Friday, February 7, 2014

What is prayer? ( Saint John of Kronstadt )

Food and rest are essential to sustain human life; knowledge, art, and culture in general enrich the mental capabilities of men, but only prayer reveals and expands our spiritual faculties.

God loves all His creations, and in particular He loves each of us since He is our Heavenly Father. As it is natural for children to want to see and converse with their parents, so it should also be natural and pleasant for us to converse with our Heavenly Father and to want to be in spiritual communion with Him. This conversation with God is called prayer. The soul, while uniting with God in prayer, simultaneously is united with the whole spiritual world — with the angels and saints. According to Saint John of Kronstadt, "Prayer is a golden bond of the Christian — a stranger and wanderer on earth — with the spiritual world of which he is a part, and even more so with God, the source of life."

Prayer is frequently accompanied by devout words and other outward signs of piety: the sign of the Cross, kneeling, prostration, etc. But prayer can also be offered without words, and without other external manifestations. This is the inner or hidden prayer of a pious soul, which is familiar through experience to many earnest Christians.

Saint John of Kronstadt

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