C.J.S. Hayward: An Orthodox Christian Author

Welcome to the official author site for C.J.S. Hayward! There’s a lot to enjoy here: theology, literature, and creative works.

If this is your first time here, you are encouraged to read Doxology or The Angelic Letters. If you like being surprised, the link for the “Now highlighted” link below can pick something out of the smorgasbord that is offered.

Psst! Want me to pick one for you?


An Official Author Site: And an Online Museum!

This is the official site for author Christos Jonathan Seth Hayward. Its intended purpose is to showcase the full spectrum of Hayward’s creative works across a period of decades.

Museum attractions include annotated bibliography, article, akathist, Borges-style, Christian, dictionary, dystopia, Eastern Orthodox, essay, experimental, fantasy, game, game review, homily, humor, imaginary anthropology, interactive fiction, koan, maze, metacognition, mysticism, novellas, parody, philosophy, poetry, prayer, reference, satire, science fiction, short story, Socratic dialogue, speculative fiction, and theology.

As time passes, C.J.S. Hayward is focusing more and more on mystical theology.

Enjoy!

What’s New? A Quote:

The vastness of humility

Confidence and timidity

I told the guestmaster I’d like to become a monk.
“What kind of monk?” he asked. “A real monk?”
“Yes,” I said.
He poured me a cup of wine. “Here, take this.” No sooner had I drunk it than I became aware of a crystal globe forming around me. It began to expand until finally it surrounded him too. This monk, who a minute before had seemed so commonplace, now took on an astonishing beauty. I was struck dumb. After a bit the thought came to me, “Maybe I should tell him how beautiful he is—perhaps he doesn’t even know.”

But I really was dumb—that wine had burned out my tongue! But so great was my happiness at the sight of such beauty that I thought it was well worth the price of my tongue. When he made a sign to leave, I turned away, confident that the memory of such beauty would be a joy forever.

But what was my surprise when I found that with each person I met it was the same—as soon as he would pass unwittingly in my crystal globe, I could see his beauty too. And I knew it was real.
Is this what it means to be a REAL monk—to see the beauty in others and be silent?

Tales of a Magic Monastery, Theopane the monk

To even get near [humility], even for a moment, is like a drink of cold water to a man in a desert.
Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call “humble” nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody.
Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him.
If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.
Humility is not thinking less of yourself. It is thinking of yourself less.

C.S. Lewis
These two striking Western quotes need some counterbalance. Orthodox confess before communion: “I believe that thou has come into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” And though this is above my pay grade, there are some very important words (in The Ladder of Divine Ascent, for instance) about longing for the cup of dishonor as if it were honor, an experience that I believe is very different from the inside and from the outside. The experience of reaching a new level of pride may be exultant for an instant, but the natural course of that sin, if we do not repent of it, is to hold on to the sin while its pleasure necessarily vanishes. My suspicion that those who long for the cup of dishonor as if it were honor, retain the virtue while its sting gives way to joy. Repentance is Heaven’s best-kept secret, and the monastic longing for dishonor may also bring joyful surprises.

Read more of The Treasure of Humility and the Royal Race, posted Friday 7 July, 2017, arising partly after a pilgrimage.

About the Author

Who is C.J.S. Hayward? A man, made in the image of God and summoned to ascend to the heights of the likeness of God. A great sinner, and in fact, the chief of sinners. One who is, moment by moment, in each ascetical decision choosing to become one notch more a creature of Heaven, or one notch more a creature of Hell, until his life is spent and his eternal choice between Heaven and Hell is eternally sealed.

Man, mediator, midpoint, microcosm, measure: as man he is the recapitulation of the entire spiritual and visible creation, having physical life in common with plants and animals, and noetic life in common with rank upon rank of angel host, and forever in the shadow of that moment when Heaven kissed earth and God and the Son of God became Man and the Son of Man that men might become gods and the sons of God.

He’s also a writer with a few hobbies, but really, there are more important things in life.

A Peek at the Author’s Books

Bookworm’s Corner