GROWING IN CHRIST: SHAPED IN HIS IMAGE BY MOTHER RAPHAELA (WILKINSON) FOREWORD BY FREDERICA MATHEWES-GREEN
A sequel to Living in Christ: Essays on the Christian Life by an Orthodox Nun, this volume continues the practical, insightful, and hard-hitting counsel of the Orthodox abbess of the Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery in Otego, New York. Obtaining maturity in Christ is a theme that runs throughout the work, and St Paul`s admonition to “... come to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Eph 4:13) appropriately describes the tone of the book.
Mother Raphaela assesses and addresses all the failings and spiritual detours that keep us from having the character of our Lord Jesus Christ — everything from false piety to heads swollen with knowledge. She also emphasizes the molding of character within community, where rough edges and prideful independence are transformed into graciousness and service to the neighbor. In the process, the reader will discern that the sins she speaks to are none other than those with which she has struggled herself, some admittedly, and some veiled in poetic statements: “How can you rule and govern when you have not experienced being ruled and governed?”
Illustrated with calligraphy by the author herself, these commentaries on monastic community, church, society, and the machinations of the human soul result from careful observation and reflection upon the spiritual and natural realms.