The Importance of Prayer & Its Effect Over The Soul

St. Macarius the Great of Egypt

By: St. Macarius the Great

Persons, who love truth and God, who thoroughly wish to put on Christ with great hope and faith, do not need so much encouragement or correction from others. They never give up their longing for heaven and their love of the Lord, granted that from time to time they bear patiently a bit of a diminishment in that love. But being completely attached to the cross of Christ, they daily perceive in themselves that they are spiritually progressing toward their spiritual Bridegroom.

Having been wounded by the desire for heaven and thirsting for justice of virtues, they await the illumination of the Spirit with the greatest insatiable longing. And should they be considered worthy to receive through their faith knowledge of divine mysteries or are made participators of the happiness of heavenly grace, they, nevertheless, do not put their trust in themselves, regarding themselves as somebody. But the more they are considered worthy to receive spiritual gifts, the more diligently do they seek them with an insatiable desire. The more they perceive themselves advancing in spiritual perfection, the more do they hunger and thirst for a greater share of and increase in grace. And the richer they spiritually become, the poorer they consider themselves, as they burn up interiorly with an insatiable, spiritual yearning for the Heavenly Bridegroom, as scripture says: “They that eat Me shall still be hungry and they that drink Me shall thirst” (Sir 24.21).

St. Macarius the Great, Homilies 10.1, in Spiritual Homilies.

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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."

St. Paisius Velichkovsky

"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.”

St. John of Kronstadt

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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