Foreword by Corina Gheorghiu, July 4th 2022
This book was fueled by the love of many people who recognized the value of the teachings of Abbess Siluana Vlad in the current world tormented by confusion. I was only a seed for these people who made it happen – a seed of passion for healing, which started many years before I became a Marriage and Family Therapist in California.
Soon after I discovered Mother Siluana, my spiritual father, Fr. Michael Courey, suggested that I start to spread her teachings in the U.S. I was so grateful, so excited. He then gave my husband the blessing to translate this book. It was not an easy task to put the words of such an unusual person into English, but he managed to do it — thank you, Grig. I also want to thank Mother Efrema, with whom Mother Siluana put me in contact when she got very ill, for her advice on which book to be translated first.
And above all, I thank you, my beloved God, for introducing me to her in Your usual unexpected way.
So let me tell you how I met Mother Siluana.
Five years ago, a wise elder told me that the time has come for me to forgive everything and everyone. I never thought that I’d be able to forgive the past, but I believed that his words would give me the willingness to do it. I knew a lot about forgiveness. We all know about it. The Bible tells us to forgive. Our priests tell us to forgive. Even science tells us to forgive, that it is good for us and our healing. But who teaches us how to do it, where to start and where to finish? At least nobody taught me how to forgive everything and everyone – so much, so many! I prayed, I searched, and I learned some more about forgiveness, from the Bible to modern psychology, from neuroscience to epigenetics. Clear steps, secular and biblical…all seemed the same – cold and dry, one more “get it over with,”“just do it” on top of everything else… a make-believe game, virtual reality projected on the screen of my rational mind, so very far away from the healing that the deep heart of mine was craving ever since…
Until one day, October 22, 2017, one perfect day in California, a Sunday after church. Everything was right, the sun, the light, the waves… and there I was, dragging my feet on God’s shore, dry to the bone, empty. Too tired to walk, I laid down on the beach and I turned to YouTube for words of inspiration…and this feisty nun appeared, full of life, full of joy, talking about guess what? About forgiveness, love, and life, and about all those things we never dare talk about. She was talking about all those real, oh so real, things, and it was all that my heart craved for, a royal feast, a jolt of Life, a CPR for my soul. The next day I contacted her, and that is how it all started.
That is how I met my “Maica”, my beloved mother and spiritual mentor. She didn’t just teach me about forgiveness – as if forgiveness were not the greatest gift of God, the epitome of healing – but she also taught me the “method” of the “inner liturgy”, of living life as a continuous self-offering, in the fullness of Christ, whether I felt His presence or not. And then, she helped me to help others, telling me that God works through the mouths of the unworthy. So here I am, telling you about how it all started…
I hope that you will be one of those many people and you, too, will find healing in the presence of her words.
Who can benefit from this book?
- This book is for anyone who seeks to start or deepen their spiritual journey on an ancient prayer path and a deep personal communion with a loving God
- For Christians of all denominations who are disappointed by the moralism, legalism, and puritanism which sometimes infiltrate and change whole churches
- This book will bring clarity, depth, and joy to all Orthodox Christians, lay and clergy, as well as people who are interested in applying the spirit of the old patristic teachings to our modern times
- This book is for anyone in the healing arts (psychotherapists, doctors, nurses, chaplains, etc.) who seeks personal support and integration of spirituality in their current work
- For parents and educators who want to learn better ways of connecting with younger generations
- For all ages, from young people confused by the unprecedented post-pandemic world to seniors disappointed with spending their golden years in such unexpected ways
How does mother Siluana speak to modern people?
Mother Siluana was a highly gifted speaker who helped thousands of people. She was especially loved by the young generation, to whom she spoke freely, addressing their specific relational issues in their own language. Her enthusiasm and humor seemed to lighten up the most difficult of issues. You may be surprised by her ability to address deep spiritual matters through the language of modern psychology, neither psychologizing the faith nor spiritualizing the psychology.
What kind of information will I find in this book?
This book is rich in information. Although you will not find references and a bibliography, Mother Siluana will give you a bird’s eye view through an unexpected blend of:
- Cutting-edge neuroscience, genetics, and epigenetics
- Modern psychology
- Ancient teachings of the Church Fathers applicable in our times
- Biblical and liturgical information on forgiveness and application for deep healing (what science calls cellular memory)
- Practical on-the-go prayer and the Jesus Prayer
What topics does this book address?
- Mother Siluana is asked and addresses the common obstacles of the modern person related to a life in God: what may prevent receiving God’s grace, or even wanting it? What preserves it? How to preserve it? How to activate it?
- Up-to-date psychological topics such as stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, suicide, relationships, sex, consequences of the unresolved traumas of our parents, grandparents, and ancestors
How can I use this book?
You can use this book for:
- Integrating information: you will find everything you need to start clarifying the link between your thoughts and emotions, impulses and behaviors, as well as their impact on your soul and spiritual life. Mother Siluana has a gift for turning the most difficult scientific concepts into storytelling.
- Prayer: first of all, Mother Siluana will teach you the “method” of prayer in any moment and situation, for the busiest of lives and for the worst times of anxiety and depression; secondly, you will find many short prayers for a variety of situations; thirdly, you can use her words for inspiration and preparation – not only for those times when your heart feels dry but for all the times of the day – or to simply ignite your heart for prayer.
This book is a breath of fresh air in the Christian world, a world whose true power – freedom and love – seems to be draining, impinged by an increasing wave of rigid moralism and legalism, invaded by the secularism of materialistic prosperity.
Mother Siluana’s words, simple and humorous, turn the modern psychological and scientific language into a highly spiritual and practical guide for today’s unprecedented life challenges. Her message brings to us the simplicity of the ancient Hesychasts, the sophistication of a cutting-edge scientist, and the inspiration of an outstanding teacher.
May her words stir up the dormant fire of your soul. May they fulfill that deep desire of the heart – the heart which craves the One who created it.
NOTE: You can order Mother Siluana’s book on the website of the publisher, Sebastian Press: