious books. The Orthodox Church is still poorly known in Western Europe and this book could help put a wider public in touch with the spiritual wealth of Christian Orthodoxy.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quiet faith makes the biggest impact 22 Aug 2010
By Dan E. Nicholas - Published on Amazon.com
When you meet this man on the pages of what reads like a memoir put together by friends after his death in 1991, you'll want to hand in all your college degrees and hang instead with sheep herders, grade school dropouts and poets. If shopping for spiritual advisers, after reading this book you may prefer the company of simple and quiet folk who embrace short prayers which arise from a basic divine madness--a divine eros he called it. Love for God. Yes, as to church, you'll lean more toward the company of men and women of the Jesus Prayer or who have no formal spiritual training but have taken in the lessons of life's hard knocks collected by such things as rubbing up against difficult people, poor health and austere surroundings.

I spent dozens of hours with this book, number 2 pencil in hand. The brother who suggested I read it must have liked it as well: he read it seven times. Yes, in my copy, no margin of white space has been safe, as now, notes abound. Wounded By Love first appeared in Greek in 2003, two years after this monk and priest died at the seasoned age of 85. The book was arranged by his students in two parts: his life and his sayings. His early father working out of country to support the family, Elder Porphyrios ran away from home to become a monk, trading work at a relative's corner store at age 12 for a life of prayer. He was raised on the holy mountain by two brother monks who, by providence, met him on the boat docks of Mt Athos. Telling a small lie, they broke the rules and were able to successfully sneak the young lad into that monastery in Kavsokalyvia. Dwelling in that small skete his two mentors were strict with this young boy, teaching him obedience and prayer.

Elder Porphyrios was the son of dirt poor farmers, an elementary school dropout who with less than two years of formal education in the countryside not far from Athens. He taught himself to read, stumbling over the pages of a little book on the life of St. John the Hut Dweller. He sought to emulate St. John from his youth forward.

The second part of the book contains the wisdom, practical sayings and stories related to friends and parishioners who sought the elder out for counsel and confession and friendship. Porphyrios speaks on such topics as: how to love people who get on your nerves, how to acquire humility, how to love Muslims and those of other faiths, ways to manage sleep, how to avoid overeating or what to do about depression, how to pray, how to love God with zeal yet avoid fanaticism, tips on raising kids, how to love your work.

No seminary here, this monk was made a priest against his will at the age of 20. Tutored on Mt. Athos, he was eventually sent home against his will once again, this time due to poor health. He served not far from Athens for 33 years as a hospital chaplain and parish priest. He lived and found and taught holiness comfortably in both a quiet monastery and a bustling city.

This book was for me a sort of modern day Ladder of Divine Ascent. A couple of my favorite passages include one where he says he wanted so to run away and live with the hippies in Matala, Crete, and show them God's love. And then there's the one where the elder and priest was going door to door, performing Epiphany house blessings. Unwittingly (I wonder about this), he found himself on the steps of a brothel. Fearing nothing, he entered, singing chants and blessing the ladies of the evening there as they poured out of their rooms and into the hall. The elder was met immediately and chided by the madam who thought the visit and blessings inappropriate, considering the working girls evidently unworthy of such a blessing. How delightful was the response of Elder Porphyrios, his words and love and counsel and acceptance for those women of the evening, as he encouraged them each to come forward and kiss the cross in his hand.

Throughout his life the elder taught to fret not about evil but to embrace God and others with divine eros. He loved to recite church poetry in the liturgical readings, such as the one where an enraptured young lady would bloody her bare feet, running on rough stones to reach and be near her beloved, caring not for obstacles along her path.

Gone but nine years now, Elder Porphyrios of the holy mountain is sure to become numbered among canonized saints in the eastern church. And this not because of the many miracles attributed to him, such as an ability to see through mountains, heal the sick or taste water beneath the earth, but the wisdom and grace he acquired living with difficult people and circumstances. I've sent copies of this book to friends and relatives; one of my top ten favorite books, worth reading and re-reading.
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unreal 27 July 2008
By N. Papagiannis - Published on Amazon.com
For all that love Orthodox Christianity, this is one of the most spiritual books out there. Elder Porphyrios is one of the most Holy Christian leaders in the last 100 years. This book is a compilation of his writings, and each excerpt is written by him. Through this we see his deep humility, love for the ascetical life, boundless love for Christ and man, and purity of soul. He displays his humility and feeling of unworthiness when he describes that give of clear sight that he received from God, at an early age. I am particularly attracted to all his writings, because they are intelligent yet simple. The are focused towards living a life a in Christ, and love for Christ and man. There are a few excerpts that bring the reader into a deep emotional state, especially when he speaks about his love of nature and his urge to live anonymously in the forest. He also discusses many examples of his use of the gift of clearsight.
Another great read is "Elder Porphyrios Testimonies and Experiences"
Elder Porphyrios Testimonies and Experiences
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here is a discription of this work. 29 Oct 2006
By S. Rose - Published on Amazon.com
This is a discription from the publisher I read elsewhere: "Elder Porphyrios was one of the most famous and influential spiritual personalities of late 20th century Greece. He fled the world as a youth and lived on the Holy Mountain of Athos until an illness forced him to return to the world for medical treatment. In this wonderful book we have the elder's own words on a variety of topics, all of which invariably lead back the central theme of true Christian Love and its transforming power. This book has a profound and spiritually therapeutic affect on all who read it."
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To love or be loved, you will suffer wounds... 27 April 2010
By ahiker4u - Published on Amazon.com
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Wow! After just completing just two chapers (Spirituality and Children), I'm speachless. Elder Porphyrios truely has wisdom from above and it's down to earth and very practical. Be ready for advice thats uncommon and even against what you normally would hear or read. I admit I struggled somewhat with his monastic wisdom initially but after a short while, realized that his advice on matters was "truely from above". If you desire to really grow spiritually, get this book and dive right in. You will quickly see from his many practical examples how blessed his words are. If you desire to love others, you will suffer wounds. It is the Christian life... for Orthodox Christians and Protestants alike.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wounded by Love 13 Feb 2012
By Fr. Michael Molloy - Published on Amazon.com
"Wounded by Love" is one of the great Orthodox Christian books, simply because Elder Porphyrios is one of the great Orthodox Christian saints. Once I read the book, I was "wounded by love" for this holy elder, and my life has not been the same. To have someone of our latter times who is as holy as any saint who ever lived is truly a very great blessing. He helped countless people in his lifetime, and he continues to do so, for he is as close to us as a prayer. I have been personally helped by him myself.

Have you ever wanted to sit down and talk/listen to a holy elder? Well, here is your chance, since much of the book is in the elder's own words (written-down or tape-recorded). As one priest said (who personally knew him): "I cannot not speak about him." I very highly encourage anyone of any faith, or of no faith, to read this wonderful, spiritual book. Whoever does - his/her life will not be the same.
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