Metropolitan Kallistos Ware is considered by many to be the leading theologian today in the Orthodox Church. He is perhaps best known as the author of the book The Orthodox Church, and more recently the companion volume, The Orthodox Way.

Metropolitan Kallistos is also known as one of the great advocates of the Jesus Prayer, a prayer that countless Christians through the centuries have considered to be central to their spiritual growth. It was a prayer Rowan Williams referred to in our 2017 interview with him as being foundational to his prayer life. So we thought it was about time we learnt more.

Interview begins at 7m 27s

Image by Tim Nash. Used with permission.


The Orthodox Church: An Introduction to Eastern Christianity

The Orthodox Way

The Power of the Name: The Jesus Prayer in Orthodox Spirituality


“Mercy for me is not a dark or gloomy word. It is a word full of light and hope. Mercy for me means the love of God poured out to reconcile and to heal. So, in the ‘Jesus Prayer’ we have the glory of God when we think of Jesus as ‘Son of God.’ We have myself, whether I openly say ‘I’m a sinner’ or not, the fact remains I need God’s grace. And these two things – God’s glory and my own neediness – are bridged by the word ‘mercy.’”

“What do we mean by ‘silence’? It can be thought of negatively: just a pause between words, an absence of noise. And in that case, it is something negative and empty. But silence can also be understood in a positive way: not just as ceasing to speak, but beginning to listen.”

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  1. Pure gold. Thanks for posting!

    “But is he saved?” #eyeroll

    • Glad you liked it, Brad. Thanks for suggesting the interview! Tim

    • Lennard May 14, 2020

      Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, Gods merciful son decides who will be saved. I had a zeal like you, I would bomb people into the kingdom of God.. But as time goes by, I realize even though I profess to being a Christian, how short I fall of what’s required. May our gracious Lord pitty us all. Even those of us whom think we’ve arrived. Mercy is only for the contrite and repentant broken vessels.

  2. Brendan May 25, 2018

    Based on your discussion after the interview, I highly recommend that you both read “Beginning to Pray”, by Metropolitan Anthony Bloom. I think you would both love it, as it is very relevant to much of what you were saying. The last two chapters, in particular, are my favorite.

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