Thursday, July 2, 2009

Practicing the Jesus Prayer -4

Saint Ignatius Brianchaninov says, “at first, the words should be pronounced with extreme unhurridness so that the mind may have time to enter the words as forms… One must train oneself to it as if one were reading syllables,” (On the Prayer of Jesus, p 56) St. John of the Ladder counsels that the mind should be locked into the words of the prayer and should be forced back each time it departs from it. (Step XXVIII, ch. 17) Do not be disturbed if the words do not drop smoothly and are interrupted by thoughts, images, and feelings in the beginning. It takes some effort to tame the mind that is controlled by the brain. Eventually, the words will drop effortlessly into your heart. You need to focus intently and concentrate on the prayer.

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