Acquire Unwandering Prayer of the Heart

Faithful Praying to Christ

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.

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2 Responses to “Acquire Unwandering Prayer of the Heart”


  1. 1 Barbara Harrison April 6, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Christ Is Risen! Indeed He is Risen! I am very much looking forward to receiving your posts. Thank you. Barbara


  1. 1 Acquire Unwandering Prayer of the Heart « Απόψεις για τη Μονή Βατοπαιδίου (και όχι μόνο) Trackback on August 6, 2010 at 5:08 pm

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St. Poemen the Great

"A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable."

St. Gregory the Great

"Every day you provide your bodies with good to keep them from failing. In the same way your good works should be the daily nourishment of your hearts. Your bodies are fed with food and your spirits with good works. You aren't to deny your soul, which is going to live forever, what you grant to your body, which is going to die."

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"Remember, O my soul, the terrible and frightful wonder: that your Creator for your sake became Man, and deigned to suffer for the sake of your salvation. His angels tremble, the Cherubim are terrified, the Seraphim are in fear, and all the heavenly powers ceaselessly give praise; and you, unfortunate soul, remain in laziness. At least from this time forth arise and do not put off, my beloved soul, holy repentance, contrition of heart and penance for your sins."

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

“Prayer does not consist merely in standing and bowing your body or in reading written prayers….it is possible to pray at all times, in all places, with mind and spirit. You can lift up your mind and heart to God while walking, sitting, working, in a crowd and in solitude. His door is always open, unlike man’s. We can always say to Him in our hearts Lord , Lord have mercy.”

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The candles lit before the icons of the Theotokos are a symbol of the fact that She is the Mother of the Unapproachable Light, and also of Her most pure and burning love for God and Her love for mankind.

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