Monday, September 15, 2014

Vigilance in Prayer ( Elder Ambrose of Optina )

Because prayer is the most powerful weapon against the invisible foe, he tries in various ways to distract people from it. Starets related the following story: "A monk at Mt. Athos had a much-loved, talking starling that used to entertain him with his chatter. But here was a strange thing – no sooner than the monk commenced to fulfil his rule of prayer, the starling would commence talking non-stop, not allowing the monk to pray. Once, on the bright Holy Day of the Resurrection of Christ, the monk came up to the cage and said: "Starling, Christ has risen!" And the starling replied: "That is the woe to us that He did," and immediately perished, filling the cell with unbearable stench. Thereupon the monk realised his error and repented."

Elder Ambrose of Optina

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