Thursday, November 1, 2012
Why do we pray? Is it for love, longing and divine eros for God, or for the hope of compensation and the wages which the Lord sends with the consolation and sweetness of Grace ?
Prayer is a basic necessity of our being as indispensable as breathing. It forms the natural environment of each soul, in which the love for God is the beginning and end.
But by no means can we not expect the fruits also, the taste of which makes man more easily attain his divine destination, in other words, his union with Christ, who is the beginning and the source of all good.
Themes from the Philokalia- Watchfulness and Prayer pg. 66
To many people the Saints seem far removed from us. But the Saints are far only from people who have distanced themselves – they are very close to them that keep Christ’s commandments and possess the grace of the Holy Spirit. In heaven all things live and move in the Holy Spirit. But this same Holy Spirit is on earth too.
The Holy Spirit dwells in our Church; in the sacraments; in the Holy Scriptures; in the souls of the faithful. The Holy Spirit unites all men, and so the Saints are close to us; and when we pray to them they hear our prayers in the Holy Spirit, and our souls feel that they are praying for us.
The Saints live in another world, and there through the Holy Spirit they behold the glory of God and the beauty of the Lord’s countenance. But in the same Holy Spirit they see our lives, too, and our deeds. They know our sorrows and hear our ardent prayers. In their lives they learned of the love of God from the Holy Spirit; and he who knows love on earth takes it with him into eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven, where love grows and becomes perfect. And if love makes one unable to forget a brother here, how much more do the Saints remember and pray for us!
- Saint Silouan the Athonite (an excerpt from his writings)
'' They have secretly set a snare for me '' ( Psalm 142:3 ).
We can think and say that this is what David said concerning Saul, his enemy and persecutor. Allegorically, however we can think of the devil as the enemy because he never stops persecuting the people of God.
How, then, can we become exempt from his persecutions ? Only if we find a place in which he cannot enter. Do you want to know where this place is ? Which other but heaven !
Listen to Paul, who says and shows that eventhough we are still wearing our body as garment, we are still able to live there.
As he says, '' If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God
( Colossians 3:1 ).
And again he says: '' For our citizenship is in Heaven from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, The Lord Jesus Christ " ( Philippians 3:20).
St. John Chrysostom
the Devil and Magic pg67