Monday, January 30, 2012

In order to pray, it is said that the disciple must close the door of his cell, place himself in a state of quiet, sit down, rest his chin against his chest, look towards the middle of his stomach, restrain his breathing and make a mental effort to find the "place of the heart," while repeating all the time the epiclesis of Jesus Christ. At the beginning he experiences only difficulty and obscurity, but soon he notices a kind of light. From this point onwards, as soon as an evil thought arises and even before it comes to completion and takes form, it is expelled and destroyed. "Through the invocation of the Lord Jesus, the winds of the passions dissolve and vanish like wax." However, this result is not obtained in a single day. One must go through, the successive stages of domination over the passions, of the sweetness of psalmnody, and then of the substitution of the Jesus Prayer, for psalmody, so finally one attains theoria, contemplation that is firmly established and undeviating. In this way, the spiritual house is built into which Christ will come. All this is not beyond our reach. "The rest you will learn with the help of God by keeping watch over your intellect with the help of God by keeping watch over your intellect and by holding Jesus in your heart; as the saying goes, sit in your cell, and your cell will teach you all things." ~ from The Jesus Prayer by Archimandrite Lev Gillet

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