The Epistles in Christian literature were always something more than a way of transmitting news or making events known.They compromised a channel of heartfelt communication, a testament of spiritual wealth and a means of pastoral guidance. Using the form of epistles, the Fathers of the Church usually treat matters of faith, ethos and worship as they relate to the life of the Church.
The epistles of Elder Paisios published in this edition, even though they were sent to specific recipients, namely, to the Abbess and the Sisters of the Holy Monastery "The Evangelist John the Theologian" in Souroti, by their nature and content possess such universality that every reader can sense that they are also addressed to him. And while at first sight, it seems they pertain to monks or prospective monks, the significance and gravity of the subjects to which they refer bestow to these texts an interest and broadness that embrace everyone.
If they function as a personal incentive for spiritual labour with philotimo for all the recipients who will read them, then not only the labour of the Elder will be justified, but he himself will especially rejoice. -- Prologue
Author: Saint Paisios of Mount Athos