HOW TO PRAY THE JESUS PRAYER CONTINUOUSLY
By Elder Joseph the Recluse
ELDER JOSEPH THE HESYCHAST
In praying the Jesus Prayer you must compel yourself to continuously verbalize it. At the beginning of this effort you should say it quickly before your mind forms irrelevant thoughts. You are to concentrate only on the words: “Lord Jesus Christ, forgive me.” When you say these words for a long time, the mind gets used to them. In fact, the mind becomes sweetened by them and you feel like you have honey in your mouth and you desire to continue saying it. If you stop saying it you become upset.
When the mind becomes accustomed to it, digests it and learns to say it well, the mind then sends it to the heart. Since the mind feeds the soul and communicates everything imaginable to it, he who prays this shields the mind from thinking of anything other than the words of the Jesus Prayer. At this point, breathe slowly. The Prayer will acquire its own sense of urgency and will desire to enter the heart. The heart then embraces it and says rhythmically “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.”
If you want to find God through the Jesus Prayer, don’t ever stop saying it. This Prayer will then become an integral part of you when you’re standing up, sitting down, or walking. You should never stop saying the Prayer. You never exhale without saying the Prayer and this is to fulfill the admonition of St. Paul who says: “Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (I Thess. 5: 17-18). If you are able to say the Prayer continuously for two or three months, I believe that you will get used to it and then Divine Grace will come and you will find rest. (Peace?)
It is important that you say the Prayer without interruption. When your mind becomes accustomed to the Prayer then you will no longer need to verbalize it. The biggest effort is in the beginning, until you become used to it. Once you become used to the Prayer it will become an integral part of your being for the rest of your life. Then you only need to knock on the door of Divine Mercy and Jesus will open unto you without fail.
Ό Άγιος Παϊσιος μάς συμβουλεύει νά λέγωμεν τάς άκόλουθας εύχάς όταν οί κακοί λογισμοί μάς έπιπλήττουν.
Saint Paisius directs us to say the following short prayers when our thoughts are being attacked by the evil one.
Μέγα τό όνομα τής Άγίας Τριάδος
Great is the name of the Holy Trinity
Ύπεραγία Θεοτόκε Σκέπε ήμάς
All Holy Theotokos Protect us
Αύτός πού μάς έδημιούργησε άνευ τής βοηθείας μας δέν θά μάς σώση άνευ τής θελήσεώς μας.
He who created us without our help will not save us without our consent.
Έάν πεθάνεις πρίν πεθάνεις δέν θά πεθάνεις όταν πεθάνεις.
When you die before your die you will not die when you die.
Ό Άγιος Παϊσιος μάς λέγει:
Στήν έποχήν μας δυστυχώς ή έμπιστοσύνη στήν λογικήν κλόνισε τήν πίστιν άπό τά θεμέλια καί γέμισε τές ψυχές μας μέ άμφιβολίες. Διά αύτό στερούμαστε τά θαύματα διατί τό θαύμα ζείται καί δέν έξηγείται μέ τήν λογικήν.
Unfortunately, in the age in which we are living, our dependence on logic has shaken our faith from its very foundations and has filled our souls with doubts. It is because of this that we are denied miracles, because a miracle is lived and not understood with human logic.
Translated from the Greek by:
+Fr. Constantine J. Simones, Waterford, CT, USA, November 23, 2016, 860-460-9089.