Sep 9, 2023Liked by Paul Kingsnorth

As someone newly exploring Orthodoxy myself, and struggling with many of the same tendencies / traps, I’m really looking forward to reading more about your journey

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Thank you and bless you!

Regarding going home, y’all might like Professor Esolen’s recent talk about pagan piety, the odyssey, the Aeneid, and so forth. Really worth listening to:


Regarding your overall focus, well, as Prof Esolen reminds us, focus derives from the word for hearth - the center of the home, where everyone gathers round. If your faith is your hearth, as I hope mine is, then everything you write will be written in its warmth and light. So go for it! Looking forward to reading it all.

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I witness to this post, your process, honesty and sincerity .How can i be sitting here in a scorching heat, a fan on full throttle. old ladies ....how i once looked upon them sitting in a rocking chair those praying grandmothers with a hankie tucked under their cuff, hard of hearing . how dull. my prayer , oh lord let me not become one of them. and so i am . your work is vital. i count myself grateful

to accompany you on this journey while in my rocking chair. bless you Paul. And so He has and I pray will continue to do so. kathleen

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Thank you! And I really needed to hear this today:

‘Words and arguments can alienate people’, said the monk. ‘Silence and the way you live: these are the things that will show people the truth of Orthodoxy. Not arguments.’

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This is great - love the honesty and openness and that quote about the truth being a person, not an idea is mind blowing. Looking forward to meeting the saints again.

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May your writing ever be the fruit of prayer. May you always write of beauty, goodness and truth, and remember that we find our truth in the One who is True.

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You are not the only one.

Thank you.

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Thank you, Paul, for the gift of your writings. The echoes of a too-oft forgotten aspect of Christianity, the simple life of prayer and solitude, are a welcome respite from this world’s pan-demon-ium.

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Exciting stuff! At the beginning of the essay I was thinking of Savage Gods, and how applying that kind of honesty to your Christian experience would be marvellous, and then you mentioned it! I have also bought a book on early Christian Ireland, because of your writing! I just came back from Northumberland, visiting Holy Island while I was there, staying mostly on the beach by a wooden cross watching seals as they popped up their heads inspecting me and the other stragglers who walked about picking shells. I bought a book from 1920 about Medieval thought and learning, and it describes the monasteries in Ireland. How the abbot was often the chief of a community rather than a bloated gathering of bishops, and how it retained its sense of classical learning beyond Gregory the Great's crackdown on such things as heretical. And so people travelled to Ireland to become wise and learned! Amazing history!

I'm totally rambling, but look what you've started! Good to have you back!

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I’m one of those fragile academics who’s dedicated his entire life to words and arguments, pinning things down and holding them still. Now I’m old and tired and I just want to go home. Maybe you’ll help me find the way.

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Excited to read more. Walking that journey right alongside you. May we ditch the Western need for systems and embrace the Mysteries.

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Sep 9, 2023Liked by Paul Kingsnorth

I’m greatly looking forward to reading about the lives of the Saints. I’m just undertaking formal instruction in iconography with the aim of depicting the ancient, and somewhat obscure and numerous British saints.

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This is going to be awesome!

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I woke up at 3am and couldn’t get back to sleep last night and ended up reading from Richard Rohr’s “A Lever and a Place to Stand”... If I wrote all things I read that overlapped with this post this would be a very long comment.

I too have been blocked/dammed but for so long now I’ve nearly given up. Maybe hearing the following message from two people I admire in the same day will do the trick...

“So much of the Christian path - maybe all of it - is not about gaining anything, but is rather about stripping everything away so that the truth can be seen.”

🎯 🎯

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Dear Paul;

Beautiful writing.

I did not get past this, though:

"Should I really be writing about this? I have asked, over and over. I don’t know anything.

The answer has always been the same, and it has always been: yes, you should."

Let me be the first little brother to say it then: No, you shouldn't.




I literally just signed up for a paid subscription to give you this, offer you this word, gently.

I did so because I love you and God willing- only he knows what path you really need to be saved- I want to spare you the suffering I caused and that it caused me, to not keep some silence when I was called into Him and His.

I'm a little brother.

But at least now you cant say *no one* "ever told me to keep silent about this when I first converted!"

a weak little brother is saying, dont write about this stuff. not yet, not so fully, yet.

Truly, brother, monks on Mt. Athos are monks yes but men yes; not all the way at the end of the race we all must run (recall, all St Silouan's problems were with brother monks. recall St Seraphim of Sarov was disliked by his brother monks and abbot).

Perhaps they are right to encourage you! Or... perhaps they like me want to win people to their side, and haven't discerned their heart that they would use you as a tool rather than preserve your salvation as a brother. God only knows. but athonite monastic creds is not your free license, dear brother.

But then I have my own war wounds, my own pain that may blur my vision in this particular case of *you*, your voice.

My wounds are on a much smaller scale than you, as I am a man of much more limited influence.

I'm 17 years baptized now. Made such a mess with my tongue in the first 2 years.

Still trying to heal myself and repair damage to others through my zealous flapping tongue when I first converted.

(your tongue is not flapping! Mine was. You are much more tempered, you are older and wiser than I was... it's not a "you" problem. It's a formal matter; but you may well be an exception.)

Enough said.

If you wish to know more about my "No", then feel free to contact a little brother.

Love motivated me to write to you. But I'm a fool and could be wrong. Nothing is clear to me... or what's clear to me often amounts to nothing.

I expect nothing and may God bless your decision! And all your works.

And save us both.

But I so love you and feel kindred to you in your loves. I wanted to make the clumsy gesture.

God forgive me!

In the shadow of the birthgiver's feast;


manorthey [at] gmail [dot] com

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At several points in this post, my mind was drawn to the book of James, particularly to chapter 3. The tongue--and the pen--can be the most unruly thing. It has the power to guide a large ship across the sea at the same time that it can stir up a storm. Like a fire, it can enlighten and warm. Out of control it can devastate millions of acres.

James 3 "My brethren, be not many masters [teachers, authorities] knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace."

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