Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

jesus_prayer

56 Entries

At your work, flee conversation; only measured words in case of need. The hands should work for the needs of the body, and the mind should say the sweetest name of Christ, so that the need of the soul, which we must not forget even for moment, also will be provided for. REF:Elder Ephraim of Philotheou Mount Athos, "Counsels from the Holy Mountain"



Continually say the Prayer [of Jesus] intensely, with zeal, with longing; only thus does one become strong in soul. Avoid idle words by means of all sacrifice, for they weaken the soul and it does not have the strength to struggle. REF:Elder Ephraim of Philotheou Mount Athos, "Counsels from the Holy Mountain"

... Because the nous can get tired by the reciting of all the words of the Jesus Prayer, it is necessary to make it shorter: "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me." Or, "Lord have mercy on me." Or, "Lord Jesus." As the Christian progresses in the work of the Jesus Prayer, he can decrease the words. He can even sometimes insist on the word "Jesus," which he says repeatedly (Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, my Jesus) a wave of calmness and joy rises in him.

He should remain in this sweetness which appears and not stop the prayer, even if his usual rule of prayer is finished. He should seize and keep this warmth of his heart and take advantage of this gift of God! For it is a great gift which God sends from on high. The warmth of the heart helps the nous effectively to be fixed on the words of the Jesus Prayer ... If one wants to spend all day in prayer, he should follow the recommendation of the Holy Fathers. He should pray for an hour, read for an hour and then again spend an hour in prayer. When he is engaged in manual work too, he should try to say the Jesus Prayer. Archim. Hierotheos Vlachos, "A Night In the Desert of the Holy Mountain," Birth of Theotokos Monastery, Greece



... men should have, as their constant practice and occupation, the invoking of His [Christ's] holy and most sweet name, bearing it always in the mind, in the heart and on the lips. They should force themselves in every possible way to live, breathe, sleep and wake, walk, eat and drink with Him and in Him, and in general so to do all that they have to do.

For as in His absence all harmful things come to us, leaving no room for anything to profit the soul, so in His presence all evil is swept away, no good is ever lacking and everything becomes possible, as the Lord Himself says: 'He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing' (John 15:5). the Monks Callistus and Ignatius (Directions to Hesychasts no. 13, Writings from the Philokalia on Prayer of the Heart; Faber and Faber pg. 173)



...with the Name of Jesus flog the foes, for there is no surer weapon against them, either on earth or in heaven. St. Gregory of Sinai (On Silence and Prayer no. 2)

Unceasing calling upon the name of God cures one not only of passions, but also of actions; and as a medicine affects a sick man without his comprehension, similarly the invocation of the name of God destroys passions in a manner beyond our comprehension. St. Barsanuphius the Great

All Christians, clergy, laity and monks, when rising from sleep must first think of and remember Christ. They must offer this remembrance to Christ as a sacrifice and first-fruits of every thought (Hebrews 13:15). For we must remember, before every thought, Christ Who saved us and has loved us so greatly, for we are, and are called, "Christians". We put him on by divine Baptism (Gal. 3:27), and we were sealed with His Chrism. We have partaken, and do partake, of His holy Body and Blood. We are His members (I Cor. 12:27) and His temple (II Cor. 6:16). Him do we put on, and He dwells in us. For this reason we are obliged to love Him and remember Him always. Wherefore, let everyone devote time, according to his ability, and have a certain amount of this prayer as an obligation. And this suffices concerning this matter, for this is a sufficient amount of instruction for those who seek concerning it. Simeon Archbishop of Thessalonica

An Athonite elder said, "It is as necessary for a man to say the Jesus Prayer as it is for a ship in danger to send out steadily the S.O.S. signal: Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me. An Athonite Gerontikon

An elderly Athonite monk said: We should not miss any chance to us to say the Jesus Prayer. We must not let our mind wander in vain things. In saying the Jesus Prayer one's mind finds rest and joy. It is like small children who for the whole day run around, shouting and playing and hitting each other. But the one thing that gives them rest and great joy is when at night they find themselves in their mother's arms. This way also one's mind instead of being scattered about, out to be devoted to mental prayer. An Athonite Gerontikon

As soon as you wake up in the morning, pray for a while, saying: 'Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me.' Then your first work should be to shut yourself in your own heart, as if taking up position in an arena. Having established yourself there, bring yourself to the consciousness and feeling that your enemy and the passionate urge against which you struggle at the moment are already there, on your left, ready for immediate attack; therefore rouse against them a firm resolve to conquer or die, but never to submit. Realize also that on your right there stands, invisibly present, your Commander, our Lord Jesus Christ, with His Holy Mother and a host of holy Angels, with Archangel Michael at their head, ready to come to your aid. So take heart and be of good cheer. Lorenzo Scupoli (Unseen Warfare: Chapter 16)

As the Christian progresses in the work of the Jesus Prayer, he can decrease the words. He [or she] can even sometimes insist on the word Jesus, which he says repeatedly ('Jesus,' 'Jesus,' 'Jesus,' 'Jesus') - - a wave of calmness and joy rises in him.

He should remain in this sweetness which appears and not stop the prayer, even if his usual rule of prayer has finished. He should seize and keep this warmth of his Heart and take advantage of this gift of God! For it is a great gift which God sends from on high.

The warmth of the Heart helps the nous [Eye of the Soul, Single Eye] effectively to be fixed on the words of the Jesus Prayer, to come down into the Heart and remain there.

If one wants to spend all day in prayer, he should follow the recommendation of the Holy Fathers. He should pray for an hour, read for an hour and then again spend an hour in prayer. When he is engaged in manual work too, he should try to say the Jesus Prayer. Archim. Hierotheos Vlachos, "A Night in the Desert of the Holy Mountain," Birth of Theotokos Monastery, Levadia, ISBN: 960-7070-04-6



At first it may appear very difficult to you, but be assured, as it were from Almighty God, that this very name of our Lord Jesus Christ, constantly invoked by you, will help you to overcome all difficulties, and in the course of time you will become used to this practice and will taste how sweet is the name of the Lord. Then you will learn by experience that this practice is not impossible and not difficult, but both possible and easy. This is why St. Paul, who knew better than we the great good which such prayer would bring, commanded us to pray without ceasing. He would not have imposed this obligation upon us if it were extremely difficult and impossible, for he knew beforehand that in such case, having no possibility of fulfilling it, we would inevitably prove to be disobedient and would transgress his commandment, thus incurring blame and condemnation. The Apostle could have had no such intention. St Gregory Palamas, from "Early Fathers From the Philokalia," translated from the Russian text, "Dobrotolubiye," by E. Kadloubovsky and G.E.H. Palmer, eighth edition, (London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 1981), pp. 412 - 415.

At this point the zealous man looks inward, and what do you think he finds there? Ceaseless wandering of thoughts, constant onslaughts from the passions, hardness and coldness of heart, obstinacy and disobedience, desire to do everything according to his own will. In a word, he finds everything within himself in a very bad state. And seeing this, his zeal is inflamed, and he now directs strenuous efforts to the development his inner life, to controlling his thoughts and the dispositions of his heart. >From directions on inner spiritual life he discovers the necessity of paying attention to oneself, of watching over the movements of the heart. In order not to admit to anything bad, it is necessary to preserve the remembrance of God. And so he sets to work to achieve this remembrance. But his thoughts can no more be arrested than the wind; his bad feelings and worthless impulses can no more be evaded than the stench of a corpse; his mind, like a wet and frozen bird, cannot rise to the remembrance of God. What is to be done? Be patient, they say, and go on working. Patience and labor are exercised, but all within remains the same. At last someone of experience is found who explains that all is inwardly in disorder because the forces within are divided: mind and heart each go their own way. Mind and heart must be united; then wandering of thoughts will cease, and you will gain a rudder to steer the ship of your soul, a lever by which to set in movement all your inner world. But how can one unite mind and heart? Acquire the habit of praying these words with the mind in the heart,'Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me'. And this prayer, when you learn to perform it properly, or rather when it becomes grafted to the heart, will lead you to the end which you desire It will unite your mind with your heart, it will cut off your wandering thoughts, and give you the power to govern the movements of your soul. Bishop Theophan the Recluse

Blessed are those who acquire the habit of this heavenly practice (unceasing prayer in the name of Jesus, for by it they overcome every temptation of the evil demons, as David overcame the proud Goliath. It extinguishes the unruly lusts of the flesh, as the three men extinguished the flames of the furnace. This practice of inner prayer tames passions as Daniel tamed the wild beasts. By it the dew of the Holy spirit is brought down upon the heart, as Elijah brought down rain on Mount Carmel. St Gregory Palamas, from "Early Fathers From the Philokalia," translated from the Russian text, "Dobrotolubiye," by E. Kadloubovsky and G.E.H. Palmer, eighth edition, (London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 1981), pp. 412 - 415.

Chastise your soul with the thought of death, and through remembrance of Jesus Christ concentrate your scattered intellect. St. Joseph of Volokalamsk

Continuity of attention produces inner stability; inner stability produces a natural intensification of watchfulness; and this intensification gradually and in due measure gives contemplative insight into spiritual warfare. This in its turn is succeeded by persistence in the Jesus Prayer and by the state that Jesus confers, in which the intellect, free from all images, enjoys complete quietude. St. Hesychios the Priest(On Watchfulness and Holiness no. 7)

Do not hesitate to go late at night to those places where you usually feel afraid. But if you yield only a little to such weakness, then this childish and ridiculous infirmity will grow old with you. As you go on your way, arm yourself with prayer. When you reach the place, stretch out your hands. Flog your enemies with the name of Jesus, for there is no stronger weapon in heaven or earth. When you get rid of the disease of fear, praise Him who has delivered you. If you continue to be thankful, He will protect you for ever. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent," (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), STEP 21: On Unmanly and Puerile Cowardice

For the complete fulfillment of its [the intellect's] purpose we should give it nothing but the prayer 'Lord Jesus'...Those who meditate unceasingly upon this glorious and holy name in the depths of their heart can sometimes see the light of their own intellect. For when the mind is closely concentrated upon this name, then we grow fully conscious that the name is burning up all filth which covers the surface of the soul; for it is written: 'our God is a consuming fire' (Deut. 4:24). Then the Lord awakens in the soul a great love for His glory...This is the pearl of great price which a man can acquire by selling all that he has, and so experience the inexpressible joy of making it his own. St. Diadochos of Photiki(On Spiritual Knowledge pp. 59)

Grace abides in us from the time of our holy baptism; but, through our inattention, vanity and the wrong life we lead it is stifled, or buried. When a man resolves to lead a righteous life and is zealous for salvation, the fruit of his whole labor is, therefore, the restoration in force of this gift of grace. It comes to pass in a two-fold manner: first, this gift becomes revealed through many labors in following the commandments; insofar as a man succeeds in following the commandments, this gift becomes more radiant and brilliant. Secondly, it manifests and reveals itself through constant invocation of the Lord Jesus in prayer. The first method is powerful, but the second is more so, so that even the first method gains power through it. Thus, if we sincerely wish to open the seed of grace concealed in us, let us hasten to train ourselves in this latter exercise of the heart, and let us have only this work of prayer in our heart, without forms, without images, till it warms our heart and makes it burn with ineffable love of the Lord. St Gregory of Sinai

Half an hour of the Jesus Prayer is worth as much as three hours of deep sleep. The prolonged Jesus Prayer rests and calms us. Archim. Hierotheos Vlachos, "A Night in the Desert of the Holy Mountain"

If thou, being offended by anything, dost sense that grief and wrath have seized thee, preserve silence, and say naught until unceasing prayer pacifies thine heart. Venerable Ammon of Nitria

In the grim struggle with the invisible enemies of our salvation, the supreme weapon is the prayer of Jesus. `All the nations' - the vociferous and wily demons are called nations - `surround me,' says David, `and in the name of the Lord I repulsed them. They encircled and surrounded me like bees, and they burnt like fire among thorns; and in the name of the Lord I repulsed them' (Ps. 117:10-12). With the name of Jesus flog the foes, because there is no stronger weapon in heaven or earth. On the Prayer of Jesus by Bp. Ignatius Brianchaninov

Join to every breath a sober invocation of the name of Jesus and the thought of death with humility. Both these practices bring great profit to the soul. "Reflections on the Eight Thoughts", Abba Evagrius, "Early Fathers From the Philokalia," translated from the Russian text, "Dobrotolubiye," by E. Kadloubovsky and G.E.H. Palmer, eighth edition, (London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 1981), pp. 113 - 114

Just as it is impossible to cross the sea without a boat, so it is impossible to repulse the provocation of an evil thought without invoking Jesus Christ St. Hesychios On Watchfulness And Holiness

Let every pious man continually repeat this Name as a payer in his mind and with his tongue. Let him always constrain himself to do this while standing, travelling, sitting, resting, speaking, and doing all things. Then he shall find great peace and joy, as those who have occupied themselves with it know from experience. This activity is both for those in worldly life, and for those monks who are in the midst of turmoil. Each one must strive to occupy himself with this prayer, even if to a limited extent only. All, clergy, monks and laymen, must have this prayer as a guide, practicing it according to their ability. Simeon Archbishop of Thessalonica

Let no one think, my brother-Christians, that it is the duty only of priests and monks to pray without ceasing, and not of laymen. No, no; it is the duty of all of us Christians to remain always in prayer.

For look what the most holy Patriarch of Constantinople, Philotheus, writes in his life of St. Gregory of Thessalonica. This saint had a beloved friend by the name of Job, a very simple but most virtuous man. Once, while conversing with him, His Eminence said of prayer that every Christian in general should strive to pray always, and to pray without ceasing, as Apostle Paul commands all Christians, "Pray without ceasing" (I Thessalonians 5:17), and as the prophet David says of himself, although he was a king and had to concern himself with his whole kingdom: "I foresaw the Lord always before my face" (Psalms 15:8), that is, in my prayer I always mentally see the Lord before me. Gregory the Theologian also teaches all Christians to say God’s name in prayer more often than to breathe.

So, my Christian brethren, I too implore you, together also with St. Chrysostom, for the sake of saving your souls, do not neglect the practice of this prayer. Imitate those I have mentioned and follow in their footsteps as far as you can. St Gregory Palamas, from "Early Fathers From the Philokalia," translated from the Russian text, "Dobrotolubiye," by E. Kadloubovsky and G.E.H. Palmer, eighth edition, (London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 1981), pp. 412 - 415.



Let those who are in the world work at this as a sealing of themselves a sign of their faith, a protector, sanctification, and expeller of every temptation. Simeon Archbishop of Thessalonica

Let us work with the body and pray with the soul. Let our outer man perform his bodily tasks, and let the inner man be entirely dedicated to the service of God, never abandoning this spiritual practice of mental prayer, as Jesus, God and Man, commanded us, saying: "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret" (Matthew 6:6).

The closet of the soul is the body; our doors are the five bodily senses. The soul enters its closet when the mind does not wander hither and thither, roaming among things and affairs of the world, but stays within, in our heart.

Our senses become closed and remain closed when we do not let them be attached to external sensory things, and in this way our mind remains free from every worldly attachment, and by secret mental prayer unites with God its Father. "And thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly," adds the Lord. God who knows all secret things sees mental prayer and rewards it openly with great gifts.

< For that prayer is true and perfect which fills the soul with Divine grace and spiritual gifts. As chrism perfumes the jar the more strongly the tighter it is closed, so prayer, the more fast it is imprisoned in the heart, abounds the more in Divine grace. St Gregory Palamas, from "Early Fathers From the Philokalia," translated from the Russian text, "Dobrotolubiye," by E. Kadloubovsky and G.E.H. Palmer, eighth edition, (London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 1981), pp. 412 - 415.



Man's chief aim should be to find God. In finding God, he finds true happiness. The interior prayer we have been discussing [the Prayer of Jesus] leads man to Him. We can never thank God sufficiently for revealing Himself to us. We can never even thank Him enough for the other goods He bestows upon us. God need not have created man: He had hosts of angels. Yet He created man and countless marvellous things for him. Elder Joseph of New Skete in Anchored in God by Constantine Cavarnos

Moreover, bear in mind the method of prayer – how it is possible to pray without ceasing, namely by praying in the mind. And this we can always do if we so wish. For when we sit down to work with our hands, when we walk, when we eat, when we drink we can always pray mentally and practice this mental prayer – the true prayer pleasing to God. St Gregory Palamas, from "Early Fathers From the Philokalia," translated from the Russian text, "Dobrotolubiye," by E. Kadloubovsky and G.E.H. Palmer, eighth edition, (London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 1981), pp. 412 - 415.

One time St. Nicodemos, on a feast day, was walking toward the Great Lavra (on Mt Athos). On his way he came across a kellion where he spent the night. At midnight he saw an elder and his accompanying monks entering the church. He secretly went in also, and there he saw the elder and his subordinate monks uttering the Jesus Prayer ("Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me"), sometimes in a kneeling position, sometimes standing up. And at the time of the Holy Communion, he saw all their faces shining only a little less dimly than the sun. An Athonite Gerontikon

Prayer is the mind's dialogue with God, in which words of petition are uttered with the intellect riveted wholly on God. For when the mind unceasingly repeats the name of the Lord and the intellect gives its full attention to the invocation of the divine name, the light of the knowledge of God overshadows the entire soul like a luminous cloud. Theoliptos, Metropolitan of Philadelphia (On Inner Work in Christ)

Remembrance of wrongs is an interpreter of Scripture which explains the words of the Spirit allegorically in order to suit its own disposition. Let it be put to shame by the Prayer of Jesus which cannot be said with it. St. John Climacus, “The Ladder of Divine Ascent,” (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1978), Step 9: On Remembrance of Wrongs

The clergy must be diligent in this prayer as though it were apostolic work and divine preaching, as the one activity which brings about divine effects - one which demonstrates the love of Christ. Simeon Archbishop of Thessalonica

The incessant invocation of God's name is a medicine which mortifies not just the passions, but even their influence. Just as the physician puts medications or dressings on a wound that it might be healed, without the patient even knowing the manner of their operation, so also the name of God, when we invoke it, mortifies all passions, though we do not know how that happens. Barsanuphius the Great, 421st Answer

The late Athonite Father Tikhon used to say: The prayer, "Lord Jesus have mercy on us" is worth one hundred drachmas, but "Glory to God" is word one thousand. Glorifying God is more valuable than anything else, because in the first instance, people often say the Jesus Prayer when needing something; but when one glorifies God in the midst of suffering, it is an ascesis. An Athonite Gerontikon

The monks are dedicated, and have an indispensable obligation to do this even thought they are in labors which are in the midst of turmoil. They must constrain themselves to say the prayer constantly, praying to the Lord unceasingly (I Thess. 5:17), even though they are wandering in thoughts and in midst of that confusion which is called "captivity of the mind". They must not be neglectful because their thoughts are stolen by the enemy, but must return to the prayer, rejoicing. Simeon Archbishop of Thessalonica

The more rain falls on the earth, the softer it makes it; similarly, Christ's holy name gladdens the earth of our heart the more we call upon it.' St. Hesychius the Priest, from the Philokalia

The more the rain falls on the earth, the softer it makes it; similarly, Christ's holy name gladdens the earth of our heart the more we call upon it. St. Hesychius the Priest, Philokalia, Vol. 1

The power given by the Lord to His seventy disciples is given to all Christians (Mk. 16:17). Use it, Christian! With the name of Jesus cut off their heads, that is the first appearances of sin in our thoughts, fancies and feelings. Destroy within you the devil's rule over you; destroy all his influence over you; acquire spiritual freedom. The foundation for your struggle is the grace of holy baptism; your weapon is prayer in the name of Jesus. On the Prayer of Jesus by Ignatius Brianchaninov

The practice of the prayer of Jesus holy David, or more accurately the Holy Spirit by the mouth of David, offers to all Christians without exception: 'The kings of the earth and all people, princes and all judges of the earth, young men and maidens - let elders with the young praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted (PS. 148:11-13).' A literal understanding of the states enumerated here would be perfectly permissible, but their essential meaning is spiritual. St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, On the Prayer of Jesus

This mental prayer reaches to the very throne of God and is preserved in golden vials, sending forth their odors before the Lord, as John the Divine saw in the Revelation, "Four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of the saints" (Revelation 5:8).

This mental prayer is the light which illumines man’s soul and inflames his heart with the fire of love of God. It is the chain linking God with man and man with God. Oh the incomparable blessing of mental prayer! It allows a man constantly to converse with God. Oh truly wonderful and more than wonderful – to be with one’s body among men while in one’s mind conversing with God. Angels have no physical voice, but mentally never cease to sing glory to God. This is their sole occupation and all their life is dedicated to this. St Gregory Palamas, from "Early Fathers From the Philokalia," translated from the Russian text, "Dobrotolubiye," by E. Kadloubovsky and G.E.H. Palmer, eighth edition, (London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 1981), pp. 412 - 415.



This mental prayer reaches to the very throne of God and is preserved in golden vials, sending forth their odors before the Lord, as John the Divine saw in the Revelation, "Four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of the saints" (Revelation 5:8).

This mental prayer is the light which illumines man’s soul and inflames his heart with the fire of love of God. It is the chain linking God with man and man with God. Oh the incomparable blessing of mental prayer! It allows a man constantly to converse with God. Oh truly wonderful and more than wonderful – to be with one’s body among men while in one’s mind conversing with God. Angels have no physical voice, but mentally never cease to sing glory to God. This is their sole occupation and all their life is dedicated to this. St Gregory Palamas, from "Early Fathers From the Philokalia," translated from the Russian text, "Dobrotolubiye," by E. Kadloubovsky and G.E.H. Palmer, eighth edition, (London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 1981), pp. 412 - 415.



This prayer should never be absent from you: Lord Jesus Christ, Son and Logos of the living God, through the Theotokos and all the Saints, have mercy upon me, Thy sinful and unworthy servant." (This is the actual Jesus Prayer: "O LORD JESUS CHRIST, SON OF GOD, HAVE MERCY UPON ME, A SINNER.") Always say this prayer both with your mouth and with your mind, day and night, wherever you may be, whether eating, walking, working, or sitting. Always meditate on it, as it benefits you a great deal., frees you here from every evil, delivers you there from eternal Hell, and renders you worthy of going to Paradise, our heavenly country. Modern Orthodox Saints I, St. Cosmas Aitolos).Dr. Constantine Cavarnos., INSTITUTE FOR BYZANTINE AND MODERN GREEK STUDIES., Belmont, Massachusetts., pp.81-94

Those who have truly decided to serve the Lord God should practice the remembrance of God and uninterrupted prayer to Jesus Christ, mentally saying: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. St. Dimitry of Rostov

Those who have truly decided to serve the Lord God should practice the remembrance of God and uninterrupted prayer to Jesus Christ, mentally saying: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me a sinner. St. Seraphim of Sarov.

To fast in the soul means keeping silent more and praying more frequently by oneself saying, "Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." At first this prayer will be only in our minds, then, because of the mind's prayerful effort, suddenly, we know not how, this prayer passes into our hearts. It is possible that at this moment we may even weep and in this way we are baptized anew in the unseen font of our tears. There are all kinds of tears: tears of exaltation, tears of joy, tears of sadness, but the most precious are tears of compunction and repentance. Metropolitan Vitaly, Paschal Encyclical, 2001 (http://www.orthodox.net/pascha/2001-pascha-vitaly.html)

What should one do so that the mind might be constantly occupied with God? If we do not acquire the three following virtues: love for God and men, continence, and the Prayer of Jesus, then our mind cannot be completely occupied with God. For love makes anger meek, continence weakens fleshly desire, and prayer draws the mind away from thoughts and banishes every hatred and high-mindedness. St. Paisius Velichkovsky, Little Russian Philokalia, Vol. IV

Whenever we are filled with evil thoughts, we should throw the invocation of our Lord Jesus Christ in their midst. Then, as experience has taught us, we shall see them instantly dispersed like smoke in air. Once the intellect is left to itself again, we can renew our constant attentiveness and our invocation. Whenever we are distracted, we should act in this way. St. Hesychios the Priest(On Watchfulness and Holiness nos. 98)

... The sun rising over the earth creates the daylight; and the venerable and holy name of the Lord Jesus, shining continually in the mind, gives birth to countless intellections radiant as the sun. St. Hesychios the Priest, "On Watchfulness and Holiness" Philokalia (Vol. 1) , p. 197, text 196)

...Because the nous* can get tired by the reciting of all the words of the Jesus Prayer, it is necessary to make it shorter: "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me." Or, "Lord have mercy on me." Or, "Lord Jesus." As the Christian progresses in the work of the Jesus Prayer, he can decrease the words. He can even sometimes insist on the word "Jesus," which he says repeatedly (Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, my Jesus) -- a wave of calmness and joy rises in him. He should remain in this sweetness which appears and not stop the prayer, even if his usual rule of prayer is finished. He should seize and keep this warmth of his heart and take advantage of this gift of God! For it is a great gift which God sends from on high. The warmth of the heart helps the nous* effectively to be fixed on the words of the Jesus Prayer......If one wants to spend all day in prayer, he should follow the recommendation of the Holy Fathers. He should pray for an hour, read for an hour and then again spend an hour in prayer. When he is engaged in manual work too, he should try to say the Jesus Prayer. Archim. Hierotheos Vlachos, "A Night In the Desert of the Holy Mountain," Birth of Theotokos Monastery, Greece

By rubbing wood against wood fire is kindled, and by the prayerful words of rumination within the heart the fire of love is ignited. Through ardent yearning for God it bursts into flame. St. Isaac the Syrian

Watchfulness and the Jesus Prayer, as I have said, mutually reinforce each other, for close attentiveness goes with constant prayer, while prayer goes with close watchfulness and attentiveness of intellect. St. Hesychios the Priest, On Watchfulness and Holiness. 8th century

Please put this commandment into practice. Cultivate love towards the Person of Christ to such an extent that, when you pronounce His name, tears fall from your eyes. Your heart must really burn. Then He will become your teacher. He will be your Guide, your Brother, your Father, and your Elder. Elder Amphilochios Makris - http://agrino.org/cyberdesert/makris.htm

Cultivate the Jesus Prayer and a time will come when your heart will leap with joy, just as it does when you are about to see a person who you love very much. Elder Amphilochios Makris - http://agrino.org/cyberdesert/makris.htm

Brethren, let us also occupy yourselves with noetic prayer…, and seeking God’s mercy, cry out with a humble heart from morning till night and if possible all night long, saying constantly: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us.” REF:Saint John Chrysostom





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