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[Editor’s Note: Eucherius of Lyons is one of the great neglected spiritual writers of Western Orthodoxy. His ascetic mysticism is very much in the Eastern tradition; if there were a “Latin Philokalia”, Eucherius would doubtless have a place in it. At the same time, his proverbs and apothegms, some of which may be found near the end of the present work, speak directly to people living in the world as much as to monks.

For some reason, Eucherius is hard to find in English. It is remarkable but apparently true that the only unabridged English translation of any of his spiritual writings is the work you are about to read, here reissued with slightly modernized spelling and punctuation but otherwise just as it first appeared in 1654. Happily, by way of compensation, it is a very remarkable English version. The work of the brilliant Cavalier poet and mystical visionary Henry Vaughan the Silurist, “The World Contemned” was the first part of a spiritual anthology called “Flores Solitudinis”, which Vaughan had hoped would trigger a monastic revival in the Church of England. Though that hope went unfulfilled in Vaughan’s lifetime, his translation lives on to inspire modern English-speakers to a life of angelic holiness.

The St. Pachomius Library will be issuing original modern translations of Eucherius’ other works as they are completed. — N. Redington]

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