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Δευτέρα, 27 Μαΐου 2019

The Jesus Prayer: Taking Custody of Your Thoughts

The Jesus Prayer: Taking Custody of Your Thoughts 

If I sit down to say the Jesus Prayer I will very quickly have certain kinds of thoughts running through my mind, usually very simple distractions such as “I think I left the oven on! I should leave my prayer and go check,” or “I just got a great idea for a sermon!” All these superficial distractions are the first thing that happens to us. For many of us this is enough to break our communion with God because we consider our business and work more important than our intimacy with God. 

All of these thoughts and memories are thieves because they steal the idea of God from the mind. St. Basil in a letter to St. Gregory the Theologian says that recollection of God is the indwelling of God. When we invoke the name of the Lord it is the indwelling of the Lord within us. To step away from that, from the throne of grace and the face of Christ because the oven might be on … 

Let’s not allow ourselves to be dragged from that place of prayer that is so difficult to get to. Where’s our faith in God? Let the car get a little wet—the window probably isn’t open anyways. We have to realize and accept that this is what will happen and we have to be on guard about this.

I’m not saying forget the world for days at a time—I’m talking a matter of minutes, maybe fifteen minutes. But these days even fifteen minutes is too long for us. We’ve lost the capacity to stop and be still. 

+ Fr Maximos Constas

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