This 19th century Russian spiritual classic on prayer and its sequel The Pilgrim Continues His Way (also included in this volume) have long fascinated those who have stumbled on this winsome tale. First published in Russia in 1884 under the title, Candid Narratives of a Pilgrim to His Spiritual Father, and translated from the Russian by R. M. French, this religious masterpiece recounts the adventures of an anonymous Russian pilgrim who roams the vast Siberian steppes reciting the Jesus Prayer in order to obey Christ’s injunction to ‘pray without ceasing.’
This book has become a spiritual classic on the Jesus Prayer. Filled with insights on how to maintain a prayerful presence in the face of predicaments, adventures and calamities, it was written down by the pilgrim’s spiritual adviser who encouraged his dedicated life-style and began to pass the manuscript on to others who wanted to know why Jesus told his disciples to “pray without ceasing. ‘This narrative about the wayfarer’s longings to communicate with God is especially inspiring and apt for today’s busy person looking for a quiet center of spiritual strength.
Generations of readers are grateful the ‘wise old monk’ collected for posterity the captivating accounts of the pilgrim’s exploits and his increasing understanding of God’s providence as he commits himself to a life of prayer. The manuscript, which began to circulate privately after the pilgrim disappeared headed for Jerusalem, is reissued here in an updated translation adapted for American readers.