The Strannik In 'The Way Of The Pilgrim'

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The Way of the Pilgrim is a collection of four stories describing the spiritual journey of a common strannik (i.e. pilgrim). The central narrative of each tale focuses on this undisclosed individual’s outward expedition through 1800s Russia, Ukraine, and Siberia and his inward journey toward spiritual enlightenment. These stories are filled with depictions of chance spiritual encounters, struggles with prayer, and deepening relationships with man and God. Through these experiences the strannik undergoes a spiritual evolution in which his speech and deeds become more Christ-centered. The essence of the strannik’s journey is his desire to “pray without ceasing” (pg. 294). Eventually, he stumbles across a wise starets (spiritual elder) who begins…show more content…
During this time, the pilgrim began to experience the positive benefits that he had hoped to achieve by engaging in ceaseless prayer. He was able to experience the direct revelation of the spirit and achieve a profound sense of personal ecstasy. This specific portion of the strannik’s story illustrates an important fact that all Christian’s must comprehend: making sacrifices and engaging in difficult practices (i.e. the Jesus Prayer) will eventually result in profound spiritual reward. I have come to realize that periods of spiritual stagnancy do not necessarily connote lazy or a disunity with Christ. Rather, these are simply times of trial in which God tests our spiritual resolve. Ultimately, we can endure these periods of emptiness with an awareness of the spiritual ecstasy that awaits those who perceiver in their faith. Ultimately, I found The Way of the Pilgrim to be both understandable and spiritually engaging. My only reserve is that life in the 21st century is much different from that experienced by the strannik in the 19th century. Therefore, Christians must find contemporary relevance in the pilgrim’s journey without attempting to literally emulate his life course (as many have

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