My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This relatively short set of discourses on asceticism by St. Isaac of Syria is a wonderful read for anyone interested in living an authentic spiritual life. I did not, however, recommend this book as an introduction to the Christian life nor as a first delving into the Church Fathers, into mysticism, or into asceticism. A good understanding of and appreciation for this book requires that one have a working familiarity with the greater Patristic context, with the spirituality of the Desert Fathers, and with currents in 6th and 7th century Christianity in general, such as the writings of Ss. Maximos the Confessor and John Climacus. If you possess the requisite background information, however, this book is ripe with fruit.