Whenever human consciousness begins to be alive to the questions Who am I? Whence do I come? Whither do I go ? then there arises the possibility of taking and following the narrow, long, blessed path to wisdom. By and by circumstances show that our individual capacities are quite insufficient, and Supreme Help is vitally needed. The obstacles that arise are numberless and multiform, such as will lead us, if possible, in a false direction and make us lose sight even of the ultimate goal.
These writings of the Fathers, who were inspired, define most of the difficulties and tell us how to vanquish and master them. To facilitate the training in preparation, the Fathers gave guiding instructions and helpful advice. The two principal Commandments include the absolute necessity, the duty, of Love, which for those practising the Prayer is more than essential. If the Path is taken and followed in the spirit of genuine Love, irrevocable self-denial and humility, there is a great chance of successful attainments in this life leading imperceptibly to the farthest future. These holy Fathers were of the Christian Church of the first millennium and their teachings, instructions and help are accessible only in the light of genuine, primordial Christianity, devoid of any human considerations, additions and alterations, in its integrity and purity of the times of the holy Apostles.
Writings from the Philokalia, Introduction, Mount Athos, P. 19