St Ignatius Brianchaninov (1807-1867) is renowned as a writer on the spiritual life in general. What is less well known is that throughout most of his adult life he struggled with chronic illness and disability. Thus his own life experience disposed him to reflect on the meaning of suffering for human existence and how through it we might find “a harbor for our hope.”
The saint frequently returns to these themes in many of his letters, newly translated into English and excerpted, adapted and presented here in thematic subject groups. For the translator these writings provided a source of consolation and encouragement during her husband’s lengthy illness and eventual death. They will equally benefit all who suffer physical or spiritual pain, however great or small, and reveal how the love of God may be experienced in its midst.