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Summary

Worry, despair, insecurity, fear of death...these are our daily companions, and even though we attempt to ignore them or try to crowd them out, they are there, waiting for us in our quieter moments.

It is precisely where we hurt most that the experience of the Orthodox Church has much to offer. The remedy is not a pep talk, or any simple admonitions to fight the good fight, cheer up, or think positively. Rather, the Orthodox method is to change the way we look at the human person (starting with ourselves). According to two thousand years of experience, Orthodoxy shows us how to "be transformed by the renewing of our mind" - a process that is aided by participation in the traditional ascetic practices and Mysteries of the Church.

In this unique and accessible audiobook, Archimandrite Meletios Webber first explores the role of mystery in the Christian life, then walks the listener through the seven major Mysteries of the Orthodox Church, showing the way to a richer, fuller life in Christ.

©2012 Peter (Meletios) Webber (P)2019 Peter (Meletios) Webber

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  • CLC
  • 03-05-20

"Out of your head and into your heart"

In fair disclosure, before I start this review, I have to share that I was provided a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. If you want the brief version of this review, please skip to the end and read the quote from St. Theophan the Recluse - Father Webber includes this in his book, and it sums up the biggest takeaway from listening to the book. When I agreed to review the book, I had barely taken the time to read about it - I knew the title, but knew little more than that. I barely even looked at the cover before I obtained the code and downloaded the book. When I began listening, however, I was surprised. The narrator of the book, Kristina Wenger, has narrated a couple of other books that I’ve listened to, and I had associated her voice with the voice of another - Ileana of Romania, also known as Mother Alexandra. I had to go back to look at the book again to see who the author was (Archimandrite Meletios Webber). I found it disorienting at first to listen to a female voice reading the work of a male author, especially when that voice is affiliated (for me) with another individual. I moved past that by listening longer. While I had anticipated that the book would provide easy listening for the duration, I was pleasantly surprised that the first part of the book unexpectedly tied faith and psychology together (Father Meletios Webber is both a priest and psychotherapist). As a mental health counselor, I appreciated the tie in to my own work, and the words of the author resonated with the directions of my own practice as a therapist. I found myself wanting to dive deeper into the book, to go back and listen again, and again, and to take notes - this is the first audiobook I’ve ever taken notes on, and then ordered a paper copy of. I have also started listening to it - again (also a first; most audiobooks don’t stay downloaded on my phone, but this is one that I may listen to over and over until I find that it’s sticking more). The first part of the book, for me, focused on the differences between the mind and the heart. It tied into our daily lives, how we interact with others and with God. It helped to distinguish between knowledge and faith, and laid it out in a way that was easy to understand if you have the mind to listen to it (this is not a book to listen to for a few minutes here and there, but to listen to in bigger chunks). That first part sets the stage for the second, where we hear more about the mysteries of the Orthodox Church expounded in ways that can’t help the listener to know a little more about the Orthodox Church and faith. This book helped bring to life those mysteries - reminding us that it is not about going through the motions, but about living in relationship with God and with one another. It shares with us that the motions and the words all have the goal of helping the faithful to get out of their minds and into their heart. In the words of St. Theophan the Recluse: “You've got to get out of your head and into your heart. Right now your thoughts are in your head, and God seems to be outside you. Your prayer and all your spiritual exercises also remain exterior. As long as you are in your head, you will never master your thoughts, which continue to whirl around your head like snow in a winter's storm or like mosquitoes in the summer's heat. If you descend into your heart, you will have no more difficulty. Your mind will empty out and your thoughts will dissipate. Thoughts are always in your mind chasing one another about, and you will never manage to get them under control. But if you enter into your heart and can remain there, then every time your thoughts invade, you will only have to descend into your heart and your thoughts will vanish into thin air. This will be your safe haven. Don't be lazy. Descend. You will find life in your heart. There you must live.”

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  • caitlin
  • 13-11-20

great introduction

Clear and concise orthodox conception on God. The narrators voice was also peasant and clear

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  • M S
  • 08-05-20

A deep read into the orthodox spirituality

Bread and Water, Wine and Oil by Archimandrite Meletios Webber is a wonderful and deep read into the spirituality of the Orthodox Church. The book covers numerous important points including; how to have a relationship with God, fasting, praying, icons, and the church sacraments. It is addressed to both orthodox and non orthodox. It serves as a well rounded and deep introduction into the Orthodox Church. It also benefits the orthodox worshiper to understand more about the church and how to truly benefit while practicing the church sacrament and canons. I listened to the audio version of the book which was really good, however being more of a visual learner rather than an auditory learner, I will definitely get the hard copy of the book. It is a valuable reference to have available.

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  • Julie
  • 25-01-20

Great resource for seekers.

I really enjoyed this book. It was a great explanation of the mysteries of the Orthodox Faith. I appreciated that the author explained the psychology and attitudes behind why they are mysteries and how to approach them. I thought some of what he said applied to any church member no matter what their tradition. It was a little disorienting to hear a female voice make a reference to being ordained leaving me with a personal preference of wanting it to have been narrated by a male. I also felt there were instances of personal opinion (clearly author's privilege) that detracted from the overall informative style of the book. I would have loved to attend a class or speak with a Priest on some points for further discussion and I feel this is another book that's better in the hand vs audio.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-09-19

this is a light weight catechism

if you want a heavier catechism, which we all need periodically, check out Fr. Josiah Trenham's teaching.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-09-19

Absolutely wonderful book

Orthodox Christianity is a treasure and this book helps to draw out that treasure. A must read for anyone looking for an understanding of Ancient Christianity.