Though steeped in the ancient patristic and ascetic tradition, Theophan the Recluse was down-to-earth and very real, making profound, mystical realities understood by those he counseled. St. Theophan had the exceptional gift of being able to encourage all, no matter where they were on the spiritual path, to go further in their fight against the passions and in their preparation for union with the Bridegroom Christ. His inspirational teaching is for all that sincerely seek the heavenly realm.
He often used folk expressions in order to make profound, mystical realities understood by all Christians of his time. Bishop Theophan–young, zealous and energetic–felt a dire need to raise Orthodox women to a higher spiritual level in a society which was rapidly changing, going in step with modern ways.
KINDLING THE DIVING SPARK offers his instructions given to women, examining many essentials of the spiritual life, including: how the heart is purified, inner suffering, spiritual zeal, how to train oneself to pray, and mystical union with the Lord. It contains 20 sermons to convents and a brief Life with unique information appearing for the first time, accompanied by rare photographs. Though originally offered as a volume of sermons given in women’s monasteries, it comprises a conscious teaching of spirituality suited to the needs of both men and women, whether lay or monastic.