“May our love for the Sun, the will of God, be as strong as the sunflower’s, so that even in days of hardship and sorrow we will continue to sail unerringly along the sea of life, following the directions of the barometer and compass of God’s will that leads us to the safe haven of eternity.”
This is a thoroughly practical manual of the spiritual life focusing on the central goal of every Christian: learning the will of God and struggling to mold our life to it, just as Christ “humbled Himself and became obedient.” (Phil. 2:8) Even more fundamentally, St John addresses the question of why we should care about God’s will. Finally, the reader will find eternal wisdom running through these writings on questions of theodicy, free will, and Divine Providence.
This work is reminiscent of the classic text “Unseen Warfare” in its historical genesis as an Orthodox redaction of an originally Roman Catholic text. First published in 1627 as “The Heliotropium” it was the work of a German Jesuit writer Jeremias Drexelius. The future St John adapted this text for an Orthodox audience as a student and then teacher at the Kiev Academy in the 1670’s but it was not published until 1714, just a year before the author’s death. This is the first English edition of St John’s text, further edited and abbreviated for the contemporary reader.