By: SS. Callistus & Ignatius Xanthopoulos
To pray constantly within the heart, and even higher states than that, are attained not simply, as if by chance, not by means of a little labor and time, though even that occurs occasionally by the by the inscrutable providence of God; but it requires a long time, and no little labor, a struggle of body and soul, much and prolonged exertion. On account of the excellence of the gift and the grace of which we hope to partake, there must be, according to our power, equal and corresponding labors, in order that, according to the mystical and sacred doctrine, the enemy may be expelled from the ranges of the heart and Christ may be manifestly insated there. Says St. Isaac: “Let him who wishes to see the Lord endeavor aristically to purify his heart with the remembrance of God. And in this manner, by the clarity of his thought he will hourly see the Lord.” And Barsanuphius: “If interior activity by the grace of God does not help a man, he will labor in vain exterirorly. Interior activity combined with anguish of heart brings purity, and purity brings true silence of the heart. By such silence humility is secured, and humility makes a man a dwelling of God. But when God dwells in a man, then the demons and passions are driven out, and the man becomes a temple of God, filled with sanctification, filled with illumination, purity and grace. Blessed is he who sees the Lord in the innermost treasury of his heart as in a mirror, and with weeping pours out his prayer before His goodness.” St. John Karpathios: ” Much time and labor in prayer is necessary in order to find in poise of mind another heaven of the heart where Christ dwells, as the Apostle says: Do you not know that Jesus Christ is in you? Unless indeed you are failures!” (2 Cor. 13:5).
“Directions to Hesychasts” 52, Writings, pp. 227-28; cf. Isaac the Syrian, Ascetical Homilies 15, p. 85; Barsanuphius and John, Correspondence 119; John Karpathios, “Century to the Monks of India” 52, Philokalia 1, p. 310.